Outdoors

Early Kenduskeag rapids provide a thrill

Posted April 09, 2012, at 1:40 p.m.
Last modified April 12, 2012, at 9:51 a.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.”

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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.

 

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