Almost Fall Creek

Almost Fall Creek

by Ben Natusch

Fall Creek is one of the local runs that I have wanted to get on pretty much since I started exploring the creeks of western Mass.  Unfortunately the release weekend always seems to line up with Moosefest or some major rain storm that brought all the rivers up and gave us plenty of choices for creeking.  This year I finally got my act together (also known as not planning far enough ahead to pull off Moosefest), so I threw my Mamba 8.6 in the bed of my truck and headed down to Fall Creek.  It was a great opportunity to catch up and do some boating with the Zoar Crew.  I was also hoping to get a lap or two in on the West Branch of the Deerfield but unfortunately by the time I was able to sneak away from work and make it out to western Mass, the WBD had already dropped too low to run.  Instead we settled for dinner and some fantastic beer at the People’s Pint in Greenfield.  On Sunday we left the house and headed down to Fall Creek fairly early.  When we were about halfway there, we got a call from another boater saying that Fall Creek was running a little high and looked pretty iffy.  When we arrived, Tyler and I met up with Steve, Dave, Jeff, and a few other friends and headed down to scout.  I think Steve really summed it up, saying it looks like someone photo shopped some water into the forest.  There was so much water flowing through the trees that we had a hard time telling where the river bed actually was.  The first drop was good to go and we knew the culvert definitely wasn’t runnable.  A couple of people fired up the first drop but we had pretty much made the decision that we weren’t feeling the rest of the river.  We hung out at the putin for awhile just catching up and killing some time since we weren’t going to run the river.  Eventually we decided that since we had driven all the way down there we should at least paddle something and none of us had run the New Boston Section before so we headed over.  On the way we stopped to take a look at the culvert on Fall Creek and found that the water had dropped enough to make it borderline runnable.  There was also a big eddy above it that could be caught if the tunnels didn’t look like fun.  Knowing this we decided to scout some of the other rapids to see if maybe the river had dropped enough to make the lines look good again.  Unfortunately we found several strainers with no great eddies above.  We decided that we didn’t need to see the rest of the run as that section was sketchy enough that we weren’t going to put on.  It was a little frustrating after having spent about four and a half hours to get there from New Hampshire.  Apparently this one is going to stay on the list for a little longer and hopefully things will line up better and I’ll be able to get on this river sometime in the near future.  Tyler, Steve and I ran into Glenn and Kelly at the takeout for the New Boston section and joined them for a lap.  While New Boston was certainly not the creek we were hoping for, it was a really fun run and one that I had never done before.  We were all goofing off and surfing holes and doing rock spins and trying to boof everything we could find.  It was a really fun lap with some good friends.  After finishing the lap, I made the long trek back to New Hampshire.

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