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I decided to run south, since I haven't seen much of that part of the river. There were herons & cranes right off the bat. I later came across a raccoon, a young deer (came within 20' and never batted an eye), turkey vultures, and assorted geese & ducks with their young.
The portage around the dam about halfway to Route 22 was a little rough - there's some deadfall around it, and a pretty good hill to negotiate. The sign warning of the dam looked fairly new (I remember an earlier report noted they were in disrepair) but the sound of water rushing over it was a good enough clue that it was coming. Had I seen it from downstream before pulling the boat out, I might have run it... but as the 'yak is still new, I'd just as soon save the hull thickness for unknown snags and avoid the ones I can.
The dam/rapids or whatever just north of Route 22 however was a surprise... I decided to turn back there, although the current almost didn't want to let me. This would be just downstream of the log-cabin looking building at a sharp left turn (you can see it from 22 if you drive that way)
There were maybe two or three spots on the way back upstream that were shallow enough to make paddling a little more work. They'd have been really difficult in a canoe, since the paddles go in a little closer to vertical when you're sitting that high up... thus the 'moderate' rating...
Overall, a good trip. Ran about 3.6 miles each way; only took 20 minutes longer going upstream (the DP is pretty slow-moving) Someone is obviously keeping the river clear - I noted several limbs pointed toward the river which had been cut away. This is soooo much better than I remember from years past - as a kid, we would paddle north from Lake Carina (just south of I-94) and would have to portage around at least five strainers on the way up to Wadsworth Road. Kudos to the chainsaw operators!
PFD's (Life Jackets)