Thursday, June 3, 2010

Paddling With My Son - Kiski River - Avonmore to Roaring Run 5/31/2010

My son Jeremy called me over Memorial Day weekend to ask if he could go kayaking with me. He had never kayaked before, so I jumped at the chance to share the experience with him and enjoy a little "father-son time" on the water. I decided that his first trip should be down the Kiski River. He and his friends used to sneak down to the river to swim when they were kids. He would get in trouble when I found out because I was afraid they would get sick from the pollution that was in the Kiski at that time. I wanted him to see the change in the river quality since then. Robbin and I paddled the section from Roaring Run to Vandergrift on Sunday and noticed that the water level was up, so I knew that Avonmore to Roaring Run would be a fun paddle because of the Class 2 sections.

When we launched at Avonmore, I gave Jeremy some quick pointers on how to paddle a kayak. He struggled a little at first with stability and technique. His initial attempt resulted in a long sweeping turn to the right that he couldn't seem to get out of. After a few more lengthy explanations, he was paddling like he had been doing it for years.

The trip down that section of river didn't disappoint. The higher water level made the class 2 sections even more fun than usual. We ended up with so much water in the cockpits that we had to stop once and empty them (no bulkheads). We had a great day and I think I'll be doing a lot more kayaking with my son in the future.

I think he's hooked.

This is one of several sections of riffles on this stretch of the Kiski. The picture doesn't really give a good view of there size though.

Jeremy going through some class 2 riffles. This photo gives a little better view.

The result of rough water and low profile kayaks is a wet paddler and a lot of water in the cockpit. We had to stop a drain them because the rear of the kayak was almost under water.