Sure Thing Steve
After getting my trail boat I called Great Blue Outfitters in Paterson, to ask them about the conditions on Ten Mile River. The Owner who happened to be the care taker for Ten Mile River lean-to was able to give me a little info, but I was still venturing into the unknown so to speak. I ended up doing the trip in pretty high water, which can be checked here. I believe the gauge height was around 3 ft, and the guy at great blue recommended not going when it was at 4 ft or above.
I packed normal gear for a quick overnight, plus some extra water proof precautions in the form of a trash bag on the inside and outside of my pack. Next time I will skip the second bag. I would estimate that everything was around 10 lbs including food.
I took metro north from grand central to Dover Plains in the morning arriving around 10 am. From the Dover Plains station it is a quick walk to where Mill St crosses the river where I put in.
If using a Seyvlor Trail Boat YOU WILL GET WET. The boat is very low to the water, and with a pack I had to throw my legs over the sides with my feet in the water. The river itself is nice with a swift current, which was appreciated. Paddling in this configuration with the supplied paddle on flat water or into a head wind for any distance would have been exhausting. Aside from several downed trees that made for interesting obstacles I was having a wonderful time. My relaxing float had interment bouts of choppy waves that added a little excitement, and made for a pleasant afternoon.
As I was getting closer to my intended take out spot I approached a downed tree at a bend creating a little dam on the right bank. Because the trail boat is slow to maneuver I decided to go wide left around the obstacle, where from my pool toy I was met with what can be described as a torrent of white water. I scrambled to the left shore with the plan of portaging around a continuing on. For the next 45 minutes I attempted to scout a path around through the worst conditions possible. It was steep with slick fowl smelling mud and thorns and stickers. All the while I was looking off the right bank where there was a freshly mown lawn that I could have used to walk around the rapid. I finally gave up and decided to walk upstream in-order to ferry across. Once across there was still a steep bank to climb made easier by a rope tied to a tree at the top. Once there I strolled through someones back yard where I found a fence blocking the entrance to a woods road. I was confident that the road was going to lead to my intended camp, and decided to walk the rest of the way.
Upon arriving at the lean-to I washed the mud off my feet and found what would become a total of 13 ticks, which is by far a new record. Sleeping in an inflated boat is a mixed bag. In some ways it is comfortable, but the short length and height make for an awkward night. Not to mention the kink in my neck from the tube.
I walked to the Pawling train station the next morning arriving early enough to catch a train back to city at 2:30 pm.
Overall it was an enjoyable trip, certainly not the wilderness experience normally associated with pack rafting, but a nice change.