“Sweeper river left”, “strainer river right” these are common phrases you’ll most likely here when going down a river, whether kayaking, canoeing or even tubing. Sweepers and strainers are two main things you want to be aware of and avoid. Sweepers are things, usually trees, that hang over the river near the banks and can sweep you off your boat if big enough, and hit with enough force. Strainers are harder to see and sometimes more dangerous. These are hidden underwater and they’re usually downed branches, where the water can go through them, but you can’t. It’s easy to get pinned against these with the downstream flow keeping you there, so as you go float down river its good to keep an eye out for strange water features and sweepers hanging around.
For this kayak trip we went from Lock 29 to Boston Store, which seems to be the most popular trip by visitors. It was a little over two miles and took us under an hour and a half to do. It was a relatively easy stretch of river and could be done by beginners. The water flow was around 400 cfs, which is relatively slow for this river, although it could get into the thousands, and its been as low as 200. There are a few patches of white water but they’re easy to navigate, especially when you have a good guide in front of you.
I took two GoPros out with me to record that stretch of river. Most of that video will be used in presentations about the river, regarding a future designated water trail!