Hackensack River Canoe &
Travelin’ the Musky
by Lori Meier
November 8, 2009
Trip Coordinator: John Franzetti
Participants: Lori M, Lori B, Debbie, Dominic, Ted, Marie, Maria, Mark, Clayton, Joe P.
Well it’s been at least a year or so since I’ve done a John Franzetti trip, so I seemed to have forgotten some of the nuances of his trips and trip descriptions. I asked if there were any rapids or obstacles besides the usual blowdown. “Only one little drop”, he said. I had a choice of going on Martin’s Wonderful Wallkill trip or John’s Mild Musky trip. I figured I did the Wallkill, but never this part of the Musconetcong. And John assured that we had no rapids and just one little drop.
Hence, I begin the story….We all arrived at the put in on an absolutely gorgeous fall morning. The put in was ohhhh a bit of a trek through the woods. The shuttle was by far one of the easiest zips down the road yet. So John gets -1 for the trek and +1 for the shuttle. We hopped in the water and warmed up with a little paddle upstream on the flats, then headed down to our first “obstacle”. Actually, this was the one little drop that John had mentioned. Mind you it took him about 5 minutes to figure out where to go down this thing. But it turned out to be no big deal. John gets +1.
Next was another “obstacle”. This was some sort of Shelf that we were to go left, then right, then wherever. Just don’t get caught up on a rock. Well, the first thing is a SHARP right unless you wanted to smack into a board, then you had to find your way down and hope for the best. Let’s see, Joe’s boat wasn’t up for the shallows, Deb went down with her eyes closed and Marie and I were shaking by the time we stopped. Clayton doesn’t remember the Shelf at all. I guess he was on his own “personal trip”. Dominic figured he would play in the rapids and got a little swamped. But, alas, we all made it!
But then! We traveled ohhh maybe 200 feet into another “obstacle”, a blow down. Ugh! Portage time…. Sorry, John -2.
After all of this excitement, we were finally moving along with a few riffles here and there. Really quite nice. Then somehow Lori and I were in the lead waaaay behind Clayton and took a WRONG turn. Who knew? Until we heard a whistle blowing and Ted hollering that we went the wrong way. Woops! So we turned around and what a beast it was to paddle upstream in riffles. Now I know how those Salmon feel. Soon we caught up only to learn that eventually we would have wound up at the same place, Waterloo. So now everyone was here except Clayton who soon showed up after having done the Salmon run too. John, -1, just because.
We had a lovely lunch at Waterloo Village. A shame that such a neat place is not getting much activity. Well, aside from Ted stripping to his summer wear!
After our lunch we headed back downstream where the river began to flatten and get slower and slower. We passed some duck blinds and a hippie house and maybe a “still” (hey, this was Maria’s observation, not mine…). I think some boredom set in as we had Maria and Mark ramming each other’s boats, John and Marie playing paparazzi (oh look I made rhyme), and Joe hunting for turtles who didn’t know it was time to hibernate.
Oh, and Bob Rancan! Are you listening??? We heard the beautiful sound of the red breasted, purple headed, 3 legged, orange tufted, 12 year old yoyo bird. Look out Bob, Joe is becoming quite the Audobonist.
We landed at Saxton Falls all in one piece and loving the fabulous day with great people to share the experience with! Score for John was -2. Score for the day was a perfect 10.