Delaware Water Gap

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tailspin
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Location: Plainville, MA
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Delaware Water Gap

Postby tailspin » Fri Oct 25, 2013 4:55 pm

For my annual kayaking trip, 9 of us ventured down to Barryville, NY to spend 5 days and 4 nights paddling down the Delaware river.
I spent about 2 months planning the trip, gathering information, making phone calls, reservations, getting permits, etc... I used the book, "A paddler's guide to the Delaware River" as a basis.
I actually was able to figure out the author's email address and conversed with him on tips and locations for put ins and take outs.

We started on Thursday, Oct. 17th at 8am. We drove from Plainville, MA to Barryville, NY; Cedar Rapids Canoe and Kayak's campground. Basically, just a field on the side of the Delaware.
Arriving around 1pm and getting tents setup, and having lunch in the pub, we then decided to drive the kayaks 3 miles north to put in at the Zane Grey access point. This is just north of the
Roebling Aquaduct. This suspension bridge was built in 1849 to carry the Delaware / Hudson Canal over the Delaware river. It's now a one lane roadway bridge. Paddling the easy 3 miles back
to our campsite, we encountered a pair of bald eagles on the river bank. Finishing setting up our campsite, we went back to the pub for food, drink and to watch the Red Sox. 3 people had to make
the trip down to Kittatinny point to drop off the vehicles for our take out on Monday. It was a 2 and 1/2 hour trip.

Friday dawned a bit foggy and overcast but dry. We broke camp, took my last real shower, packed up the kayaks, and started our 11 mile trip down river to Buckhorn State Park for our next campsite. The agenda was flat water, fast water, and a few class I rapids. Easy going, right? Well it was for all but 3 people. They managed to get caught on some rocks in 3 different class I rapids and fell in. One person was using one of my kayaks and paddles. He didn't hang onto the paddle and we never recovered it. So, if you find a nice AquaBound fiberglass paddle on the Delaware, that would be mine. We had 4 spares in the group so he could continue. I decided to make some high-tech paddle leases for everyone before we moved on - 6 foot pieces of strong string with a figure-8 on a bite at each end. Split your paddle in half, slide the loop at one end of the string over the shaft, put the paddle back together, and attached the other loop to your kayak. I was curious as to what would happen when we hit the class II rapids! We managed to get to Buckhorn without anyone else dumping. We were not supposed to have a campfire but
some people needed to dry out clothes and equipment so we built a fire pit with very high rock sides, cleared leaves and brush for 10 feet on all sides, and had water available nearby. No rain
that night but since it was cloudy, it was comparably warm.

Saturday morning came and was a bit sunnier. We packed up again and got ready for a 20 mile day. The first area right below camp was a class II. One person led the way and hit a few rocks but managed to stay upright. I quickly spun my 17 foot boat up river, paddled like heck and managed to get over to the left bank where the deeper channel was. Everyone made it through and
we had no more capsizes for the rest of the trip. According to the book, there were two more class II's coming up. We were planning on beaching and scouting the area but we actually went through them before we realized they were the rapids we were watching out for. The seemed more like class I's. We did hit a few rapids though with 3 foot standing waves. That was a blast to plow through as long as you watched out for the submerged rocks. 20 miles isn't so bad with a 3-4 mph current. According to my GPS, I topped out at 13.3 mph through one of the class II+'s.
We caught up to some canoeists near the end of the day who were drifting and fishing more than paddling. Clouds started rolling in and rain was threatening. Sure enough, during the night, it poured for a few hours but no one's tents got wet inside.

Sunday was another 20 mile day and the clouds had moved through for another sunny day. We hit some more rapids but by now we were looking for them to play in the waves. We covered those 20 miles in about 6 hours, including a stop for lunch. That current was pushing us along nicely. Stopping for the night, we actually had a privy this time! With a clear sky, it got down to 28 degrees F. A bit chilly the next morning. Since we were only paddling 11 miles we took our time getting going. Bailey's and hot chocolate comes in handy for the cold.

By now, the river was widening and slowing a bit. But there were nice large islands where the river would split and a small channel would go around the island. Most of the time we followed those channels since it was more like a river than the main channel which resembled a lake. One island is actually a golf course and you could see golf balls in the water.
At the end of 68 miles, it was nice to finally be going home since we were all getting tired. Seems that a rodent decided to hold up in the engine compartment of one vehicle and after a few miles, it didn't make it. The stench was awful.

Here are the pictures and GPS track to go along with the trip.

John

http://www.flickr.com/photos/stripedmoo ... 820669965/
https://plus.google.com/photos/11331933 ... K-WgvnI8AE
http://www.flickr.com/photos/10762403@N ... 841002854/

https://sites.google.com/site/tailspin2 ... ects=0&d=1
Download and open in FireFox.

Ken R
Posts: 509
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:41 am
antispam: No
Location: Plymouth

Re: Delaware Water Gap

Postby Ken R » Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:05 pm

Tailspin,
The DWG is beautiful. My wife and I spent some time bicycling along it in NJ. ever since it has been on my fantasy kayak trip list.
Hopefully your post might inspire some Wild Turkeys to put together a trip like yours.
Thanks for sharing your adventure
KR

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kayakerjnj
Posts: 2580
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 12:12 pm
Location: Randolph MA

Re: Delaware Water Gap

Postby kayakerjnj » Fri Oct 25, 2013 7:46 pm

Beautiful location!

Looked like everyone had a fabulous trip!
Paddle with a big smile, its contagious :D


Jordan

tailspin
Posts: 73
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 8:14 pm
Location: Plainville, MA
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Re: Delaware Water Gap

Postby tailspin » Fri Oct 25, 2013 8:23 pm

If anyone would like information about the area, I'd be happy to provide what I have. I actually find it enjoyable to plan these trips.
Also, we go each year in September. If you are interested in joining us, I'd love to include anyone. We have a lot of fun exploring different areas.
Here are my past trips.
https://sites.google.com/site/tailspin20/kayaking-trips

Briggsy
Posts: 297
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 6:59 pm
Location: Sarasota, Florida

Re: Delaware Water Gap

Postby Briggsy » Mon Oct 28, 2013 4:53 pm

Thats awesome !!
My buddies and I do a canoe trip every year, that looks like a possible future destination, not too far away.( This year we are doing a week on the Suwannee river in Florida).
Do you think you could get through those rapids in a loaded open canoe ?? We are looking to move on from lake paddling and get some moving water action. We usually go Sept/Oct too. Are there possibilities to extend or shorten the trip, more boat ramps and access points etc.
Great trip and good pics
Briggsy

tailspin
Posts: 73
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 8:14 pm
Location: Plainville, MA
Contact:

Re: Delaware Water Gap

Postby tailspin » Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:05 pm

Briggsy wrote:Thats awesome !!
My buddies and I do a canoe trip every year, that looks like a possible future destination, not too far away.( This year we are doing a week on the Suwannee river in Florida).
Do you think you could get through those rapids in a loaded open canoe ?? We are looking to move on from lake paddling and get some moving water action. We usually go Sept/Oct too. Are there possibilities to extend or shorten the trip, more boat ramps and access points etc.
Great trip and good pics
Briggsy


Hello Briggsy,

I think if you know how to read the river and it's telltale signs, yes, you can get a loaded canoe through the rapids. Look at where the "flow" of the water is going, not necessarily straight downstream; follow the bubbles, they tend to follow the flow which takes the deepest path; avoid a "V" pointing towards you, there's a rock there; aim for the opened ended "V"'s which puts you between rocks. I would definitely drybag everything and tie it to the canoe so in case you do capsize, you will not lose anything or have to scramble to find your stuff. There were other people on the river in canoes. I think they started south of Port Jervis though where the rapids are only class I. I would suggest purchasing the book "A Paddler's Guide to the Delaware River". Excellent book which details all the sections of the river and lists campsites, contacts, access points, parking, etc.... There were plenty of campsites along the river. It's more challenging north of Port Jervis and much easier south of it.

John

Briggsy
Posts: 297
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 6:59 pm
Location: Sarasota, Florida

Re: Delaware Water Gap

Postby Briggsy » Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:44 pm

Thanks for the info, I have found the book on Amazon
Briggsy

pallen661
Posts: 209
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2006 1:40 pm

Re: Delaware Water Gap

Postby pallen661 » Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:28 pm

It's definitely doable in open canoe; we often did it when I was growing up in southern PA. Though if you run Skinners falls, dry bags and float bags might be your friend. It depends on how much experience with moving water you have and how good your canoe strokes are. All those weird cross bow draws definitely have their place.

best

Phil
---
P&H Cetus MV, black over white with red tape
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