White Water Rafting - Deerfield River
Rafting DATE: 06/18/2016 - 06/18/2016
Trip/Event Location: Charlemont, MA
Max # People: 100
Trip Guiding / Event Fee: Yes, but only to cover shared expenses, and I too am paying
Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate
Indulge your wild side with this exciting adventure! The cost is $115 (includes all gear and lunch) and it will sell out.
Experience Class III and IV rafting excitement close to home on the...
We are meeting a Zoar Outdoor in Charlemont, MA. Visit Zoar Outdoor for personalized driving directions.
Deerfield is the only Class IV River that flows in area, thanks to a negotiated dam release. We were informed there is a release of water 33 times during the summer on the Dryway section. This section is named the Dryway because if there was not a dam release, this section would be almost dry.
Jon and I met the other 3 members who would be joining us at the registration pavilion and found Hernan at our truck waiting to meet us. Once we were all joined together we signed the waivers or in other words, signed our life away. We were shown a safety video, learned the name of our guide [Mark], and then grabbed our PFDs, paddles and helmets. We hopped onto a bus and on the ride to the start noticed how low the Dryway was. The dam had yet to be released and it would soon fill up.
We arrived at the Monroe Bridge dam to meet our guide and pick up our raft. We were a total of 13 rafts and this was the first day Zoar Outdoor sold out all the spots. Summer has arrived!
Our guide, Mark, was the oldest guide in the bunch, but his stories of past experiences on the river was entertaining. We headed off first down Factory Rapid, right from the get go. We sailed through. We paddled through some nice wave trains, standing waves and holes while getting the hand of eddying out and precisely maneuvering around in our raft.
We took a snack and water break to fuel up for the biggest rapids of the day! We had to ford a short water chute to get to the snacks and back to our raft so we built a human chain to help everyone get across.
We expertly negotiated Dragon's Tooth rapid while spinning cartwheels through it :) It was really exciting! At the start of Labyrinth, we hit a rock and Rob fell out. A rope was quickly tossed towards him and brought him to shore. Dave and I, who were in the front of the raft, almost fell out as well but we quickly grabbed the rope inside the raft to keep us in. We found ourselves pinned on this rock [known as shark fin] with all this water filling up the front of the raft. Dave and I backed into the middle of the raft. I really thought the raft was going to flip. Mark somehow lunged the raft forward just a bit and we found ourselves going down the rapid so we hopped back into position to paddle through Labyrinth. Rob hopped into another raft who brought him thru the rapids and we then were all back together. We had a fantastic time!
Zoar provided us a decent lunch after the rafting trip. Three of us went into the village of Shelburne Falls to walk the gorgeous Bridge of Flowers and check out the Glacial Potholes. Jon and I headed back to Manchester around 5pm and when we arrived home, were surprised how a whitewater rafting trip could tire us out.
We all had a great time. It was good getting to know each other pretty well and work together to get down the river. I personally think we had the most fun of anyone on the river that day!
Trip Report by Mike
Pictures taken by Jon and Mike
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