Saturday, April 3, 2010

Paddling the Nescopeck Creek at 250 CFS and an Attack Goose

Good Friday is the traditional trip down the Nescopeck Creek for the Harrisburg Canoe Club members and I decided to take a break from running and biking and join my hubby for this whitewater trip. Most years, the creek is too low. But this year the area received 7 inches of snow just three days earlier; thus, the creek was running at a "medium" level of 250 CFS. Yes, the experienced paddlers call it medium -- I call it down-right crap-my-pants scary. The minimum level to do this creek is 80 CFS (on the Wapwallopen guage). I ran the creek at about 120 CFS and had a good time. On Friday, the volume was twice what it was when I first did it and I was not a happy camper in most rapids. Granted, I didn't swim and got through every rapid without a wobble - I just didn't like it. It was a constant, fast moving dip and dive pace with no time to think about much. Rick was trying to lead me but he kept eddying and that drives me crazy 'cause I just want to get through a rapid and not piss around in it. There were also a LOT of people including open boats and when a canoe hits an eddy, that pretty much blocks the view of what's ahead so I felt like I couldn't see what was coming at many spots. I just didn't have fun. All I could think about was riding bike and how nice endurance paddling is on flat water! That's not a good sign. And the best part was the attack goose. We read about this goose that attacks boaters as they come through but we didn't believe it. Low and behold, we rounded the one bend and this goose was coming straight at us -- wings flopping and all his feathers standing on end. It was insane! I never saw a goose attack like that. And he wasn't letting up. He'd go after the first boat, then the second, and just keep going after boat after boat. Unbelievable. What a day.

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