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Away Trips

By Blair Winans

This is my first full-time April, and I did not anticipate the depth of the April grind. Oh in the past I’ve heard Kevin proclaim April as a busy month …blah, blah, blah, how busy could it be? For the most part, we run small weekday trips, and full weekends. The catch is that the full weekend is comprised of away trips.

April and May is a seemingly endless cycle of packing, driving, rafting, packing, driving, unpacking and washing gear. Although I am a little tired of standing over my bag on Thursday nights with the feeling that I’ve forgotten to pack a vital piece of gear or toiletry, by no means am I complaining.

The away trips are vastly entertaining experiences and offer adventurous and unique rivers. Bulls Bridge in Kent, CT is keeper of the most challenging rapid we run commercially. At the West River in VT, I try to be at the head of the pack when summiting the Ball Mountain Dam; the blank stares down towards the put-in amuse me. The Concord turns the image of rural mountain rafting upside down, as we ride class III-IV rapids through downtown Lowell, ending in 19thcentury canal locks.

Bulls Bridge

The West River

The Concord River

I’m looking forward to the more predicable routine of summer, but all summer I’ll speak of the springtime rivers with nostalgia. Back to packing, and where is my toothbrush?


Assistant Raft Manager


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