Fifteen of us* in 14 boats (there was one "Elf" C-2 - and 3 OC-1s, and 10 K-1s) converged at the Fort Hil take-out at 11:00 to descend the classic 30 fpm stretch of this stream, running at 794 cfs / 2.57 ft. The 382 sq mi watershed (at Markleton gauge) had been thoroughly soaked by 7" of rain four days previously, and the peak flow of 2,190 cfs (2.57 ft) was flowing off only slowly, as the high woods were not well enough established to suck off much of the rainfall. Catchment 382 sq mi at Markleton, alt. 1,655 ft. To Fort Hill: 6 miles - 2 hours, says Gertler, longer, say I.
I approached this run with some trepidation, having dumped in one of the first rapids on my first run in 2001. Noone suffered that indignity on today's run - and a good thing, as the water was a crisp 50 degrees, and the weather, although mostly brilliantly sunny, was in the 60s. Depending on our reverence for the Penna DNR, we launched on either side of the Markleton bridge and soon were on our way down Casselman's plentiful rock gardens. We stop off for lunch and surfing at the basking rocks just above where the Western Maryland RR right-of-way carries the Allegheny Gap bike trail over the river. Relaunched, we soon encountered the Pinkerton Rapid, which merged on to more, and more pools and drops. Our group getting a bit stretched out due to some of us being unable to resist the myriad play-spots, we regathered at a major surfing wave on river right just after another (high) Western Maryland/ Gap Bike Trail crossing. Soon ehough, we were taking out at Casselman River Watershed Assn's "change house," a structure with unlimited overhead light. Another fine day on the river.
+ Our 15 were Trip Coordinator Mark Brenneman, Sheila, Barb, Larry Lempert, John Snitzer, Lisa Laden, and Alf - the last 3 in Tony Allred's mighty F-150 truck - meeting Jim Pruitt and several new folks (for whom Mark will supply the names)
The fifteen paddlers were Lindsey, Chuck, Jim P, Sheila, Dave C, Larry, Alf, John S, Tony, Lisa, Wayne L and 3 folks from far off Wisconsin, and yours truly Mark B. Barb was there in spirit only.