Oh so tired

Wednesday I headed to seneca rocks WV. I made it home today. I need to get into better paddling shape. I paddled on the north fork of the south branch of the potomac- cruiser course 3x and hopeville canyon 3x. I got in 45 miles of ww paddling in 4 days, 1 swim, and a rescue assist. My swim was a little rugged, lots of sharp rocks. While paddling I got hung up on a submerged log in a tight channel and eventually flipped trying to wiggle off. The boat stayed lodged for a bit. I paddle out the remainder of hopeville without a sprayskirt. The skirt was in pretty bad shape, stretched out around the waist and I lost it swimming/wet exiting. I knew that was a risk. I tend to use boats and gear beyond the point that most folks would use them. Eventually we located the paddle. Nice to have a spare in the meanwhile. Swims aren’t as much fun as they used to be. I’m fat, I’m old but I still like to go. The new boat no longer looks so new. The grass needs to be cut for the first time. That will have to wait until tomorrow.


To hell with the grass, it only grows back.

Rest up for a triumphant return.

Still sounds like you started off Spring right.

(I’m old. My boats are old. My gear is old…And since I ain’t getting any younger, screw trading-in what still works well enough most of the time. Let the rookies worry about “keeping up appearances.”):wink::+1::v:


Great story!

With temps in the 70s all week in southern Michigan my goal is to be oh so tired by the end of the week.

Looked them up on AW and those look like nice runs – good for you.

Being tired after a few days of paddling is a good thing. Getting older and putting on a few pounds is definitely a challenge – I can sympathize. Swims aren’t fun, but for me (open boat, no roll) an occasional swim is the price of admission for stuff at the edge of my skill level. For younger paddlers, you swim as you move up the paddling ladder and gain skills doing tougher runs – “if you are not swimming you are not improving”. As we get a little older, I’m afraid that swims are more of an indication that we need to throttle things back a little. Not sure where I am on the paddling curve, but I’d like to think I’m bouncing along at the top, and fighting-off the eventual transition down the other side. We’ll see.

I had a swim this weekend on a river I have padded may times over the years – the Upper Millers. In my defense, it was higher than I had ever paddled it before and the couple of rapids that are usually easy class III weren’t so easy. I made it ¾ of the way down, only to swim at the top of the last difficult rapid. Fortunately, I got out quick so the only thing that got bruised was my ego - it could have been a long nasty swim. I’ll paddle that river again, but maybe not at the full release level.

OK, maybe I am on the way down the other side…. :wink:

Sounds like a good weekend to me

Ditto that for a lot of us! Along as we keep plugging (paddling) away, it is way better than the alternative! :+1:



Half-way through the spring whitewater season in New England and there is some good news, some bad news, and some more good news.

Good news - the people are back! It seems people are finally over COVID and ready to paddle again. The past two weeks there have been mobs of people on the water - its great to see everyone out again - assuming you like the crowds, and I do.

Bad News - a lot of my peers are scaling it back. Some of the folks I used to paddle with have decided that they are either too rusty, or want to stick with their post-COVID activities - hiking, biking, whatever. Many of the ones who are paddling are opting for the easier class II runs rather than the tougher class III stuff that they used to do. That’s good with me - I’ve always been more of a class II paddler anyway.

More good news - people are posting trips again, especially paddling clubs, and lots of these trips are trips at my skill level. For the past couple of years I’ve struggled to find folks to paddle with. This year there are 4-5 trips every weekend that I feel comfortable doing.

Every weekend I’m tired and sore after the trip - feels good. I’m always psyched and ready to go by the next weekend. Last spring dam release for me is this weekend on the Westfield River - it should be mobbed. After that things will hopefully run for another couple of weeks up in NH - we’ll see. :slight_smile:

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Everyone gets slower and more tired. The trick is to do easier rivers. Have some lay over days. Paddle fewer hours.

I am getting ready to lead a week long drift boat trip. We don’t do hard rivers any more.

Your third paragraph applies to me in spades, especially with my regular homies now aging-out of the game to some degree. But my own apathy to travel further afield for just a day run (anymore than say, like an hour)has also been a factor. My justification for this is: Why deal with crowds when I got three Class III runs right nearby within 45 minutes?–And much of which, has little or no listing at all with American Whitewater. Also, I’m mostly content these days to either park n’ play or solo bike shuttle the more comfy Class II sections of these same familiar places anyway.

(Now finding my iSUPs even lighter bike-peddling in a backpack than my 26 pound Thrillseeker ducky. A big help with tired legs!:smiley:) But I will pull out a hard boat every once and a while to throw-in with KCCNY on either the Mongaup or the Esopus…And who knows, maybe I’ll even take a stab at rendezvousing with some dude from Rhode Island I’ve heard a lot about.:thinking:

Additionally since Covid, I’ve gotten more and more into canoe sailing. So no shuttles, no waiting on ww partners schedules to gel with mine, no waiting on levels to come up to nominal…Just simply pick a large waterway, bring along a canoe cart and “Sail when ye can, paddle when ye must.” Contemplating an extended solo multi-night down the Hudson or Connecticut rivers this summer. (That is, if I can somehow arrange to have my vehicle safely left at the take-out by wife/kinfolk/friend–I already know my older lazy butt won’t really be up for either tacking/paddling its way back up river.:stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:)

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Use it or lose it. :laughing:

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I can certainly empathize with the slowing down. Halfway through our 12 mile river paddle today, I was thinking that my new normal should be 5 milers. And then the PB & J kicked in.
The recorded high on the water was 91°. That may have been a factor.


Not me. I’m catching up.

If you can put up with some company, I’d do a Connecticut River trip with you sometime. We’ve done 5 trips there and covered most of the river from Canaaan, VT down to Lebanon, NH.

I’d do any of those again. Its not wilderness, but there are lots of nice campsites and plenty of easy paddling. Perfect for a 2-3 night trip. As long as the wind is from the north you’d be able to do some sailing. :wink:

We were doing a pretty good job of doing one trip a year there, but COVID put a damper on that. Maybe we’ll get back there in the fall – mid week for a couple of nights One section that we missed is McIndoe Falls to Bedell Bridge State Park or Bugbee Landing. If we continued below Lebanon , the next section would be Wilder Dam to Bellows Falls. All planned out, just need the time and the crew to get there.

As you get down into MA the campsites are less frequent and the river is a lot bigger – not my cup of tea, but would probably be good for sailing. If you want to get up there on your own, there are outfitters that will do the shuttle for you.


Its a looooong drive for me, but I’d go back to Mongaup (single barrel), and the Esopus is on my list - I’d like to make it to a release sometime. We’ll see…

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Sorry to drop a turd in the punchbowl but if a paddler gets tired or sore that means MORE paddling is required, not less. I think 3 times a week is the minimum for improvement in any activity regardless of one’s age.

Once you approach social security eligibility it’s important to exercise and paddle frequently to make sure you’re always a little sore. Then you can feel good about being sore and tell yourself and others that it’s because you exercise (and not for some other reason like the “deterioration” concept my doctor mentioned).


Okay, WOW!!! Sounds like a plan.

Maybe Fall shoulder season after Labor Day? (I’m already committed to a Hudson kayak paddle around Manhattan in late June. And a pending, although not firmed up yet, section of the Delaware for mid-summer.

BUT FIRST I’ll have to read each and every one of your CT river blog dispatches and bone-up on the legs of the locales you mentioned. (Forgive me for not having done so in the past :wink:)

It’ll probably be more advantageous for me/you/everyone, if I leave the sail rig home and bring strictly a paddling craft–For one thing, I’ve now decked over the bow(like sailing canoes of the golden age 19th Century) and am sewing up a much larger Dacron tanbark sail. Besides, leeboard thwart, rudder system(all removable)would add too much of a weighty dynamic for anyone but me going solo(unless they’re also in a sailing craft)to put up with.

My original solo sailing down the CT was to take the wider river journey you’ve avoided, all the way down to LI Sound(where I have family near take out.) I make twice the time than when paddling in canoe/touring kayak with a tailwind. Sleeping on-board if I have to…

But that can wait for another time. With well over a decade on these boards together, we should make a paddling 'vous happen! (Although, I think you were at a release on the West in VT I once attended.:thinking:) We should also post a shout out here for anybody else who might want to join in.

Mongaup is almost a two hour ride for me. It’s a very pretty if short run(I usually do it twice in a day, if not doing the Cl. IV surf waves at the end where it confluences with the Delaware.) Good camping nearby, and during a double-tube release date(as opposed to single)is really the only time (for me, anyway)that it’s worthwhile.

Tubes at the top…

And Esopus of course, is one of my “home” runs. I know it blindfolded. No waiting for a release, it is mostly always runnable, as Ashokan portal feed from Schoharie Reservoir is usually constant.

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I gonna be tired, tired of waiting. The weather is here, the water is low, perfect for plying a fly rod, and I got a large Basal Celled thing carved out of my lower back yesterday.

It will a couple of weeks before I can get back out.


Sun protection on the water. Face and hands are the worst.
I like a buff for long boat trips to protect the face.
I have have had a bunch of skin removed in surgeries. The worst was melanoma on my face. It took two tries to get it all and left a 6 inch scar.
Sun screen, long sleeves, brimmed hat.
Skin cancer is not funny at all.


No, it is not. The odd one about this that it almost never got sun. It is right along my belt line, just left of the spine.

Have to agree about sun screen, though in my youth it was baby oil and iodine. Being careful on the water is about more than protection from immersion.


Esopus is 3 hours for me. Mongaup is more like 3 1/2. Long drives but I wouldn’t mind getting there sometime. I’ll get back to Connecticut River in the fall. A lot of the campsites are small, so 4 is a nice group. My usual crew does an Allagash trip in the fall, but it should be easy to work around that.

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