“The Taxis River? Never heard of it,” says my brother Laurie.
No wonder. Its headwaters lie behind a gate barring all vehicle access. The gate belongs to some lumber company, the road is private, and they want your money before you can enter. Or so it was not so long ago.
Perhaps it's just as well. On my map, the upper stretches of this river are marked with strings of bars ... indicating long rocky rapids maybe?
We put in under the Route 625 bridge behind Boiestown for an overnight paddle, 23 km long. The road itself bears mention. The pave ends halfway in, and you have to swerve from side to side to avoid the squooshy ruts and pitted potholes.
We enjoyed nice deep water after several weeks of cold and rainy weather, and the sun was shining at last.
The Taxis is not as big and boisterous as the Main Southwest Miramichi which it joins at Boiestown. There are several quickwater stretches, but at this water level, we were able to skirt or skim over all the rocks with a minimum of scraping. There was no trouble finding deep water channels by the gravel bars.
Campsites? Well, I confess we set up our tent on the grassy lawn of a riverside log cabin. When we awoke to steady rain the next morning, we took advantage of their dry porch to enjoy a leisurely breakfast and repack our gear. We left no trace of our visit.
There was one stretch where the river split ito several channels among islands. The banks all along the shores were littered with fallen trees dropped there by the spring freshet.
I remembered a recent trip report that warned paddlers not to take the middle channel due to a “cluster****” of trees, so we swung into the left channel instead.
The current sped up noticeably, and veered into a sharp turn. Directly ahead, a tangle of tree trunks spanned the width of the stream, leaving only a low narrow opening river centre.
There was no time to stop and weigh our options. We had maybe four paddle strokes to straighten our boat and point towards the opening. Then we scrambled to our knees and flattened ourselves forward on our gear. As we slipped through, long sharp branches raked our boat and our backs, then open water again welcomed us.
From this point, we paddled down calm waters for an hour or so, through the outskirts of Boiestown to our take-out on the Miramichi.
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