by Janet Burnett Cowie
Last weekend I headed to Tariffville Gorge to do some paddling with my friends David Silk and Keith Warner. Tville, as it’s known, is a great place to paddle and play and also the site of the Triple Crown every year. This time however, was likely the coldest day I’ve ever been paddling.
The water temperature clocked in at a balmy 40 degrees, which caused an immediate and painful ice cream headache the second my head touched the water. We started off by traipsing through a good foot of snow and then slid down in our boats into the water. The river was really beautiful with sculpted ice and snow covering the rocks. By the time we reached ‘the hole’, the place where all of the trick are performed, I had gathered that it wasn’t the nicest day to be paddling. The sun was out and shining, but the water had a bite to it.
I went in for my first surf and could hardly move in all my layers. The incoming water grabbed my bow and sent me right over. I rolled up, barely able to breathe from the intense shock of the water! Needless to say, I didn’t do as much surfing as I had originally planned, but I did enjoy watching my crazier-than-me friends surf for a worrying amount of time in the frigid water.
I was happy to get out this month, because it is normally a time that the rivers are under a lot of ice. As much as I enjoyed the scenery, I’m really looking forward to summertime paddling again. See you on the river this spring!