by Bob Rancan
Saturday, August 9, 2014
A VERY beautiful day on the river, in all ways: it was the second week of August but the temperature was in the mid eighties, low humidity and hardly a breeze. There was sunshine but the occasional cloud made that bearable. The rarest commodity was the strong flow of summer water. The USGS gauge below the dam at Falls Village read around 3.40 or 1160cfs. The long term median flow for the date is in the 300cfs range. There must have been lot of rain in the Berkshires the previous week because ten days before the Falls Village gauge had peaked around 4500cfs. A steady decline followed but by midweek it was still showing plenty of water. I put the notice out to the Club and quickly got a great response.
We ended up with 13 paddlers in 12 boats (7 canoes and 5 kayaks) and I enjoyed the company of Herb and Lorry G., Skip H. and Henry S. for the first time, along with usual suspects Henry D., Al G., Mark G., Sumonnat K., Michelle K. and Harris R. Chris M. and Sue F. even joined us in the midst of their New England vacation! We chatted with three well-worn (but young) through- hikers along the Appalachian Trail...I prefer my rest stop, 50 foot walk at a time better. We ran about 11 miles of nice, fast moving water and observed 3-4 osprey, lots of great blue herons, common mergansers and belted kingfishers. In addition, there were large numbers of cedar waxwings: conditions for fly catching must have been perfect for them as well.