Early Kenduskeag rapids provide a thrill

Nicholas Wood waits in the eddy formed behind a boulder at the rapid paddlers refer to as &quotthe corner" below the Valley Avenue Bridge drop on the Kenduskeag Stream.  The stream iced out unusually early making this March 13th run possible.
Gabor Degre | BDN
Nicholas Wood waits in the eddy formed behind a boulder at the rapid paddlers refer to as "the corner" below the Valley Avenue Bridge drop on the Kenduskeag Stream. The stream iced out unusually early making this March 13th run possible. Buy Photo
By Gabor Degre, Special to the BDN
Posted April 09, 2012, at 1:40 p.m.

My guess is that I’m not even in the first 50,000 people who successfully negotiated the rapids of Kenduskeag Stream in Bangor.

That perception does not bother me the least bit. I consider myself one of the many who ran the rapids with some anticipation, eventually reacting with a huge grin and some yells of excitement.

Travis Boudreau and Nick Wood were my paddling partners for the trip. We scouted the first rapid to find a safe route, what boaters call “scouting lines.” The ice had just broken up on the stream a couple of days before and some usual lines were choked up with chunks, varying in size from a few feet across to the size of a pickup truck.

I seal-launched into the ice-cold water off the east bank, just upstream from the Flour Mill drops. We decided that it was safe to run through the “pipe” on the extreme river-left. You can only “shoot the pipe” at higher flows and in our case, it was the safest option. The three-to-four-foot drop was easy to negotiate with plenty of water for “landing.”

The stream offers a variety of rapids that can satisfy most paddlers who are looking for a quick fix of whitewater. The major features in order of appearance: Flour Mill drop; I-95 wave, a favorite for some play; the Valley Avenue bridge drop and the “Shopping Cart,” which is also a favorite play spot.

There is an easy put-in just above the Flour Mill and a very easy take-out after the Shopping Cart on river right.

 

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/04/09/outdoors/early-kenduskeag-rapids-provide-a-thrill/ printed on October 25, 2014