Twilight Paddle and Cookout

Please join us for a guided twilight paddle and cookout on Swift Creek Lake in Pocahontas State Park.

Come enjoy a leisurely paddle in a canoe or kayak as we discover the wildlife at night. We will paddle the lake, stop at a fire ring for a cookout until it gets dark, and then paddle back in the moonlight.  We might see heron, eagles, deer and beavers.

The cost of this beginner-friendly paddle is $12/person.  This covers the canoe or kayak, gear (paddle and life vest), food and guide.  If you bring your own boat and gear the fee is $6/person.  No experience is necessary as basic instructions are given. The park has a mixture of canoes and kayaks for our use. Kayaks are either single or tandem.  Food consists of grill your own hot dogs, chips, drinks and s'mores.

We will meet our guide at the boat rental station to the right of the boat dock in the park at 6:30pm.  You will not need to pay the park entrance fee; tell the park attendant you are coming for the paddle. Payment in cash (exact change, please) will be made to the Park Ranger/guide at the boat rental station.

Life vests are required for all participants.  Minimum age is 6.  No dogs allowed on this trip.

We should arrive back at our vehicles between 10-10:30pm.

Bring:

  • Cash for paddle fee
  • water appropriate clothing
  • change of clothes and a towel, should you desire
  • close-toed shoes that can get wet; no flip flops
  • flashlight or headlamp for your boat
  • bug spray
  • water for the paddle (beverages provided for dinner)

Severe weather will postpone/cancel the trip.  The park makes the final decision as to whether the trip will be cancelled because of weather, and they will notify me as soon as they are able so I can notify everyone.  However, they usually do not make a decision until just before the paddle is scheduled to begin unless the weather is severe and imminent.

I will email the attendees with my contact information the day before the event.

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  • Rose

    Had an amazing time! What fun and what a workout! LOVED those light up frisbee's Mary! I told a friend and he beat me to buying one. ;-) Thank you for hosting! Great meeting everyone!

    2 · July 29, 2013

  • Mary P

    36 damp, soggy and tired individuals successfully completed the first ever James River Hikers Flotilla. It was a perfect star-filled evening.
    None were lost, although some tried. None fell in, although one paddler leap-frogged over her canoe mate while in the canoe. None had too many s'mores due to a chocolate shortage. No one could see anything paddling back in the dark.
    Some consistently paddled to the left. Some enjoyed playing bumper-boats. Some paddled solo. Some paddled with another. Some helped others in and out of their boats. Some shared bug spray. Some made faces with their flashlights.
    One had a blow up kayak that didn't work well. One was hit in the head with a strange glowing frisbee. One was a teenager. One didn't smoke as a result. One felt bad about the frisbee thing.
    Many were new to James River Hikers. Many were just plain old. Many will become better friends as we hike together in the future. All had a wonderful evening. James River Hikers - Floating With History!

    6 · July 27, 2013

    • Yun

      Mary, it was a fun activity but you made it even better. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

      July 28, 2013

    • Rose

      Loved this, Mary! =)

      July 29, 2013

  • Rose

    I'd like to ride tandem with someone. Is this possible and if so, how do I coordinate? Do I need to RSVP?

    July 22, 2013

    • Mary P

      For the entertainment value, we'd all LOVE you two to share a boat on the next paddle. I'm bringing a video camera.

      1 · July 27, 2013

    • Rose

      Hahaha! That is what I am here for!

      1 · July 29, 2013

  • Don

    Great paddle. Plus the enjoyment of seeing Rose switch place in her canoe while it was still in the water. I have never seen anything like that.

    4 · July 27, 2013

    • Rose

      It was Gay's idea, although she wanted pull to shore somewhere... LOL!

      July 29, 2013

  • Theresa

    Was I signed up for this because I thought I cancelled but I got a notice to rate the meetup. If I was signed up, I so apologize....it is not like me to miss a meetup I sign up for.

    July 27, 2013

    • Theresa

      I am so sorry for missing what sounds like a great time. I'll be more on top of my RSVPs from now on. I don't like being 'that' person who doesn't change their RSVP.

      July 28, 2013

    • Mary P

      I won't tell anyone! :)

      July 28, 2013

  • Jeff

    Mary, thank you for an enchanting evening on the water. Great paddle, hope to do it again. great meeting everyone.

    5 · July 27, 2013

    • Mary P

      Rick, we can't tell Dennis about that!

      July 27, 2013

    • Rick

      Oh Mary, I wish I could keep something like that a secret. We both know I'm not.

      July 27, 2013

  • Ann W

    Great meetup, Mary!! Thanks for arranging the perfect weather, too. Enjoyed meeting so many more members of the group.

    1 · July 27, 2013

  • Patti

    Thanks Mary, it was fun, the weather was beautiful (except for a few pesky bugs!) and enjoyed meeting new people.

    1 · July 27, 2013

  • Casey

    Thanks, Mary, for a great outing. And thanks, especially, to the two tall men who loaded my kayaks on top of the car. (Jeff and ?) You made it look so easy!

    July 27, 2013

  • Traudel M.

    Last night's event was great and the weather was perfect. Thanks, Mary. Good job!

    1 · July 27, 2013

  • Gay

    This was a LOT of fun. Hope to do it again sometime.

    1 · July 27, 2013

  • Rick

    This was a great trip and everyone seemed like they had a good time. I'd like to take it again in the fall. It was good to see everyone. Thanks Mary for hosting this event.

    3 · July 27, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great time!!!! Thanks everyone!

    2 · July 26, 2013

  • Stephanie

    I just found out that my son (13 yrs old) will be with me this weekend, including Friday. I would very much like him to come with me on this paddle. Does anyone have room for him in a boat? He is too young to sign up for Meetup, and if I add +1 to my RSVP, I will probably be knocked off the "go" list. Any suggestions would be appreciated....

    3 · July 25, 2013

    • Mary P

      But it just may have something to do with a rave, at least from what my kids tell me.

      July 26, 2013

    • Rick

      Now I'm even MORE curious.

      July 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I will be there but am riding along in another member's boat. Please count me in for food!

    July 25, 2013

    • Mary P

      Got it. See you there!

      July 26, 2013

  • Susan S.

    I have my own kayak. Do I still. Need to be on the wait list or can I attend?

    July 26, 2013

    • Mary P

      Susan, since you are bringing your own kayak, the fee is $6 and you may come without clearing wait list. I just need to know the number count to give the park. Will it be one or two people?

      July 26, 2013

  • Gay

    Rose, You are off the wait list!

    1 · July 25, 2013

  • Don

    i am confirmed for this. i will show up, but i am taking myself off the list because i will bring my own kayak.

    1 · July 24, 2013

  • Mary P

    All,
    We currently have 25 people using the park's boats and 10 bringing their own. The park will not allow us to exceed 40 people total, so we can accept only FIVE MORE people who bring their own boats :(

    July 24, 2013

    • Don

      So I can come then? I am still on the waitlist but am bringing my own!

      July 24, 2013

    • Mary P

      Don, yes I have you down as coming with a boat. See you there.

      1 · July 24, 2013

  • Mary P

    Speaking of maps, time, gas and Spring Run Road, there is a socializing opportunity after our paddle. The Boat House Restaurant at Sunday Park on Swift Creek Reservoir has an outdoor patio overlooking the reservoir that will fit our purpose nicely. A 20 minute drive from Pocahontas, it's on the way home for those traveling north, such as to the west end and Richmond city. You'll be 1.5 miles from the Hull St. entrance to 288. Here's the information:

    The Boat House at Sunday Park
    4602 Millridge Parkway
    Midlothian VA 23112

    What a nice way to end the evening! Hope some of our group can make it.

    July 23, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      That's right across from my apartment! Sounds like fun to me :)

      2 · July 24, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Bringing my own boat as well! Looks like we will have a virtual flotilla. :)

    1 · July 24, 2013

    • Mary P

      See you there!

      1 · July 24, 2013

  • Casey

    Could you please add 2 more to the food count? I have kayaks and equipment for myself and a friend and we'd love to join the fun! This sounds great.

    July 24, 2013

    • Mary P

      Will do. See you there!

      July 24, 2013

  • Rick

    Any poison ivy along the path?

    July 24, 2013

    • Mary P

      Yes, Rick, lots of poison ivy. Wear knee socks.

      July 24, 2013

  • Glenda H.

    I am sure someone will be very happy this morning to find they will no longer be on the wait list. I sprained my thumb in a fall and don't think rowing will work for me. Have a great paddle!

    July 24, 2013

    • Mary P

      Sorry to hear that Glenda. Will see you on the trails.

      July 24, 2013

  • Donna

    Yay!

    July 24, 2013

  • Donna

    So, how will i know we are confirmed for Friday evening? Thanks.

    July 23, 2013

    • Mary P

      You are confirmed.

      July 23, 2013

  • Donna

    A friend and I would like to paddle by twilight. We both have our equipment and want to participate in the evening activity.

    July 23, 2013

    • Mary P

      Donna, you are welcome to come. The cost is $6 if you bring your own equipment. I will add you +1 to the food count. See you there!

      July 23, 2013

  • Tommy W.

    Great point Karla! Save time and gas check your maps.

    2 · July 23, 2013

  • Karla B

    When you drive out be sure to avoid Qualla Road, closed for bridge construction, between Newbys Bridge Road and Spring Run Road.

    1 · July 23, 2013

  • Don

    Bringing my own Kayak

    July 22, 2013

    • Mary P

      got it, thanks!

      July 22, 2013

  • Tommy W.

    I would like to bring my boat.

    July 22, 2013

    • Tommy W.

      I'm on the wait list and will bring my boat.

      July 22, 2013

    • Mary P

      Thanks Tommy, see you there!

      July 22, 2013

  • Mary P

    Hi all,
    The park can accommodate 25 people for this paddle with its boat rentals. If you are bringing your own boat, the fee is $6 and you may come without clearing the wait list. I just need to know that you are coming then for the number count to give the park for dinner.

    If you ARE bringing your own boat and are one of the 25 on the 'attending' list, please remove yourself so others can come. And please notify me of such, again, for the food count.

    July 22, 2013

    • Jeff

      Hey Mary, I'll bring my boat & remove myself from the rsvp.

      July 22, 2013

    • Mary P

      Thanks.

      July 22, 2013

  • Jeff

    Will there w/ my boat.

    July 22, 2013

  • Rick

    I was talking to a fellow CVTer and he expressed the importance of having a flashlight on this event. Don't forget your light(s).

    1 · July 21, 2013

    • Mary P

      Jenni, just make sure they match your outfit!

      1 · July 22, 2013

    • Rick

      This is starting to sound like a rave. At least from what I've read on the Internet.

      1 · July 22, 2013

  • Susan S.

    Been aching to use our kayaks.

    July 20, 2013

    • Mary P

      Susan, the 25 person limit is based on what the park can accommodate with its boat rentals. If you are bringing your own kayak, the fee is $6 and you may come without clearing wait list. I just need to know if you are coming for the number count to give the park. Will it be two people?

      July 22, 2013

  • Susan S.

    Been aching to use our kayaks.

    July 20, 2013

  • Laura M.

    family coming to town that night .... sorry to miss this !

    July 12, 2013

  • Michelle

    Really wanted to do this but I work so far out of town I wouldn't make it to Chesterfield in time.

    July 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    This sounds so awesome! It'll be my first meet up event! Can't wait :)

    1 · July 6, 2013

  • Mary P changed the date and time to Friday, July 26, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    July 5, 2013

  • July 5, 2013

  • Mary P changed the location to Pocahontas State Park

    July 5, 2013

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Rafaël

We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

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