Never seen Rt 9 to Millville
Posted by: booztalkin on Jan-17-13 11:40 AM (EST)
The river guidebooks make it sound like there is an interesting rapid below Rt 9, but the dam sounds like a PIA. I'd like to see the section, since it would fill in a gap of the river where I've never been.
I've seen the rest of the stretch. The Millville - Sandy Hook section I've seen many times, but always at less than 4' on Millville Gauge. At 3 to 3.5', I would take a loaded* boat through there.
* - there are loaded boats and loaded boats. You want your boat on the lighter side, so forget the multiple coolers and weber grill. You are talking portage at the dam anyways, so hold it to a hundred pounds or so.
You also have to be aware of the levels on the Potomac. Whitehorse Rapid is your main concern. Looks straight and easy, but it always fools me by how squirrelie it is. You can expect to get a boat full of water there. I imagine at higher levels it just gets bigger. I imagine standing, overhead, back-curling waves, but I have a vivid imagination. The rapids at Weaverton ledges (Knoxville) are not difficult as long as you pick the right slots and avoid any wood that might be lurking in there. Again, at higher levels, conditions and results may vary.
So, in conclusion, as above posters point out, yes, it is doable, depending on how bad you want to do it, your skills, river levels, and how much time you have. I think doing it as an "overnighter" is ambitious. There's a reason nobody paddles that Rt. 9 to Millville section. Beyond that, just evaluate levels and your skills and make a good decision.
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