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Thread: Opening the 2013 season on the Kocher - Braunsbach to Künzelsau

  1. #1

    Default Opening the 2013 season on the Kocher - Braunsbach to Künzelsau

    I was down with the flu and thus we missed the first sunny spring weekend, but yesterday
    I was calling the automated water level announcement service almost before opening my eyes!


    Since we have not been on the Kocher (rarely had it enough water during the summer), we
    jumped at the opportunity to paddle it - it's a convenient 35-40 minutes driver, it must
    be fun (5-10 cm below flood level), so we dropped off the car at Kunzelsau (the parking spot
    riverleft just above the traffic bridge), and took a cab to Braunsbach sportfield (there are
    buses every two hour that would take you to Rabbinat, Braunsbach but of course we missed it),
    where the we were impressed with the infrastructure - a sign with the phone number to the
    water level announcer, wow!





    There weren't many people, just a solo whitewater kayaker in full gear (helmet, buoyancy aid, etc.)
    starting his trip as we were unpacking. He worried me a bit, but after realizing he came out alone,
    there cannot be anything dangerous downstream, for then he would have brought someone along for safety.
    Besides him, it was only cyclists (as every proper river in Germany, it has a cycling
    path following its banks)




    At this level, the water had some nice current, and in places it was a tad whitewaterish with
    a few rapids - some natural and some man made. We caught up with the kayaker at the first one



    That one we did portage, the exits are marked really well, but the entry points back to the
    river are simply forgotten about, and make for quite a walk, so we decided to run the next
    one, since we could and adrenaline is better than a portage. While we forgot to take a picture of it,
    it was just like the previous one - exit point marked well, re-entry or portage path forgotten.




    Aside from the horrible portages, and the occasional spring agricultural smell, the river is quite nice.
    Fast flowing but still flatwater sections alternate with WWI wavetrains and the occasional small rapid.
    The closer we got to Kunzelsau the more tame it became, with a section above a dam where the headwind
    almost made us think we are paddling in the wrong direction...


    Both banks are covered with trees, and close behind them are the hills - it must be a superb
    sight when it's not bare, like now, after winter & flooding. We haven't ran into animals (besides the numerous duck couples), but we have
    paddled the Altmühl multiple times before spotting a deer, so who knows...


    We exited the river at the playground after the beach, about 100 meters from the parking lot. If you care
    for such things, the GPS log of the trip is at http://www.endomondo.com/workouts/165486862/3005087


    And some more pictures, since each of them is worth a 1000 words, or so I heard....














    P.S.: oh, and the nearer you get to Künzelsau, the less signs are present - sure, you can see that the horizon drops and
    can hear the rapid, but still, it would be nice to at least be told which bank to portage on. We ended up walking into
    a private garden, and we were lucky that the lady there had a border collie and not a Doberman or German Shepard...
    So in the picture below, river left is not public access.



    P.S.2.: and some useful links are



    Last edited by lowlander; 12th-March-2013 at 07:36 PM. Reason: fixed image links
    Planning to get my friends abroad for the 2013 summer canoe trip. Blogging the experience and process at http://blog.myrivertrips.com

  2. #2
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    sounds interesting and i would love to see your pictures. unfortunately, they are not showing at this end.
    maybe they don't work because they are in dropbox?

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by lowlander View Post
    sounds interesting and i would love to see your pictures. unfortunately, they are not showing at this end.
    maybe they don't work because they are in dropbox?
    yes, it's dropbox. and now it's fixed. As a reminder to self, the correct way to do this, is to open the gallery's/folder's link in incognito view and copy the image urls from there. Thanks lowlander for letting me know!
    Last edited by zsoldosp; 10th-March-2013 at 03:32 PM. Reason: fixed the original post, removed direct url to the dropbox folder
    Planning to get my friends abroad for the 2013 summer canoe trip. Blogging the experience and process at http://blog.myrivertrips.com

  4. #4
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    looks much better now, thanks
    seems like there's a lot of signage for canoeists. does it get very busy there?

  5. #5
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    It looks like a lovely river!
    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

  6. #6
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    Nice trip.

    Interesting that the signage is there, but the portage trails are not obvious, which suggests not many paddlers?
    Covering as many malmiles as possible before being distracted by the pub!

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by lowlander View Post
    seems like there's a lot of signage for canoeists. does it get very busy there?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Grey View Post
    Interesting that the signage is there, but the portage trails are not obvious, which suggests not many paddlers?
    Yes, strange. I would think that these projects are implemented across the whole region. However, we have run into similar situation while hiking and cycling - the start of a trail/path could be marked out wonderfully and excessively, and at a crutch location all signs could disappear. Even the Donau Radweg (along the Danube) suffers from it often, and that is a major cycling path. So I would chalk it up to regional differences or to our gross misunderstanding of the signs - German is not our native language

    Given that it was almost pre-season that we went paddling, there was noone else there but this was our first time on the Kocher, what follows is speculation - you have been warned! There are a lot of canoe rental companies, but I don't think it would get overcrowded - the Altmuhl, which is more popular than any other river in the (bigger) area I know is totally comfortable, even on days when the rentals have sold out the canoes. Plus if you get there either early (I heard other people say that works, never tried it firsthand) or much later (PM), you have most likely missed the crowds... On the other hand, on the river Enz we actually had to wait in line while portaging a year and a half, though there we started the trip during the peak time (10-11ish) ....
    Planning to get my friends abroad for the 2013 summer canoe trip. Blogging the experience and process at http://blog.myrivertrips.com

  8. #8
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    Can't see any pics on this end, could it be me? ................Don't think so

    "Thinking means not knowing"




  9. #9
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    Sehr schöner Fluß, da muß ich halt doch mal wieder nach Hause, Nürnberg ist ja nicht so weit weg von München
    Good thing though, one of my brothers can do a shuttle for me LOL
    Thanks for posting

    "Thinking means not knowing"




  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sundowner View Post
    Sehr schöner Fluß, da muß ich halt doch mal wieder nach Hause, Nürnberg ist ja nicht so weit weg von München
    Good thing though, one of my brothers can do a shuttle for me LOL
    Forgive my German, but writing it still pains me.... To be accurate, I live closer to Schwabisch Hall than to Nuremberg (don't feel comfortable giving away exact locations on the internet), but since I work in the latter and my girlfriend started to pick up the schwabisch dialect, I rebelled and adopted a more Frankonian identity

    Our regular river is the Altmuhl, since that always has enough water, and that's quite half way between Nuremberg and Munich... Plus I was eyeing at paddling the Amper at some point.... And there are some nice rivers near Nurnberg too, like the Pegnitz or the Wiesent. So feel free to ping me if you are around!


    And if you don't have a ride, there is the train as a last resort... Though that would imply -- gasp! the horror! -- _renting_ a canoe (though I've met people who survived that experience )...
    Planning to get my friends abroad for the 2013 summer canoe trip. Blogging the experience and process at http://blog.myrivertrips.com

  11. #11
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    so your girlfriend is a spaetzleschwob

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by lowlander View Post
    so your girlfriend is a spaetzleschwob
    Actually I do agree with the Schwab cousine - starting with bacon, onion, and cheese before even considering whether it will be for main course or dessert is the way to go!

    And for the record I'm the one making the Spatzle, and I prefer the challenge of using the Spätzlereibe/Teigschaber combination. Makes it feel like actual work!
    Planning to get my friends abroad for the 2013 summer canoe trip. Blogging the experience and process at http://blog.myrivertrips.com

  13. #13
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    Bought a spatzle mill in Munich in '76, and still make them today.

    Liked your pictures. Debarking at steepish banks is a challenge for paddlers of all levels.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by zsoldosp View Post
    Actually I do agree with the Schwab cousine - starting with bacon, onion, and cheese before even considering whether it will be for main course or dessert is the way to go!

    And for the record I'm the one making the Spatzle, and I prefer the challenge of using the Spätzlereibe/Teigschaber combination. Makes it feel like actual work!
    My mother just sent me "die Scheibe", though haven't tried it out ...................yet !

    "Thinking means not knowing"




  15. #15
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    [QUOTE=zsoldosp;465741]Our regular river is the Altmuhl, since that always has enough water, and that's quite half way between Nuremberg and Munich... Plus I was eyeing at paddling the Amper at some point.... And there are some nice rivers near Nurnberg too, like the Pegnitz or the Wiesent. So feel free to ping me if you are around!
    QUOTE]

    I used to fish the Altmuehl for lively trout when I was young and good looking, all I am now is good looking You have no idea how much I'd like to paddle both, Altmühl and Amper!!!!

    "Thinking means not knowing"




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