campfire tales Nanook's Campfire Tales
North Pole Stream, Palisades Section
  by Paul Hill

I hooked up with some guys from the Saint John area this spring and got some real wide open paddling. Paddled the Reversing Falls three times, the first time being a total disaster. I found out that low tide paddling was for experts only, me not even close got a real good scare. Big water with serious consequences. I returned the next two times at high tide, a little more friendly.

Three guys came up to the Miramichi the first week of November to run the North Pole stream and the upper stretch of the Little Southwest Miramichi. I have never seen the water as high as it was that week [10 beams on the bridge mounts on the bridge that crosses the LSWM].

I chose not to run the North Pole and provided safety for the three others who ran it. The water was so big and according to the GPS it drops 130ft in 300 yards.

The three guys who ran the Palisades stretch were no strangers to this kind of water and nailed every line.

We then went over to the LSWM and put in at the bridge to paddle down to Charlies Rock, about a two hour run.

Going against my better judgement I decided to run the river in my play boat instead of my big volume creeker.

A hundred yards down river I realized that this was not the same river I have run at spring levels [13 beams]. There were holes everywhere, huge hay stacks and wave trains 5-6 feet high and as far as you could see down river. Into the first turn I was over and tried rolling up twice with no success. Out of the boat and on to shore. Back in the boat with the other guys looking on I paddled ahead of them and into Little Indian Falls, that was a huge hole, back in the drink I was again. The hole trashed me around some then spat me out. The other guys [experts] came to my rescue and retrieved my boat. I swam to shore just before going over Big Indian Falls that was one big scary hole. I walked several stretches after that and only followed the other guys' lines. I was glad to get off the river that day.

I learned a lot this year paddling on at least 20 trips, some with world class paddlers.

Here are a few pics of the North Pole. Click on each thumbnail to view a larger image in a new window. Close window to return.

North Pole Stream North Pole Stream North Pole Stream North Pole Stream North Pole Stream
North Pole Stream North Pole Stream North Pole Stream North Pole Stream North Pole Stream
North Pole Stream
Here's a summertime shot of the same rapids for contrast.
Taken by Carm.

Thanks a lot, Paul, for the information. Much appreciated!!

campfire tales     The gate on the woods road was shut tight, and we were locked in. The good ole boys to the rescue!
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