Posted by: kimmeroo | October 26, 2012

Agawa River

Last weekend we took advantage of the nice weather and somewhat-high water levels to canoe the Agawa River. As I’m sure I have mentioned before, it’s a great weekend run with simple logistics. Put the canoe on the train in Sault Ste. Marie, drive to Lake Superior Park to catch the train, and then the vehicle is waiting at the take out. Our friends Mike and Chris joined us this time, so since we had two vehicles we actually drove all the way to the station, rather than parking at the river mouth and walking to catch the train. This also meant more time waiting around, and thus more pictures taken at the old station!

Finally the train came. Hi train!

We got dropped off in Agawa Canyon, and were on the water by 2ish. We passed Bridal Veil Falls shortly after starting. We also saw a fat little beaver on shore just before the falls, but no photos.

The first rapid we came to is a fairly significant one. It gets really rocky and messy at the bottom. We have run it before, but generally we portage. This time Mike and Chris ran it loaded, and we portaged our pack and then ran it empty. We both had pretty clean runs, except for at the bottom where you more or less go over a ledge and really couldn’t avoid bumping a rock. Here are Mike and Chris making their way down.

This photo is pretty washed out, but trust me when I say the light was beautiful!

After the first rapid there were a few fun, easier ones that we always run. The next crux comes at the chute.  There is a narrow gorge-like chute that you don’t want to go through in a canoe (although Chris found out years ago that if you flip and swim trying to run in, you can survive). No question about running that one. However, there is a rapid leading up to it that is always a question. Usually we portage, but in low water have run it. It includes a rocky start, then a narrow, fast moving section, and then another rock garden which ends in a pool where you take out. Unless you are psycho and want to run the chute. Which we are not, thankyouverymuch.

The fast and narrow section was the trickiest bit. The safest option was just to run tight down the left shore, and bounce through some big waves at the end. Going down the right was also an option, avoiding the waves, but you’d have to squeeze between two rocks at the beginning. Do-able, but if you screw up you screw up at the top…not fun. The third option was to start on the left, then partway down backferry across to the right and finish on that side.  However, we didn’t know if we’d have enough time to get over. This is where it’s nice having a second canoe! They ran it first, straight down the left as planned. Watching them, we saw that they really slowed down once they were tight to the left shore. Almost but not quite an eddy. So we were ready when we ran it, and took the ideal line of left then right, avoiding all the nasties. Yeah!

I was at the wrong spot to get any pictures of Mike and Chris going through the good stuff, but here they are at the start.

We camped at a site on the trail around the chute. It’s a beautiful spot.

Chris brought pie. We love Chris.

Sunday was another beautiful day, but apparently I didn’t feel like using my camera. I did, however, get the classic picture of Agawa Falls.


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