Deerfield River Fest
by Elaine Campbell
I've been going to the Deerfield River Fest for 9 years and have so many great experiences on this river. This is the river my brother Mark and I learned how to kayak on in the summer of 2002. I met my husband on the Deerfield River and now I live up the road from the West Branch of the Deerfield in VT. The Deerfield has 2 main sections that have scheduled releases all summer long. The Fife Brook which is a class II with one class III and the Dryway a class III with 2 IV's . Then there are a few other sections rain/snow dependent like the West Branch of the Deerfield a class IV/V creek.
This year's fest had a World Kayak Hometown Throwdown through Dragons Tooth rapid on the Dryway. I was the judge and had a great time judging. We had rafts, kayaks, shredders, OC1's and OC2's that entered. People were going for the death slot, hairy fairy, playing in the hole, and other fun moves in the rapid. There was some carnage but not much. After that we headed to the Fest site in Charlemont, MA. I heard that this Deerfield Fest compared to one's in the past for AW had a great turn out for memberships and entrance fee. That's pretty exciting! Lot's of beer was drank thank's to Watchusset Brewery. The silent auction was a huge success and the AW paper, rock, scissors contest is always a big hit. Zoar Outdoor had a contest going on in front of their booth with hula hoops. I'm glad no one took video of this because I was terrible. I've learned there are a few things I'm pretty good at and hula hooping is not one.
I'm back at our cottage in NY with family here for the next 2 weeks so there's lots of sailing and water skiing in my future. That's it for now and hopefully I don't get too broken from water skiing.
Till next time,