In southern New England, August has been a month that only a paddler could love. It has rained on and off for the past two weeks. The heaviest rain has been localized, but it has brought up many rivers that are usually high and dry up at this time of year. When I saw the post on Facebook that “a small posse of older, but plucky OC paddlers will be meeting” to paddle the Upper Millers from Royalston to Athol (class II/III), I knew that was the trip for me.
The day started with an early morning stop at McDonald’s to meet Paul for the drive up to the river. After dropping Paul and our boats at the put-in, I headed down to meet the crew at the take-out. The open boaters out numbered the kayakers on this trip with 6 canoes and 5 kayaks. The level was around 1,000 cfs, after peaking at over 2,000 earlier in the week.
The fun began immediately with a long wave train just below the put-in. From there, the river alternates between quickwater, rock gardens and long wave trains. At this level, most of the rocks were buried just below the surface. We worked our way downstream running waves, catching eddies, and generally having a good time. It was a great day, and a rare treat to paddle this river in August.
Few more pictures here: