Lower Chilliwack River 2020-08-09

Hard to find a nicer day to paddle this river; water levels were pleasant, beautiful sunny day, with a mild breeze to just to make you feel good. Eleven of the thirteen paddlers met on the south end of the Vedder Bridge to finalize trip details. Two solos paddlers were already on the river higher up and planning to join us along the way once we were launched. We moved over to the revised take out point which was now Vedder Park only a couple hundred yards away on the north side of the river. Once the “COVID shuttles” were set up we all headed up to the put-in just across from Osborne Road where our 2 paddlers from upstream were waiting. After the pre-trip safety briefing we spent a good 45 minutes or so practicing skills in the pool at the bottom of the rapid there before starting the downstream run.

Heading down the river we had 4 tandem boats and 5 solos, under the leadership of our trip leader Leigh B.  There were some nice drops on the run and few shallow spots to help keep the loose paint off the bottom of the boats. We had a couple swimmers in the day, me being one; I decided today was the day to try a few more skills than I have to date; apparently one of them was to be swimming. Thanks to the rescue team I was back in my boat in what felt like seconds. I think they called it a “Guinness Rescue” or something like that… I got the sense someone is keeping track of it and I would be reminded of it at a future date (thanks- glad to pay up).

We saw lots of people on the banks fishing, swimming and generally enjoying the water; we also met other paddlers enjoying the same run. One such point was at the take-out when a single boat got loose and started drifting down stream as we were bringing them all up the bank. A foot chase along the dyke ensued accompanied by a couple swims to retrieve the boat and bring it to shore on the opposite side of the river. Another paddler from the local area was able to assist in making sure the boat and our member got safely back across the river where he joined us at the take-out. Thanks to everyone to assisted in the effort! It was a super nice day overall and hopefully another like it in the near future. 

Bob P.

PS: if anyone got any pics send them to me and Ill add them tot he post.


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