View up river
Our Goal: a one day road trip to get us into the outdoors and do some type of physical activity. It was a success. We called ahead and made an appointment with 3 River Outfitters. A rental company in Hardy that rents out canoes, kayaks, and rafts for the Spring River. When we arrive they asked us, "have you ever been on the spring river before?"
"Great, your really going to enjoy it."
And that's all they had to say.
So we are ready for a nice relaxing 5 hour canoe trip, probably float part of the way so we don't need to work, stop to have lunch, and then float the rest of the way back to Hardy. We had a driver take us 12 miles up river and drop us off. Just before we push off into the water he looks at me and says "you should probably have something to keep your glasses around your face, well you'll be fine. Just keep things in your bags so when you flip over you don't have a lot of stuff to grab. But plan on flipping over for at least one of the waterfalls" . . . We thought what in the hell is he talking about. Waterfalls? He's just trying to make us nervous, so we went on our way. And with in 5 min. we could hear the rushing of water. My wife was a little more nervous about it than I was. Of course she was in the front of the Canoe and she could see what was up ahead.
looking where we came from
We avert the first waterfall when we find a little outlet that was some small rapids, quick moving water, but nothing I would call a fall. Just a slight decline, but it brings us out just on the other side of the falls. Too easy! I look back wishing we would have gone for it, but we do have about 12 miles to go, and it would have been a rough start if we flipped over. We continue on our way and about every 15 minutes there is another very small waterfall or short area of small rapids, just enough to give me a small tease of a thrill, and make my wife nervous.
We continue on for about 3.5 hours until we finally run into another group of canoes who were dropped off at a different spot. We pass them, continue on and then stop for lunch on a small "peninsula" that offers some shade.
As we set up our picnic the group of canoes come by to their 2nd set of rapids when one of their boats flips over. It does not seem like a serious area until one of the men who's canoe flipped pinned him against a submerged rock. His head was above water but the water pressure was pushing the canoe further up on him and harder against him and panic was starting to set in. The canoe slid forward some more and he was struggling to keep his head up. It was only about 40 sec. but he felt the pressure before I could join the rest of his group to help pull his canoe off of him and sit him up again. A little excitement for our lunch, and definitely a rough start for that group.
Standing in front of some of the easier small rapids
We finished up our lunch and took off while the other group was still resting and continued on.
We were about another 2 hours down the river, feeling tired and hoping we would be finished soon when we could hear some more rushing water. Ahead of us was a family of 5 on a large raft and we sat back to watch them go through whatever was up ahead when the kids gave a good yell and their raft went over the edge and they were completely out of sight. Where did they go!?! and what were we getting ourselves into. We get a little closer and we see the family, waiting to watch us and pointing us to go left. So we make our way left of the falls and take our chances. We go over about a 5-6 foot waterfall, which may not seem like much but in a canoe it just doesn't seem natural. We go down what seems like a shute and we make it! Yes! Brenda yells "we made it" and then I yell "we're sinking!" Where we went over the waterfall we did not paddle fast enough to get out of it and water was pouring over right into our canoe.
We pushed forward to get away from the falls and then just slid out of the canoe, because it was already under water. The family helped us get our paddles before they continued and we went up to shore to gather our things and empty out the canoe. We had traveled 11.5 miles until we finally were thrown out. We were so close.
My wife with our wet gear after being sunk by the falls. Now standing at the end on Hardy Beach.
Ultimately we had a great time and would like to do it again. But we were a little upset that this company did not tell us a single thing about water falls, how to canoe them successfully, but just let us fend for ourselves, we were both definitely armatures.