Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Farmill River in Shelton, CT

When the northern creeks are frozen, the coast of Connecticut often gets freezing rain instead of snow, and the Farmill runs. It's only 1 hour from New York City, less than 45 minutes from Hartford and just off the highway so is easy to get to. The Dunkin Donuts at the portage make winter paddling easier, with hot drinks and cheesy melty sandwiches.

After some warmup boogie water, the river bends left then you spot a house on river left as the river bends right. This drop is next to the house and can be run just right of center or left of center at these low levels in the photos. When the river is high you have to go left of center. Far right is a no-go no matter what level.

A very short bit of flatwater after the first waterfall, and just past the house (which can be seen in the background) is the first low head dam. Boof it straight and true down the middle at low levels. It can be done at medium levels too, but the hole has some real kick by then. At high water you absolutely want to do the sneak on the far left like Jimmy is doing in the photo below.

There was a tree in Left Turn (Z Turn) that maybe, possibly could have been avoided, but we had a saw, a rope, and 7 boaters so took the 10 minutes to remove it. There seems to be wood in this rapid often so it's a good thing we stopped to look.

James hugs the left shore for a tight approach to Left Turn

Jeff runs the more classic center approach which sets him up for two boofs

Jim swings wide with the current to go with the flow and bit off as much of the top hole as possible.

Here is Henry punching through the hole at the bottom, which is boxed in on both sides, with the runout blocked by a maze of rocks.

And a shot of all seven of us having fun doing multiple laps on the last drop. Hit the rooster tail and you are all set. Miss it and you might end up pitoning on the rocks at the base. Either way, be sure to smile and wave to the spectators way up on the hill above who are watching from their back porches.

I wonder what the suburban condo dwellers think of a bunch of odd guys dressed up like this climbing out of the river in their back yards...

(can you spot the Lozer?)

1 comment:

Teresa said...

Very nice photos. I live near the house in the first few photos and would never know anyone ever kayaked the river if not for web postings.