Finally caught a break, which means it’s time to write another post. Today’s post is about a new river I got to paddle called the Contoocook, or Took for short. Overall, a very fun stretch of river flowing right through the town of Henniker, NH. My friends and I enjoyed the section right above, a class III-IV- 3 mile run. So here’s the brief synopsis.
The Took is about an hour and forty-five minutes northwest of Boston, and fortunately this river had an easy, quick shuttle. The river itself reminded me a lot of a meatier version of the Pigeon, in North Carolina. The Took was at a little over 8 feet, on the lower end, but not bony and still a lot of fun. This river is definitely meant for the play boat, full of fun surfs and holes. Oh, and only ONE rapid is made up of an old dam! I couldn’t believe it, only one old dam rapid at a New England river.
As fun as it was, honestly the Took had only one rapid, Freight Train, that I could really remember. It was the last rapid, and labeled a class IV, though I’d give it a class IV- at that level (maybe a III+). The gist of this rapid is to watch for holes to either slide between or just punch through. It’s also a good spot for eddy hopping. After that, calm water slowly takes you to the takeout right behind the main road bridge.
The Little Extras of Boating
My favorite part to the day was probably actually the two times we saw deer galloping through the forest. The first time, two of them sprinted gracefully along the shore line, with small pauses to gaze back at us and each other before they continued on their way. The other time, we saw three climbing the steep slope from the road down to the riverbank. This time, we were lucky to be on the same side of the river as the deer so we got a closer look at them.
I was so content to just sit there in my boat and watch them wonder away from the river, and the moment made me really happy to be a boater for reasons other than plowing through a technical or big rapid. Though seeing deer run through the forest is nothing new for a lot of people, seeing it from something as natural as the river, not from the side of the street behind the glass of a window, gave me a better sense of the deer than I believe I ever had before. Yet another reason to love the world we live in.