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Trip Report – June 30, 2007 - Shepherdstown to Mermaid Beach and Return

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  • Bob Cianflone
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 2, 2007
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      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
      belong there.

      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
      after us.

      The photos have been posted in the photo album entitled "June 30,
      2007" in the Photos section of our web site at:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Potomac_River_Paddlers/
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