Rapid Transit

New Jersey Monthly April 2014

On a winding forest road deep in Morris County, Ken Dingsor prepares to sneak onto private property. There’s been a flash flood, and several inches of rain have created what he guesses will be an hour-long window when the rocky India Brook will be transformed into a class IV rapid. Dingsor has been scouting the brook for six years; now is his chance.

Dingsor’s quest for whitewater has taken him to a spot where Mendham meets Randolph Township. Here the residential streets have inviting names like Shadowbrook Way and Waterfall Drive. The Randolph trail system passes near the brook, but the particular entry point Dingsor has in mind can be gained only by trespassing. A friend drops him off near the Mendham Reservoir, and he dashes through a stranger’s yard, trying to remain inconspicuous while carrying a 60-pound, 8-foot-long, turquoise polyethylene canoe. He is a bulky intruder, outfitted in a black helmet and drysuit, flotation device, water shoes and elbow pads.

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