Trip Report, Potomac River Paddle of 11-28-2010
- It was a beautiful autumn day on the river. Yes, it was cold in the early morning, but it eventually warmed up as the day progressed. There were no other paddlers on the river other than our robust group. The river was running low, and the current was gentle. Gentle, that is, until we got to Mermaid Beach, and we got a good workout paddling against the current therein, but we eventually made it to the end before the rapids. It was a good 10-mile paddle.
We saw a school of large fish, with a huge Muskie following it. We sat there in our boats with our mouths open as all the fish swam underneath us and many of the fish just stayed stationary in the shadows of our kayaks. It was an amazing sight.
We were also visited by a herd of deer, who wanted to come out into the river and see what we had for them. The word is out that we eat well.
We took a final break upriver and built a bonfire on the large flat rocks across from Mermaid Beach, but it was hard to get the fire going, as so much of the wood in the forest was wet from earlier rains. Still, it was good enough to heat up tubesteaks and beans. And to warm up Newboat Bill's toes.
When we got to Snyder's Landing, Coalminer's Daughter had a stove set up on the boat ramp. Yes, it all came out of her kayak. She made German apple pancakes, and, I must say, they were delicious. We got some pictures of this culinary experience. It always amazes me how much stuff she can fit in her hatches.
While we were at Snyder's Landing, John and Renay, who were dutifully protected by Moses the Wonderdog, came down to join us. John proudly showed us his latest injury, and Renay explained to us how the Internet does not work in Baltimore on weekdays. At one point, John was ecstatic when he saw a rusted fishhook hanging from a tree, and he could not resist the urge to play with it and see if a new injury could be gotten. However, we left before he could achieve his heart's desire and draw blood. We nonetheless did hear Renay say something about his being up-to-date again with his tetanus shots, so we felt relieved.
The Rural Family of the Week Award was won by Moses, as he figured out a way to fall in a sliver of open space between a slab of concrete and John's posterior.
When we finally returned to Shepherdstown, we found a neat little surprise on each of our vehicle windshields: Canoe Bill Mints. We got a photo of these edible ornaments. Actually, Coalminer's Daughter took the photo, as she photographs all the food we have along the way, from beginning to end and in between the eternities.
It was a good day on the river for introspection and healing.
The photos have been posted in a photo album entitled "11-28-2010" in the Photos section of our web site at: