Ramapo River post Irene

Like visiting an old friend whose changed a lot….probably don’t need to tell any North Jersey Paddles that Irene made some changes.

Sweeper by dam

Fast water (for the Ramapo) under log jam at dam

The old broken dam south of Suffern has a bad sweeper in the fast water. It is viable from the approach. I think the metal rebar that used to stick out the side is gone, so once someone clears out the sweeper this section will be safer then it was.

The section between 17 and Halifax Road, affectionately known as the below the Mason Jar section, is a real mess with at least 3 portages. The most surprising is a tree on the right bottom side of the island by River View Drive…paddling back up current is a chore at low flow. I pulled out at Halifax Road so don’t know what it is like below that…

For anyone following the news the damage to the train tracks that run along the river is probably the most catostrophic….

On the plus side, the erosion and lack of trains offered a convenient new launching site. Driving north I hit traffic approaching Sloatsburg and pulled into Dave’s Sports Shop. Previously the launch would have been down a steep gravel bank, but the flooding re-sculpted the bank into an easy carry (albeit a little circuitous to get around undercut and twisted tracks). Unfortunately for paddles and fortunately for commuters the railroad has been hard at work fixing the tracks so by October it was once again a step launch.

There was little sign or smell of the fuel spill (http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/30/a-ramapo-river-spill-is-being-addressed/ ) …for those of you who visited the river post Irene the smell was pretty bad, so this is good news. You notice it only in backwaters on still days.

Appearently a dam failure in Arden at the headwaters of the Ramapo added to or possibly even caused this extensive damage. See  http://www.strausnews.com/articles/2011/09/20/photo_news/news/1.txt .

Between 17a (the highest normal launch) and Tuxedo the portages are not much better or worse then usual (which means pretty bad). Though there are a couple of fun rapids the stretch is hardly worth the 2 portages around the falls and old industrial works.

Rapid above Tuxedo

Rapid above Tuxedo

Would like your comments on other parts of the river as it looks like we’ll continue to have a wet fall and I’d like to know how things are.

And if things dry out a bit I’d like to go out on a river clearing expedition with chainsaws and other implements of destruction.  Let me know if you are interested in joining or leading a clearing trip.

Ramapo post Irene

Twisted train tracks behind Dave's Sport Shop south of Sloatsburg.
Twisted train tracks behind Dave's Sport Shop south of Sloatsburg.
Bottom of rapids below waterfall and old industrial area above Tuxedo. Ramapo River 10/21/2011
Bottom of rapids below waterfall and old industrial area above Tuxedo. Ramapo River 10/21/2011
Twisted train tracks behind Dave's Sport Shop south of Sloatsburg, Ramapo River
Twisted train tracks behind Dave's Sport Shop south of Sloatsburg, Ramapo River
Green Heron, Ramapo River
Green Heron, Ramapo River
Log jam below Bridge Street Bridge has an easy carry to a channel at left.
Log jam below Bridge Street Bridge has an easy carry to a channel at left.
Old dam between suffern and Tuxedo. In October the sycamore strainer was gone but the dam is still trickier then previously as the current is getting funneled against it quite hard by new gravel bars.
Old dam between suffern and Tuxedo. In October the sycamore strainer was gone but the dam is still trickier then previously as the current is getting funneled against it quite hard by new gravel bars.
Log above Sports Complex with water sweeping under it. Channel to river  right of isand (our left) is completely blocked.
Log above Sports Complex with water sweeping under it. Channel to river right of isand (our left) is completely blocked.
Jam above Flatrock...carry to small chute at left.
Jam above Flatrock...carry to small chute at left.
Right side of the dam  between Flat Rock and 4th Street was scoured out and  is now a short and easy carry down the spillway.
Right side of the dam between Flat Rock and 4th Street was scoured out and is now a short and easy carry down the spillway.
Dam between Flat Rock and 4th Street.
Dam between Flat Rock and 4th Street.
Dam between Flat Rock and 4th St. Launch at left (down river right).
Dam between Flat Rock and 4th St. Launch at left (down river right).
River scoured out the launch from 4th street just below the dam, clearing away most of the brush and leaving a nice gravel beach.
River scoured out the launch from 4th street just below the dam, clearing away most of the brush and leaving a nice gravel beach.
Jam above Suffern Railroad bridge with chute on right.
Jam above Suffern Railroad bridge with chute on right.
Bridge in Suffern
Bridge in Suffern
High security...that's over a foot of ash I'm locked to.
High security...that's over a foot of ash I'm locked to.
Left side of the Island below Mason Jar (next to Riverview Terrace)...Right side is impassibly at normal water with huge tree near the bottom.
Left side of the Island below Mason Jar (next to Riverview Terrace)...Right side is impassibly at normal water with huge tree near the bottom.
Sycamore trunk that has been the demise of many paddlers. Accessable from parking lot just west of 17 on stag hill road if the water ever goes back down.
Sycamore trunk that has been the demise of many paddlers. Accessable from parking lot just west of 17 on stag hill road if the water ever goes back down.
Ramapo River. Clog going into the small lake above Halifax road....portage left.
Ramapo River. Clog going into the small lake above Halifax road....portage left.
The remains of the bridge abutement below Lake Henry at the north end of Ramapo reservation. Good ridance. Hope they replace it at least several  feet higher.
The remains of the bridge abutement below Lake Henry at the north end of Ramapo reservation. Good ridance. Hope they replace it at least several feet higher.
The remains of the bridge below Lake Henry at the north end of Ramapo reservation. Good ridance.
The remains of the bridge below Lake Henry at the north end of Ramapo reservation. Good ridance.

Incredably this minor repair is not being made

On Route 210 (which becomes 17 a when it leaves Harriman or Rockland County) the pavement was dragged by the force of the water in what is normally a lake. Incredably months later this is still not repaired leaving both the east/west routes through 50,000 acre Harriman Park blocked.

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