Hackensack River Canoe & Kayak Club

paddling for over a third of a century
info@hrckc.org

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South Branch Raritan River
by Monica Orso

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Weather conditions looked great and 24 paddlers met up by the Clinton Twp Water Treatment Plant in anticipation of a great day on the water followed by a picnic and hot air balloon show. There were new members, old members, canoes, and kayaks of every shape and form including an inflatable and an origami "Oru" kayak.

The shuttle, normally pretty straight forward, was derailed when we were forced to reverse course due to an accident ahead. Nothing like a 14 car caravan  making a simultaneous K-turn on a 2-lane road. Fortunately, our fearless leader knew the alternate route via the highway so we were able to make it to the  take-out with minimal confusion. A big thanks to Dave M. who came along to help keep the large shuttle together even though he wasn't able to paddle.

Water levels were low at 2.90 at the Stanton Gauge, so we were in for some scratchy stuff. The river did not disappoint in that regard. It was not uncommon to  hear someone shouting "Don't go here!" as they were rocking on the riverbed. But overall, still very doable if you kept your eyes tuned to what was ahead and  listened to those in front of you. There were a few mishaps along the way producing rather damp paddlers. We made it to the lunch stop where many people  chose to get wet and cool off with a little fast floating and throw rope practice. With some muddy spots around and slippery rocks, it was not hard to lose your  footing and our fearless leader took a little tumble. His ankle was promptly tended to by well-prepared paddlers in the group. We continued on to the finish of  the roughly 11-mile paddle, weaving through a very beautiful part of the state.

Wildlife is always a treat on the South Branch. Aside from the standard variety of birds, a fox was spotted early on. There was also an unusually large number  of Belted Kingfishers darting about.

The takeout went smoothly with everyone helping one another get up a slope to load their cars. Then it was off to the park on Rt 22 to set up our picnic and  hopefully catch a glimpse of the balloons from the NJ Festival of Ballooning happening in Readington. If conditions were perfect they would float right over us.  But as the clock ticked away and it was already an hour past launch time with no balloons, we found out that the pilots meeting determined there was too  much wind up there and cancelled the launch. That being said, we enjoyed a lot of good food that folks brought to share along with good company, and left  content from a full day of nature and nurture.

Pics: https://photos.app.goo.gl/Zo2PR9xiSUFkGsDPA

Monica

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES

  • Tuesday, October 5: Membership Meeting & Presentation
  • Sat & Sun, Nov 6-7: 2021 Mullica River Fall Paddle Camping
  • Tuesday, November 9: Membership Meeting & Presentation
  • Tuesday, December 7: Membership Meeting & Presentation
  • January 2022: Holiday Party (date TBD)
  • March 1, 2022: Membership Meeting & Presentation
  • April 5, 2022: Membership Meeting & Presentation
  • May 3, 2022: Membership Meeting & Presentation
  • June 7, 2022: Membership Meeting & Presentation

WHERE WE'VE BEEN THE PAST YEAR

  • Monday, September 13: Cedar Creek, NJ
  • Tuesday, August 24: Annual BBQ (6-9 pm)
  • SATURDAY, July 24: An upper branch of the mighty Raritan River
  • FRIDAY, July 9: LACKAWAXEN RIVER - Pike Co., PA
  • Tuesday, July 6: Membership Meeting & Presentation
  • SATURDAY, June 26: FARMINGTON RIVER - Riverton, CT
  • Tuesday, June 1: Membership Meeting & Presentation
  • Saturday, May 15: HOUSATONIC RIVER - Cornwall Bridge, CT to North Kent, CT
  • Tuesday, May 4: Membership Meeting & Cinco de Mayo Celebration
  • Saturday, April 24: Paulinskill
  • Sunday, April 18: Upper Reaches of the Hackensack River
  • SATURDAY, April 10: SHEPAUG RIVER - Washington Depot to Roxbury, CT
  • Tuesday, April 6: Membership Meeting & Presentation
  • SATURDAY, April 3: FLAT BROOK - Sussex County, NJ, Delaware Water Gap Recreational Area
  • SATURDAY, March 20: SPRING SOLSTICE - NORTH BRANCH, RARITAN RIVER, Far Hills to North Branch, NJ, Somerset County
  • Tuesday, March 2: Membership Meeting & Presentation
  • Saturday, February 6: FIELD TRIP to observe BALD EAGLES - Westchester County, NY
  • Tuesday, February 2: Membership Meeting & Presentation
  • Tuesday, January 5, 2021: Membership Meeting & Presentation
  • Tuesday, December 1: Membership Meeting & Presentation
  • Sunday, October 18: Split Rock Reservoir Paddle
  • Sunday, October 11: Lake Chodikee, near New Paltz, NY
  • Tuesday, October 6: Membership Meeting & Presentation
  • Saturday, October 3: Paddle at Wawayanda State Park
  • Sunday, September 27: BICYCLE TRIP