|Nanook's Campfire Tales|
by Bob Zinck
Hello Paddle Dippers!
Just got back from a weekend on the Kedgwick. Great weekend. Put in on the South Branch of the Kedgwick and went on that for 12 kms to the main Kedgwick. The South Branch was a nice run. Water had lots of movement and was deep enough so very few problems with the levels.
It was a long dusty ride in the trucks from Edmundston to Friday night camp. Only one flat that was plugged and pumped. Always be prepared. And the guys I went with were prepared in all respects.
The weather cooperated in every way. Good temperature, few flies, not much wind and no rain. There were 11 canoes. Most were seasoned paddlers who could read the water well and handle the minor mishaps with good humour.
As any paddler worth his duct tape knows you always have to pay attention when low points on the left and overhanging dead trees on the right happen to be opposite each on a narrow channel. Eric was in front and me in the rear as we watched Rejean and Tico head through a bit too much to the right we thought. They hit the over hanging tree hard and spilled out. Water's not too warm yet.
They were heading to shore when Eric and I went, taking note of the preceeding navagational error. I thought we were too close to the low water and yelled to Eric "To The Right." Well I didn't mean that much to the right. Eric made it under the tree, but the stern swung under and a stub of a branch hit my life vest right in the sternum and I was lifted up and clear of the canoe on my back into the river. No water got in the canoe and not a waver of the craft. Eric went to shore and I floated in seconds later.
Tico, still shaken from his fall, nevertheless ran back into the river to fetch my "crazy creek" as it left the canoe with me, I guess. That's teamwork. Eric laughed the rest of the way to lunch break.
I stopped for fiddleheads on the way and that was a great addition to our supper meal. My buddy brought cigars for an after-meal puff. The cigars, beer, good food, great campsite, good company --- who wants more.
A real beautiful river with just enough fast water to make it interesting. I look forward to another trip with these guys next first weekend in June.
Thanks, Bob. It's always great to hear from you and learn from your adventures.
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