First Run on the Brodhead Creek

Trip Start Feb 17, 2011
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Trip End Oct 23, 2011


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What I did
whitewater kayaking

Flag of United States  , Pennsylvania
Sunday, May 22, 2011

Today was my first day back on the water since mid February. I really hurt my elbow a while back so I've been nursing the injury and not paddling. I decided to run the Brodhead since I had not run it before and I heard it was fun. 

I was talked into using my playboat for this run, you think I would have learned my lesson in February but I decided to do it. 

I met a bunch of friends at the gauge in Analomink, which is quite a drive from where I live. The Brodhead is a relatively short run, about 4 miles with most of the action occurring in the first mile, called the Miracle Mile. The reading on the gauge was 3.5 ft, which I'm told is a good level. 

We launched into some solid class III rapids with large waves and holes, it was a little pushy at the start but not too bad. Then we entered the Miracle Mile. 

The water got a bit pushier and the rapids a bit more difficult. I could feel that I had not been kayaking in a very long time. I was very stiff in the boat and shaky and it hurt to put any effort behind my strokes on my left side due to my elbow. 

We came to the first drop which was maybe about 3-5 feet high. I actually landed it but somehow got flipped at the bottom in the squirrely water. I tried my roll which failed the first time because I lifted my head. I was setting up for my second roll when Brent tried to give me his bow and accidentally clipped my bad elbow which caused me to swim.....I was not happy with myself!

I got back in my boat and we continued down through more rapids. I don't really know the names of many of them or even if they have names. Bob and Nolan were surfing in some of the holes and I was just watching because I now wasn't sure if my roll was working due to my injury. 

We came to a set of rapids called Jekyl and Dr. Slide. I followed Bob's line but not well and got flipped. I rolled but just in time to get sucked into a big hole, I think called Typewriter. I rolled up once but got my head slammed on a rock and pulled my skirt and swam again. Now I was really unhappy with myself but I was having fun. I liked the Brodhead Creek. I got quite a few knocks in the legs and rear end from rocks during this swim, it was really shallow in the one area. I knew I was going to be bruised. 

We went through more technical rapids before coming to the largest drop on the Brodhead which is about 5-8 feet high. I followed right behind Brent and had no problem what so ever. I was so glad! 

The creek mellows out a little bit after the Miracle Mile with even a bit of flat water in between. We came up to the last major rapid of the run near the red barn. I hit a hidden rock and got flipped in a hole but I set up and managed to roll. I was happy because I was getting scared that I may have lost my roll. I was thankful not to have to swim again. Someone else swam and once we got them back in their boat we continued on to the takeout. 

It was a fun day but maybe not the first thing I should have attempted to run with my injury, especially in the playboat! But I'd love to run the Brodhead again at some point and hopefully it will be a cleaner run for me!
 

Brodhead Creek info: http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/River/detail/id/1588/
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