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Kayaked the Cooley Kill


By jstookey - Posted on 25 June 2011

There is a very small creek near my house. I often ride past it on bike rides and wonder if it would be any good for fishing, or of it would be possible to navigate it in a kayak. Today I wanted to head out on the kayak, and it has been raining for a week straight which has raised the water levels in the local rivers quite a bit. Yesterday I had a misadventure on the Alplaus Kill where the volume of water was very high, forcing me to abandon most of my trip. Today I was nervous to paddle anywhere the water would be raging. Also, the forecast called for thunderstorms today, so I didn't really want to be out on a lake either. This creek has been calling to me, so I decided to stop by there first and check it out.

A brief inspection revealed that even after a weeks' worth of downpours swelling the creek, it is still shallow and tiny. I realized that it would be ridiculous to ever try to kayak the creek. Yet I still felt a strong compulsion to do it anyway. I argued with myself over it for a while. Eventually, I decided that the fact that it is a terrible idea makes it worth doing because it would be an experience that not too many people have gone through. At any rate it would rid me of my compulsion once and for all.

I headed down the creek, and it was too shallow for the kayak. I walked the kayak for probably around 1/3 of the way. In some parts of the route, the creek bottom consisted eroded slate which is very sharp and I caused a good amount of damage to the bottom of the kayak. All in all, it was a fool's errand. Mission accomplished.

Distance: 1.2 miles
Elevation change: 61 feet
Avg Slope: feet per mile

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