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Gaither Gorge - 4" - Sun, 3 June, w/ VIDEO
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So Br Patapsco: Gaither Gorge - 4" - est 100* cfs - 3 hrs - 10 paddlers -  to former Henrytown Bridge

Paul's Video at bottom - Like every other bunch of paddlers in the DC area, Tim, Paul, Wayne and Alf had been dithering for days - focusing on II+ streams, when the moment of truth tolled - 7 AM Sun.  With conflicting levels from its three indicator gauges, gauge weenie Cooley called it for Gaither Gorge with the dependable dam-release GPF running at 250 cfs as back-up.  Phenomenal luck, the SB Patapsco was running strong and muddy as we arrived.*   

     When two other planned high-end trips for today had to scrub because of huge water in their intended westerly destination area, Alf invited them on our trip and six came:  Larry L, Mark B, Frank F, Chris O, John S, and GusA.  Two had never been here, others not for many years.

     Tim, Alf, & Gus arrived a half hour late to find the enterprising folks already there just setting out to set shuttle for the longer run - through Sykesville/ Rte 32 - and down in the jungle at the abandoned Henrytown Bridge.   Two downed trees necessitating carries, the first within the first 100 yards - neither dangerous at our near perfect level - 4 inches, by common estimate.   As we progressed down the four Cl II+ rapids toward Sykesville, sporadic rains assured us that our river would stay up.  I was pleasantly surprised by the strength of four good rapids in the lower section.

 But in this latter part of the run, temps dropped and torrential rains began to fall, culminating in our having to drag our boats up a veritable gullywasher to our take-out vehicles.  Our shuttle team had seen to it that there was ample transport for man and boat, so no poor soul was left as shivering boat-watcher.  Rushing neighboring streams were evidence of the flash flood alert now in effect.  Returned to the put-in, we could see no trace of the marker rock - Larry opined that the river had gained a foot, so within a 4-hour window, we had hit the jackpot.  We traded stories later about how we drove out through the flash flooding - 4.6" fell on Sykesville by day's end.

     Not much surfing, but we had two spills on inconsequential features, which occasioned some loss of time reuniting paddler with boat.   As said - a near perfect level and progress - without the rains we'd have had no water - and have missed having six extra companions.  Proud boasts of rushing down Rte 32 to run the Little Patuxent were not followed up on - just as well as that brook has metastasized to 2,030 cfs !

* 100 cfs estimate is based on Beaver Run, Morgan Run, Cedarhurst, and Patuxent/Unity readings at 11:15am.   The Gaither Rock was 1.5" above water at pit-in time: 11:15 - out of sight when we returned at 3:00.  Est then: 370 cfs) 

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