Sunday, March 29, 2015

White Water Kayaking On Franklin County’s Salmon River Above Whippleville

I got an abrupt introduction to canoeing in 1965 when I attended the M-3 Minnesota Outward Bound School. I don’t know whether Outward Bound has softened its approach since then, but in 1965 we “campers” were given the full Zack Mayo.

By M-3’s end, we were all pretty fair hands with a Grumman, and I came away enjoying canoeing in water either flat or white. Running Class IIs with friends got me interested in upping the ante both in class and in craft. And so in 1980 I bought river running kayaks for Nancy and me. We next headed up to a “kanu camp” in Ontario to get a bit of instruction. The camp operators were quite good themselves at white watering, but hugely overly optimistic as judges of our slalom potential. Here’s a shot of our “training site.” We still don’t know how we got out of there alive.

In a triumph of hope over experience, Nancy and I tried kayaking again a month later in some gentle current on the Salmon River that flows north through Malone in Franklin County. We found the little bit of current along Park Street a little too much. The kayaks shortly thereafter became a Sawyer Cruiser.

My alert s-i-l Patsy found this link of some serious early spring kayaking on the Salmon straight down from Chasm Falls. These guys are good. Maybe crazy. Probably both.

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