Upper Delaware Paddle and Camp: May 1-3, 2009

On Friday afternoon many current and future ACA paddlers arrived at Lander’s campground in Narrowsburg, New York to set up tents and trailers for the weekend. The forecast for occasional showers all weekend didn't materialize and campers were treated to sunny weather and a nice evening. Some people went out for dinner, others just hung out in camp, and a few people went to a celebration on the Narrowsburg Bridge. The celebration was for the announcement that the New York Regional Interconnect withdrew its plan to build an electric transmission line along the Upper Delaware River. Shortly after all had headed to their tents for the night a freight train rumbled by only to be followed by strong winds and rain later at night.

The weather improved by Saturday morning and a few more paddlers arrived. sany1746The Saturday paddle from Callicoon, New York to the campground in Narrowsburg had 23 boats with 25 paddlers and one dog. Dry weather for several weeks had dropped the river to near summer levels so there was a little more maneuvering around rocks required. The weather also cooperated with mixed sun and clouds and a moderate breeze that was mostly at our backs. The group took a break at the Damascus river access but it was too early in the season for facilities (aka port-a-potties) so we moved on. Again at the Skinners Falls access there were no "facilities". sany1770We lunched at the top of Skinners Falls on the New York side so people that never ran it could scout their route. Skinner Falls is not really a falls but rather a series of about four ledges with the left side of the last ledge being the most (or only) dangerous spot. The National Canoe Safety Patrol had a couple of safety people at the Falls so if there were any mishaps people would be safe. After lunch we all ran the shallow rapids without any problems, although I know at least one person who left a little red on the rocks. The remainder of the day was pretty quiet; most paddlers probably just looked forward to that great potluck dinner later that night.

The tradition for Saturday night is a potluck dinner where everyone brings a dish. We usually don't tell people what to bring because it always seems to works out, and if you end up with 25 deserts that’s not all bad. This year’s dinner was not a disappointment. There was enough food to feed two or three groups our size. After dinner a great campfire surrounded by a large circle of chairs created a great social atmosphere.img_1408

We awoke Sunday morning to a more threatening sky. A few paddlers had to depart but several new paddlers arrived and would join us for Sunday’s trip. We packed up our camping gear and drove the cars to our take-out at the Lackawaxen access. We returned to the campground in Narrowsburg and launched the boats where we took out the day before. Shortly after launching we passed under the Narrowsburg Bridge and observed an eagle’s nest with two eagles along the New York side. Later in the day we observed two more nests and at least five more eagles. sany1803For the Sunday trip we had 20 boats with 23 paddlers and 2 dogs. The wind was a little lighter than Saturday but as we approached the lunch stop at the Ten Mile River access a light, misty rain began to fall. The second half of the trip runs through a relatively remote valley with several easy class II rapids. The weather cooperated as the rain never materialized and everyone safely negotiated the shallow rapids.

The trip coordinators, Linda Straus and Bruce Wyman, would like to thank the 29 paddlers, 3 dogs, and 3 campfire guests for a very successful, enjoyable, and safe weekend on the Upper Delaware. We are especially grateful to Rick Lander's and Lander's River Trips for donating the camping facilities for the weekend.