October 15, 2006

Ramapo River Cruise Report

    The weather was overcast with rain forecast for early evening..  We met early at Jim's house and conferred on a trip destination.  Some possibilities were discussed and the Ramapo became our trip of choice for the day, after having considered skill level, distance, weather forecast and inclinations of the group.  This trip was a substitute for a Pinelands trip on Cedar Creek.

    We put in at Bear Swamp Road and found that the nearby local streets restricted parking.  There was a small area on 202 that was legal and we were able to leave two cars there with the other one having been left in Oakland on our way to the put-in. 

    The river was reasonably high and the foliage was still showing some color, although past its prime.  Jim paddled his Kayak, Carole and Joan Jim's Blue Hole and Judy and Joe paddled their aluminum canoe.

    Within a half mile of the put-in we came to a dam where the property owners had marked off a path for portage on river right.  The left side seemed impassable.  Our group was back on the river in a few minutes and continued past several fishermen near the different bridges that we passed.  It seemed that many of the bridges and some other spots had rock piles to create pools. 

    Judy and Joe got hung up on one of these but got off ok in spite of Jim giving great advise while back paddling in his kayak just above them.  Later we came to a small drop that they preferred to walk around and Jim volunteered to tow their boat.  It came loose, got grounded, and Jim had to eddy out and walk back upstream to free it. 

    The intrepid paddlers padded a few more small drops on their way to the oil boom that had been spread across the river above the final dam.  After carrying over the boom on River Left, we were in the home stretch and staying close to the right hand shore followed the stream that leads around the dam to the take out.