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There’s no better way to spend an early Spring Sunday than with family and friends out paddling.   Our scheduled river trip for our WILD kids program managed to morph into a father/son day with the notable exception of Alison.  I’m very lucky that I get to paddle with my wife and kids a lot.  Today was different due to playoff basketball games and plays that only my youngest son Nick was along.  I don’t get to paddle with just one of my kids very often so this was  a great opportunity for me to help Nick with some of his river running skills. Galen/Gareth and Steve/Parker made up the other father/son “teams.”

Originally our plan was to paddle one of the easier sections of the Deerfield River to avoid unnecessary swims as much as possible.  The Millers River runs along Route 2 on our way to the Deerfield and as we drove past we all thought it looked higher than we expected.  Several kids put the iPhones to work getting the latest gauge readings and at 860cfs it was too good to pass up!  We enjoy paddling the Millers as often as Mother Nature allows.  It’s easy to get on and off of and is fun with several nice rapids and lots of rocks and eddies to play in and around.  It’s a perfect river for the kids to practice their skills on and for the Dad’s and older kids to knock the winter induced kinks out.

We made two runs down the river catching eddies, ferrying, and surfing some of the holes and waves.  The only “casualty” was Parker taking a swim through one of the rapids.  Parker has a pretty good roll in the pool but hitting the icy water, instinct took over and he bailed out of the boat.  The other kids quickly got Parker and his boat into an eddy.  The sun warmed Parker right up and we finished the day with lots of smiles.

If you don’t already paddle with your kids I encourage you to get them in a boat as soon as they’re willing.  Let the kids set the pace of what they’re ready for.  If you’re not confident teaching them yourself there are a lot of great paddling schools to help.  In time, you’ll gain a paddling partner (or two, three) for life and you’ll find renewed appreciation of those places you learned on.

Can you think of s better way to spend a Sunday?