Franconia Ridge

Franconia Ridge

Saturday, July 13, 2013

A Ride Down the Saco River

High temps and humidity were forecast to make a return today after a nice break yesterday. We decided it would be a nice day to be on the water. Our plan was to paddle from River Road to the covered bridge in Conway, about a 5.5 mile run down the Saco River.

Ready to go!

Launch site

Calm before the fast water

My son Ryan and I loaded up the kayaks and set out for North Conway and the Saco River. It was nice to have two trucks so we could spot one downriver. We dropped off one truck by the covered bridge in Conway and drove back to River Road to start our paddle.

River getting crowded

Mount Kearsarge

There is a large field that is designated as the drop off point. We dumped our kayaks and gear, parked the truck and portaged down to the launch site. The water was shallow and running fast. We jumped in and were quickly taken out to deeper water.

North Conway Country Club on the bank

The river was running higher and faster than when I was here last summer. That was good, there were no sand bars to cross. Of course we still had to be careful and pick the right route in some places. The wrong route meant getting caught on a sand bar. The secret was to watch others go first.

The Moats in the distance

There were stretches of calm, slow water and places with swift water and obstacles. Around every bend there were more people up ahead floating in tubes, paddling kayaks and canoes as well as relaxing on sandy beaches. The crowds of people were expected and really didn't bother me but it was definitely not a solitary paddle.

Our one and only break

High sand banks

We paddled past camping areas, a golf course, rope swings, very high sand banks, ducks and geese, shallow water, deep water, fast water and slow water. There were a variety of sights and varying water conditions along our trip downriver.

Ducks and ducklings always have the right-of-way

On the shady side of the river

Having made it past the swift water and obstacles without a mishap up til now, there would be one final test. Just before the covered bridge, where we would be ending our trip, there was a final set of rapids with large boulders just below the surface. We watched others go, Ryan went and I followed. My kayak bumped off a few boulders, I took on some water but was soon back into flat water.
Scenic view on Route 16 on the high bank
Great way to cool off on a hot day!
Geese keeping a watchful eye

Dragonfly resting
We maneuvered into the beach among a crowd of people both in the water and on the beach. This 5.5 mile trip took us four hours to complete. It was a lot of fun and a great day to be on the water!

Having Fun in the Great Outdoors!

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