Trip Report June 30, 2007 - Shepherdstown to Mermaid Beach and Return
- It was a fabulous day on the Potomac River for our paddle. While the
day was quite sunny, it was not too hot, and the air, as always, was
clear, as we were north of the confluence of the Potomac and
Shenandoah Rivers, where it's wild and wonderful by legal decree.
The majority of us paddled on the river, but Susan actually pedaled
on the river. Apparently, she could not decide if she wanted to
kayak or bicycle, so she did both. At the same time...... You just
had to be there.
Starting from the dock at the old Shepherdstown Gaging Station, which
lies across the river from Lock 38 of the C&O Canal, we went 4 miles
up to Snyder's Landing, had a bountiful lunch at the dock, and also
stopped in to see our friends at Barron's Store. Barron's is always
a pleasure to visit, not only for the delicious ice cream, but simply
to stop in and chat with the friendly folks who run it. We then went
all the way up to the rocky beach, that lies on the right side of the
river just below the rapids south of Taylor's Landing.
We passed by the Killiansburg Cave, famous as a hiding place for
citizens during the Civil War. And for moonshiners later on.
We passed Old Man Morgan's place by Chimney Ridge with no problem.
Life is good.
Now, the lunch, courtesy of Gayle, was a four-course meal, with
percolated coffee and real milk. And she had kayaking furniture,
consisting of folding tables and chairs. Somehow, she packed it all
in her boat. The only time I seem to get a home-cooked meal is when
I go kayaking! I understand the Gayle will soon be getting a
shipping permit from the maritime commission, since her kayak is
being registered as a freight ship.
At Snyder's Landing, a number of us decided to go swimming in the
People's River, as the water was very warm. We also ran into a new
friend, Vince, who had a very sharp-looking kayak. He let some of us
test his British Maryland Highway Administration Boat (like I said,
you had to be there) and we were very impressed with the sleek boat.
We then decided to go upstream for another mile or so, and stop at
Mermaid Beach. It was deserted, since the mermaids had the day off
and must have been shopping at Walmart. Some of the men paddlers,
who will have to remain unnamed, having vigorously paddled to the
site all open-eyed, were wondering if the mermaids were hiding in the
caves beyond the trees, but no one ventured out of the open area. We
would have missed dessert if we did! Yes, that came out of Gayle's
boat as well. While some trips hand out topographic maps, we hand
out dinner menus.
Some of us did not want the day to end, so we stopped at the
Shepherdstown Street Fest, since it was right off of Princess Street
by our boat dock. We simply left our vehicles and vessels therein,
and walked around the city's Street Fest that was closed off to
motorized traffic. There were impressive artists and artisans
showing their skillfully-wrought wares to the public along the
streets. And the famous steam ship, the Rumseian Experiment, was
proudly parked in the middle of the street, believing itself to
It was a beautiful day to be shared with a great group of people, on
the People's River, a river that was here before us and will be here
The photos have been posted in the photo album entitled "June 30,
2007" in the Photos section of our web site at: