A weekend on the Pleasant, Wildcat, and Medway Rivers, a little bit of white water, a little bit of lakes, a little bit of channels, and bascially NO portages, mixed in with a night at the riverside and a fire--IDYLLIC!
But first a digression-----a number of years ago, when we all had our normal M-F jobs, we dreamed of when we would be retired, cutting back, have less responsibilities, and more time, all the stuff we could be doing together.
It seems to have worked in reverse---back then, when our time was controlled by someone else (who also controlled our $$$), we were always together on weekends and trips, etc. hiking, biking, and racing/running. Now we are all just as busy as one armed paperhangers, but are spending less time together in the Gonzo Group mentality, and are spread all over the world 'DOING!' Just over the past month(s) Gonzos have been, still are, or will be, in Ireland, Holland, 2 families in Mexico(200 miles apart), Malaysia, China, Maine, New England, Switz., ad infinitum.
Just this weekend, besides the Wildcat River trip--back to that soon---Gonzos were paddling the Victoria Day Monday on the Shubie Canal, biking various roads, and involved in the Bluenose Marathon..
Even the weekend was disrupted (shortened to 2 days) by 'other' events, Imax and SpellChic having to attend a wedding on Saturday--which I guess did meet certain Gonzo criteria, Bernie noting it was the 'best buffet I have ever seen.'
Back to the trip.
The Sungod and David McCurdy rendevoused at 6:30am with the Levey's and onto Timmies in Tantallon to meet up with some new friends--Peter and Elizabeth Daley and their daughters Joanna(5 years old) and Racheal(2 years old)--these two little girls turned out to be real troopers.
After an hour+ drive to the put in at Pleasant River, the trailor was moved to the take out, a 1 1/2 hour return trip, and we were on the water at 10:30am. While the Daleys were loading their crew into Bernie's Penobscot 17, David and Bruce in David's 'new', red, Appalachian, meandered up the tributary, waited, and waited, went back to bridge, no other boats, we had gone the wrong direction----GOOD START, eh!
Cloudy, sunny, light winds, NO flies to speak of--lovely. It was instantly realized that all 3 craft had capable paddlers and there would be no concerns on the trip-normal Class I/II rapids were handled proficiently, a couple requiring some on shore reading, and a couple were run without the kids. (more to keep them dry than upsets)
We arrived at the campground at the bridge in the Wildcat Indian Reservation around 5:00pm where we set up camp and had supper. David fried big steaks for Wendy, Bernie, and himself, Elizabeth had a massive pot of curried chicken, The Sungod stuck with the tried and true rice and pasta gluck camping staples (of course having a taste of currie and vegies when offered--yummie)
The threat of rain, which has been hanging over our heads for the past week started around 3:00am--off and on, but clearing up pretty good by the time we were up at 8:00am--There were comments from Bruce, David, Peter, and Bernie, about being up much earlier but there was no documented proof.
The weather was clearing but we put the tarp up anyway to prove we could handle anything nature had to offer, breakfast, clean up, and on the water at 10:30am
The highlights of the day were the nice white water drop at Wildcat Falls, handled without getting wet, and then on the open lakes we had a BIG tail wind, rafted up, put the tarp up as a sail, and surfed many Kms down the lake at breakneck speeds.
Arriving at Greenfield around 3:30pm, we had our first run in with black flies, we looked at the water below the bridge, decided it was too big to run, we said we were done, and loaded the gear and canoes onto the trailor, and the 8 people into Imax's station wagon.
On the way back Bernie suggested we look at Bang's Falls--Class II/III?. Why would we want to look at a falls that has been looked at many times--Yup, let's run it said Peter, so he and Bernie:
-strapped themselves into Bernie's Appalachian.
-read the river, read it again, changed their minds.
-ferried across the river, lined up their route, down over the falls.
-retrieve the canoe, retrieve the paddles.
-haul the canoe out of the water.
-go behind the chruch to change their wet/cold cloths, into the car and off we go.
Onto the Turkey Burger for grease, only to find a closed sign on the door---depression! It appears that when the new owner took over before Christmas things haven't worked out well and we may have lost a 'true friend' for good. Onto Boston Pizza in Bridgewater, Timmies in Chester and home around 9:00pm
Great trip, new friends, and a better understanding of white water for me.