by Martin W.
Saturday, December 31, 2016
Well, fellow and fellowette HRCKC folks...
We had a final paddle of 2016 on the mighty Wallkill River in Sussex County on Saturday, December 31st and it turned out to have one of the best water levels of the entire year. I can't recall how many times I had to cancel this trip due to extremely low water levels this year but at last it came about on the very last day of the year.
The six hardy winter paddlers in attendance were Jim M., Rich H., Rico P., Ted C., Al G. and myself - three canoes and three kayaks with all of us decked out in our drysuits - quite impressive I say!
A bit of snow on the ground, temps in the mid 30's, calm in the morning and pretty windy in the afternoon - luckily it was a tailwind!
Spotted were Bald Eagles, Mallards and some Heron nests along the route. Ice was forming along the banks and on one ice sheet there was the bloody evidence of the demise of some poor unknown critter.
We spent little time at Bassett's Bridge for lunch since a strong wind started blowing and we didn't want to get caught in a maelstrom. Ran the "Rapid" shortly afterward and passed the infamous "Redneck Campground" - minus any rednecks this day. Finally, we took out at the Oil City Road access.
So, having good luck with weather and water levels - the six of us closed out 2016 with a great trip on the mighty Wallkill.