Moose Fest 2009
by Elaine Campbell
It gets better every year! The weather, the people, the boating, the food and especially the beer! The “Fest” starts Friday night at Slickers Pub in Old Forge, NY. You better get there early to get a table, a great burger, and a pitcher of beer at a great price. The place is packed by 10pm with boaters from all over the east coast and everyone is all fired up about paddling!
The Moose River has three sections to choose from: The Middle (class II/III), the Lower (class III/IV), and the Bottom (class IV/V). There's a section for every paddling ability! If you missed it this year you gotta come next year. The “Fest” is usually the third weekend in October so put it on your calendar NOW! There are plenty of hotels, motels, and B&B's to choose from as well as myriad camping, but beware: it can get pretty cold in Old Forge in mid-October! Saturday night is the actual “Fest”. This year it was at Slicker's. They closed off the side parking lot and had vendor booths set up. Jeff and I didn't last long Saturday night. We hit it hard Friday night (especially Jeff) and I had an extremely long day on the river. We were in bed by 10pm.
I had a great weekend paddling the Bottom Moose with my brother Mark and a great crew of boaters all from the Boston area (except Craig. he's from Pennsyltucky). Almost everyone in our group had great lines and there was almost no carnage! We did witness lot's of carnage, especially the sneak line at Knife's Edge. People think it's a sneak line and then realize “Yikes! This is an actual rapid with a hole at the entrance, rocks and a small drop at the end!”. Mark styled every drop and I styled the waaaaaaaaaaaaaay river right line of Crystal. I wasn't in the mood to possibly screw up my line and go over the falls backwards or upside down, do I'm saving Crystal for next year. I did run Magilla on the right side which is soooooooooo sweet! You just fly off the falls (though you want to stay right so you don't get pushed into the cave).
For paddlers in the Northeast, the Moose “Fest” is a great end to a great season of kayaking. Winter is coming and all we can hope for is few more rain storms before the snow hits. I hope you'll join us next year at the Moose “Fest”!
Thanks for taking the video Mark!
Photo: Lee Eudy