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Trip Report – 9/29/07 - Shepherdstown to Mermaid Beach & Return

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  • Bob Cianflone
    It was a stupendous autumn day on the Potomac River for our paddle. There was not a cloud in the sky. Folks of all shapes and sizes were swimming in the
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 3, 2007
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      It was a stupendous autumn day on the Potomac River for our paddle.
      There was not a cloud in the sky. Folks of all shapes and sizes were
      swimming in the water. Our Posse started from the dock at the old
      Shepherdstown Gaging Station, which lies across the river from Lock
      38 of the C&O Canal, and headed upstream on our 10-mile aquatic
      adventure.

      Since there was a strong wind gust by Cross Creek Golf Course, we
      crossed the river therein at a smart 45 degree angle and traveled on
      the well-protected Maryland side. We went by the hidden Killiansburg
      Cave, famous as a hiding place for citizens during the Civil War,
      and, of course, for the moonshiners in another epoch.

      Carefully, the group passed Old Man Morgan's place by Chimney Ridge,
      and one might say that the compound looked deserted to the untrained
      eye.

      With much anticipation, at Snyder's Landing, we had a hearty
      collation, courtesy of Gayle's Paddling Café. And then we made our
      obligatory stop at Barron's Store, to see our good friends, John and
      Renay. Barron's always has surprises, as you learn things there that
      you don't read about in books. The store is also a proud sponsor of
      the "Rural Family of the Week" contest. It is also the only ice
      cream store that advertises its location by latitude and longitude.

      Today's Rural Family of the Week contest winner was a couple of
      mountain men with their pet rubber chicken. While the cute barking
      kids were trying their hardest to win, they simply did not have the
      mutant edge that the mountain men had. The winning manly duo was on
      their way to Harper's Ferry to camp out in the woods in what is now
      the richest state in the nation. We did not inquire too keenly as to
      their intentions regarding their elastic fowl, but, given the manner
      they held it so tenderly and gazed at it so lovingly, we knew no
      outside harm would come to the rubber chicken. The duo and their
      mascot are duly pictorially posted on our site, as are the barking
      kids.

      In one of the posted photos, there is a wonderful river shot of Gayle
      and Renay, whose combined culinary efforts are keeping me from ever
      achieving a washboard stomach. A Maytag middle is all I can hope for
      with all their smoothies and ice cream.

      After we ate, we decided to go all the way up to the rocky Mermaid
      Beach, that lies on the Maryland side of the river just below the
      rapids and south of Taylor's Landing. As we passed Catfish Cove and
      experienced a bit of current, we saw several large fish on our final
      trek to the end of the flatwater area.

      After a break, we once again headed downstream, and met a new friend
      along the way. A busy raccoon took a break and watched us watching
      him as we paddled past him. His curious mug is posted as well.

      It was a beautiful day, shared with a great group of people, on the
      People's River, a river that was here before us and will be here
      after us.

      The photos have been posted in a photo album entitled "9-29-2007" in
      the Photos section of our web site at:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Potomac_River_Paddlers/
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