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Trip Reports

Goose Creek - 633 cfs - Thurs, 19 April
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Hi!  I'm new to the group, but have been kayaking for a couple of years now; mostly short runs on Goose Creek from Rt. 7 down to the Potomac.  This past Saturday I kayaked the Goose from the Watson Rd/Evergreen Mills intersection down to the Goose Creek Reservoir dam.  I thought for sure I should be able to portage around it based on what I'd seen on Google Maps.  I got out on river right, but for the life of me could not figure out how to get around the dam alone.  Looks like they've very recently done some work there.  There were large floating orange barrels to keep debris from piling up at the dam and a lot of earthwork that looked new.  What side of the dam did you guys portage around? 

THE RIGHT SIDE - but you have to walk 50 yards farther up the bank to get around the dam structure.  Path down is rugged.  The Am. Whitewater description is inadequate .  The best put-in is off Sycolin Rd, 100 yd after it crosses to river left.  Very tiny parking place with large granite rocks.  - - Look around this CCA website to see other runs we do on Sunday, Thursday, and Wednesdays - not to mention over the weekends.
       If getting there is half the fun, we certainly scored today as we spiraled in to our initial meeting place using crapped-out GPS finders trying to navigate a confusion of highways under construction.  Suffice it to say that Barb, Miki, and Alf managed to assemble for the Goose Creek trip only an hour after the projected 9:30.  We then swiftly dumped cars at the fine Kephart Landing (take-out) and by 11:45 had put in at Sycolin bridge, at the head of the Goose Creek Reservoir - None of us had put in here before, but it was fine - Miki had never been on the Goose, Barbara not since she was a girl, and I not for five years.  Cold and blustery overcast day, but no rain.

      The 22-foot Dam (the former put-in) is now set about with DO NOT signs, though we're assured that it's OK.  Descended into the free-flowing part of the river, where six Cl. II rapids awaited us.  The Cl. II+ Golf Course rapid claimed one of our number, who dropped over a foaming rock at its end.  Canada geese, cormorants, an eagle, a little green heron, and a great blue heron accompanied us much of the way.  One deer was seen.  Good to be back on the Goose - its loss as a resource for training new paddlers is a minor crime against humanity.

The parking at the put-in is perfectly good for two or three cars, although the large, sharp rocks underfoot are a bit daunting - hope that the paving is ultimately made of smaller stone.   Lots of good shoulder available.  I, however, was nearer the truth on the amount of time spent in dithering - to which I'll count the getting lost en route to our meeting point.  A blockage on I-270 had Barb looking for a (closed) White's Ferry, finally crossing the river on U.S, 15.  I don't do GPS (and had been there before, but the terrain is thoroughly messed up with new roadbuilding at Belmont Hill Rd/Rte 7 intersection, where they've temporarily created a "you can't get there from here" situation. 

So from 9:30 we didn't get back to Kephart T.O. until 2:15 - almost my predicted 5 hours with dithering.  Time on the river - which at 633 cfs was moving quickly: 2 1/2 hrs.
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