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Trip Report - Paddle of 2-28-2009

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  • Bob Cianflone
    Our small but determined group had a great paddle today. It consisted of a Bob, a couple of Bills, and a Gayle…… It was a bit chilly, but once we got
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 2, 2009
      Our small but determined group had a great paddle today. It
      consisted of a Bob, a couple of Bills, and a Gayle…… It was a bit
      chilly, but once we got going it felt warm out on the People's
      River. And, as usual, we had a headwind the entire way.

      We paddled from Shepherdstown to Snyder's Landing, and we saw that
      there was olfactory evidence of an equestrian that had been at the
      ramp. We placed our boats there, away from the equestrian remains,
      and walked up to Barron's Store, to socialize with John & Renay, the
      proprietors of that illustrious establishment that caters to paddlers
      and others who wish they were paddlers.

      While we were at Barron's, sharing stories that could have very well
      have happened, we were entertained by Moses, their golden retriever,
      who performed his complete repertoire of complicated canine tricks.
      Actually, he only knew one: He played dead at the sound of anyone
      shouting the word BANG.

      After we ate, savoring Gayle's soup as well as John & Renay's
      cheesebread, we headed back downriver. Naturally, the wind changed
      directions, so we maintained our headwind. We saw many birds on our
      paddle, from groups of bluebirds to a couple of redhead woodpeckers.
      A group of vultures stayed with us the entire way, since paddlers in
      kayaks to them are like tootsie pops - hard on the outside with a
      soft center. But they were disappointed, as we all made it back
      okay. So they decided to follow joggers on the towpath instead.

      The Rural Family of the Week Award, the first of the year, was
      decisively won by John. Anyone who uses a chainsaw to slice bread
      deserves to be bestowed with that award. Whether it is a good thing
      or not, I have to say that we have photos of him engaged in this
      extremely rural activity.

      It was a really relaxing paddle. There were spots where there were
      wind gusts, but we are at the point where we can predict those areas
      as we approach them and take corrective action. Or we just send the
      new guy out there first.

      As an aside, in the evening, I was at the river at the Brunswick Boat
      ramp, and there was a large fire on the river below the Route 17
      Bridge that goes between Brunswick and Lovettsville. Yes, it was set
      by someone. The wood that has accumulated over the years at the
      southern concrete bridge support created an island of logs. It is
      about two stories high and a few hundreds yards across. The
      Brunswick Police shut down one lane on the bridge, and the Brunswick
      Fire Department used its tanker truck and hosed down the fire from
      the bridge. It was a 3-hour operation, and it took the entire
      Fighting Fifth to eliminate it (while the Fighting Fifth was putting
      out the fire on the river, the Jefferson Fire Department sent half
      its contingent to the Brunswick station to cover the city). If any
      of you have ever paddled the Potomac River beneath that bridge, you
      know how high above the water level that bridge is. No one was hurt,
      and no property was damaged.

      The pictures of our paddle, along with their funny captions, all
      courtesy of Coalminer's Daughter, are located in the Photos section
      of our web site, in a folder entitled 2-28-2009.
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