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Trip Report, Potomac River Paddle of 9/2/2007

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  • Bob Cianflone
    We had a fabulous trip this past Sunday. Autumn is a beautiful time of the year on our river. The air is comfortable, and the water is warm enough to swim
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 5, 2007
      We had a fabulous trip this past Sunday. Autumn is a beautiful time
      of the year on our river. The air is comfortable, and the water is
      warm enough to swim in.

      Our little up-and-back paddle ended up being a 12-hour excursion.
      While the majority in the group opted to return to the Shepherdstown
      putin after the lunch break at Snyder's Landing, some of us decided
      to go all the way to Taylor's Landing. And so, we did a 16 mile
      paddle. At Snyder's Landing, we had a good lunch, courtesy of Gayle,
      and then we stopped at Barron's Store for ice cream – twice – on the
      upriver and on the downriver treks. When we finally returned to the
      putin at Shepherdstown, it was dark. And I'm talking about West
      Virginia darkness. While Gayle was worried about snakeheads, I was
      worried about the mothman. Thankfully, the lanterns from the
      nightfolk who stay on the boatramp were helpful. Since the nightfolk
      were already settled in for the night on the boatramp, we carefully
      went around them carrying our kayaks, and some younger nightfolk who
      were still fishing proudly showed us their catch, consisting mostly
      of bass and catfish. While the river's boat ramps generally close at
      dusk, we're allowed to use the Shepherdstown boat ramp at all times,
      so that is an added bonus for us, as we don't have to rush back to
      the earth.

      The Rural Family of the Week contest is getting tougher to judge each
      time, as we are seeing more and more serious contenders. The award
      could be split among the 3 round pep boys rubbing their belly buttons
      over their stalled boat engine, or the 3 generations of fishermen
      living on the Shepherdstown boat ramp at night, or the pregnant lady
      with the boat that would not start, or the tearful duo with the flat
      tire on the trailer with the locked spare tire, or the brightly
      colored cabaret brothers on bicycles, or anyone else rounding the
      bend. There's too many of them on that river vying to be the Rural
      Family of the Week.

      On our journey, we went by the well-hidden Killiansburg Cave, and we
      discreetly paddled past Old Man Morgan's place by Chimney Ridge. We
      then had a bountiful lunch break at Snyder's Landing. After sharing
      the local news, whether it happened or not, with John and Renay at
      Barron's Store, we headed upstream, passed catfish cove, and had a
      rest break at Mermaid Beach as we slowly paddled against the current
      at Horse Back Rapids. Then, as we looped around Horseshoe Bend
      (located by Lock #40 of the C&O Canal), we pulled our vessels using
      ropes in the shallow area at Sunny Rock Rapids, carefully paddled
      single file through Three Rock Walls, and, finally, we were happy to
      see the shimmering rapids at Taylor's Landing, as we made landfall at
      a smart angle. Later, we joined the floaters on the return trip.

      The pictures, taken by Gayle, have been posted on the web site in the
      9-2-2007 folder.
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