My cousin Vinnie phoned. He would be undergoing elective back surgery next month…Would I be interested in doing a tandem ww canoe run down the Schoharie with him before his hospitalization commenced? “No,” I said, “I’m not the most accomplished canoe stern man in whitewater and if you exacerbate your back injury while we’re out there, we’d really be up shit’s creek without…”
The Schoharie is mostly easygoing Cl. II, with a few tricky boulder gorges here and there that can get pushy. This is interspersed with remote rolling farmland where there’s little or no cell service, not to mention rescue infrastructure. Vinnie said he’d still like to go and would use a ducky. “I dunno,” I said, “Let me scout things first…There still might be some ice around.” Well, a couple days of plus 45 F degrees weather quickly melted the 3 feet of snow pack that covered the Northern Catskills justr days before. Wifey agreed to run shuttle for me, thus eliminating the need for a second vehicle and class-trip paddling partners. Just a few miles with a little park and play along the way. We took our mermaid van “Morrison.” Sunshine made for a stupendous early Spring day.