Saturday, July 3, 2010

Paddle Log #16: Shenandoah River

This morning, I dragged the boys out of bed at 6:30 a.m., threw them in the car with some Dunkin Donuts, and we headed west to the Shenandoah River.  We went with Ben and some of the same guys who went with us on the Goose Creek trip we did last summer

Self-Portrait under the Route 7 bridge 
over the Shenandoah River

We met at the public boat ramp parking area under the Route 7 bridge over the Shenandoah River, about five miles east of Berryville, VA (see Ben's map of the Shenandoah River).  There was plenty of space here.  When we had our rendez-vous at 7:30, we were the only ones in the parking lot.  When we got out later though, there were at least a dozen cars in the lot and just as many kayaks and canoes laying around everywhere.

We left a couple of cars there under Route 7 for shuttling people back to the put-in point, then we drove down past the Watermelon Park to another public boat ramp about five miles upstream of Route 7.

It was a gorgeous day out.  I couldn't have asked for better weather.  Temperature started out around 70F and gradually climbed to about 82F by the time we got out.  The thermometer said the water was 76F, but it felt like bath water.

There were about ten kayaks in our group.  This was my eldest son's second time out in his solo Perception Acadia Scout kayak, and he did really well.  He especially liked flying through the light rapids, saying, "wheeeee!" 

Photo by Ben

Level-of-difficulty wise, this trip was similar to the Goose Creek trip we did last summer although considerably shorter.  There were about four short stretches of water where the current picked up and we brushed up a few rocks here and there.

The water level was very low, so a couple of times I had to get out and pull our boat across the rocks. 

The waterproof doodle pad continues to be a hit.

So does nap time.

ES self portrait.

At the end of our paddling trip today, ES told me, "Daddy, this was funner than most of our other kayaking trips."  Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding!  Success!!!

Semi-traditional feet photo.

Some stats for the paddle log:
  • Date: 3 July 2010
  • Time In: 8:30 a.m. (approx)
  • Time Out: 10:45 a.m. (approx)
  • Elapsed: ~2 1/4 hours
  • Moving Time (GPS):  1 hrs 58 minutes
    Stopped Time (GPS):  20 minutes 56 seconds
  • Mileage: 5.21 miles by GPS
  • Sea State: 0
  • Winds: 0-5 knots - just an occasional light breeze
  • Air Temp: 70F initially then climbing to 82F when we got out.
  • Water Temp: 76F - felt like bath water
  • Current:   (Discharge) 540 cf/s (very low - less than half the median daily value) (source)
  • Gauge Height:  1.5 feet (source)
  • Avg Speed (GPS):  2.6 mph
  • Max Speed by (GPS):  6.8 mph
  • Rapids?  There were about four spots with some light rapids.  The most significant was right by Watermelon Park. 
  • Hazards?  None.
  • Kit: Second time for ES in his Perception Acadia Scout.  ES had previously complained about water dripping on his legs tickling/itching, so I sent him with a soft sponge this time and he seemed happy.  YB and I rode in our Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL. Flop hat, sunglasses, NRS paddling gloves. Short sleeve shirt, swim trunks, Keen sandals.
  • Configuration: I started out sitting in the back with YB in the front.  I put my soft lead weight belt for scuba diving in the forward storage hold as ballast to keep the bow down and to make up for ES not riding in the kayak with us anymore.  Even so, I felt like our bow was pretty high up, and I figured that was why we were scraping bottom on so many rocks back at my end of the boat.  So mid-way through the trip, I shifted to the middle seat.  It was a lot more comfortable and kept us more on an even-keel.
  • Route:  Put-in at a public boat ramp a few miles upstream of the Route 7 bridge and took out at the public boat ramp under the Route 7 bridge five miles east of Berryville, VA.    

  • Other comments (such as wildlife spotted): Great Blue Herons, dragonflies, tadpoles, fish jumping out of the water, water bugs.  Somebody else in our group saw a snake in the water.
After we finished loading up the car, we headed into Berryville in search of lunch.  Berryville is a very pretty little town with lots of red brick and old architecture.

The boys wanted pizza, so we went to Mario's.  It was extraordinarly good pizza.  I highly recommend it if you're ever passing through town.  The boys both ate like horses.  Well, maybe not like horses, but they ate significantly more than they usually eat. 

Then, our 6 year old YB who NEVER sleeps in the car (cue Gilbert and Sullivan, "What never?  No never!  What never?  Hardly EVERRRRR!")...

Long Day


Tabor said...

Sounds like healthy fun and good memories for them for years to come.

blunoz said...

Tabor - thank you so much for your consistently positive feedback and kind comments. I really appreciate it.

Hilary said...

Nice to see you and your guys back out on the water. I agree with Tabor.. many fond memories in those boys' futures.

Anonymous said...

Love to hear about your paddling adventures...the water is a wonderful place to be and the boys are getting such great memories!

I don't get by your blog as much as I used to but I do love to read the updates on what's going on with your family.