May is the time to through paddle! Cold at the north end, warm at the south and we watched as spring arrived along river. Twelve full days of paddling covered 383 miles from Pittsburg, NH to Long Island Sound. Sightings included 6 beavers, 4 muskrats and otters, 1 each mink, snowy egret and swan, a dozen eagles and many ducks, bank swallows and Canadian geese. Primitive campsites were used and very much appreciated, but were widely spaced in the lower river. Paddle speed averaged 2.7 mph on reservoirs with no current and headwinds, and between 3.5 and 4 and up to 5.5 mph from Pittsburg to Canaan with whitewater for a total of 105 hours of paddling. Headwinds significantly hindered progress at times. The river was mostly empty except near Dartmouth College with a lot of day paddlers and we never shared a campsite. Only portaged at existing dam sites but running some rapids are highly dependent on river flow rate so our avoiding non-dam portages may not be typical. Most portages done in under an hour except Moore and Comerford dam portages required 2 hours. Long portages shortened with rides at Bellows Falls from Bob the “River Angel” and at Turner Falls from local utility. The amount of paddling effort required is significant as average river velocity was only about 1 mph even with higher than normal dam release rates. Overall a great trip away from civilization, beauty abounded, we were pleasantly surprised with both the lack of development along river and the lack of river boating making it easy in many reaches to imagine the river was the same as back in the colonial days.
2018 Through Paddle Pittsburg to Long Island Sound
Submitted by 2018 Through Paddler on Thu, 05/31/2018 - 17:51