Discovering the Merrimack River

Discovering the Merrimack River

NH is a state of lakes and rivers, that’s for sure. It’s one of the main reasons we bought kayaks when we first moved here. But, we don’t get out nearly enough. Sad to say, but this week was the first time all summer we’ve taken the kayaks out!

The Merrimack River flows 60+ miles through our state and right by where we live. We have seen it all these years and always wanted to paddle portions of it. But for some reason, we felt a little intimidated by it. There are sections that change from flatwater to Class III rapids and we just didn’t want to be stupid about it. This weekend, we finally explored a wonderful 10-mile section. The Merrimack River Watershed Council has volunteers who lead free guided trips and we took advantage of it.The trip was supposed to be an overnighter. But, we bailed at last minute because the weather predicted thunderstorms all night long. And since we were only a few miles from home, it just didn’t make sense to camp out. Instead, we just turned it into a day trip.We started in the pouring rain and cooler temps (it finally dropped to the 70s here, albeit for one day). About an hour into the paddle, it dried out and the sun even came out. The weather people were entirely wrong (big surprise). There were never any thunderstorms. However, I will say I’m glad we didn’t end up camping out. Because as we were packing our kayaks with bilge pumps and extra paddles, the people next to us (not in the Merrimack guided group) were packing their flotation devices with fireworks, extra beer and an inflatable beer pong table. And no PFDs (life vests) of course! These are the people you hear about on the news … Our day on the Merrimack was really great. It was actually refreshing to paddle in the rain after so many dry days and hot temps! We will be back on the Merrimack soon. There are still several miles to explore …

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