Morris Creek

We'll launch from Chickahominy riverfront park in Williamsburg and paddle up and down Morris Creek across of the Chickahominy River. Morris Creek is one of the most beautiful areas in Virginia according to Andrea Nolan in her book "Sea Kayaking Virginia".

We should see some fall colors this time of the year.

I want to make this a weekend event, with camping at the Chickahominy riverfront park as you wish, starting Friday night through Sunday. We'll paddle Gordon Creek on Sunday, and the trips can be attended separately.

More details follow.
10/4/12: Here's a detail. The general rule is that if the combined water and air temperatures fall below 120F, you should wear a wet suit or dry suit (i.e. be dressed for immersion). I don't expect the water to be below 60, but if we have a cold day, and you were already thinking about getting a wet suit, go get one for this event. Even a little surf wet suit from Dick's helps keeping your warm (although some people don't like the short sleeves for paddling). 

We are planning on eating/getting together on Saturday night. We'll see which site is most suitable. I know a few people who will bring equipment that can be shared (stoves, grill, pots, percolator, utensils, some coolers etc.) so don't worry if you don't have everything a camper usually needs. Some extra chairs are probably handy too. 

It would be great if everyone brought some food/drink items that can be shared, whether it's chips, drinks, fruit, crackers, cheese, tea, coffee, eggs, whatever. Preparing for sharing like this creates a great group sense (as opposed to everyone needing to run off to their tents to fill their stomachs). However, this is not a must, of course. Some people have suggested to share a pasta dish or so, but that seems too hard to organize for the group as a whole. I suggest to do it in smaller groups, or bring "flexible" meals that can be prepared and eaten anywhere. 

Let me know if you have any questions. I am planning to set up Friday early in the afternoon as well, and probably start paddling around soon. I look very much forward to the weekend, and it looks like it's going to be a success. 


Make sure you bring meals that you can take along in your kayak during the day.

Update 10/15/12:

Meals:
Here's the idea about the dinner together and food sharing: I hope that we all get together as one group, best site to be determined, to enjoy our evening meal and a campfire, circle, chairs, instruments even? Several people have enough gear (stoves, grill, pots, etc) for sharing equipment. Someone is bringing two crockpots. Organizing one meal for everyone seems hard to do, so I suggested to coordinate with others about cooking something together. But I also asked everyone to bring something to share with the entire group, something for breakfast, when we come back from a paddle, dinner, or the evening, like soup, boiled eggs, bread, PB&J, nuts, chips, salsa, chili, beer, wine, or whatever.

For example, I'll probably bring some frozen meat or fish (grill) and some veggie for my dinner, and some extra coffee, wine, maybe chili (for my breakfast too) to share. And then I am going to look around what others brought to share and try some of that :-)

Weather:
The forecast right now is that it will rain FRI afternoon and evening, even with a T-storm between 10pm & 3am. But SAT should be better with temps up to 74, but still some chance of rain. SUN should be fine. So, be prepared for some rain, and nights into the lower 50's.

I paddled yesterday in 74F but a bit breezy and cooler water, and used a simple shorty from Dick's which kept me perfectly warm and was comfortable enough: http://is.gd/KjxST9

Note for the people who are joining us for the day:
Everyone can launch from our site (R25W). You need to drive by and drop off your equipment, then park your car in the field. We probably won't actually launch until about 9:30 am. Please feel free to visit us anytime.

If you choose to, you can also launch near the bridge and paddle up to our site, which is about 100 yards up on the Chickahominy River to the right.  If you are running late, please try a call or text to[masked]zero-9zero1zero.

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  • A former member
    A former member

    A good wx day for paddling and the route was enjoyable.

    October 23, 2012

  • Lianne

    We had so much food!! Thanks everyone for making this a great weekend. We had wonderful paddles, great weather and a good time.

    October 22, 2012

  • Anne W

    Great weather for camping and kayaking. Beautiful creek. Fun people. I enjoyed it all!

    October 21, 2012

  • Jim C.

    Excellent Place to Paddle. Hope to return.

    October 21, 2012

  • George G.

    May paddle, won't be camping.

    October 19, 2012

    • Anne W

      George, I hope you come. How will I find my way back without you leading?

      October 19, 2012

  • Lianne

    Site R28, reserved by my guest David H, is also available for sharing Saturday night. I know a few people will use their car for camping. Not sure they reserved a site or will find a spot somewhere. It's going to clear up this afternoon, and Lyn and I should be setting up somewhere between 4 and 6.

    October 19, 2012

  • Jim C.

    Dan, Lianne, As they say in the Navy, here's change 2 to modification 1 of series 000. Vickie and I will not be arriving till early Saturday morning.

    Dan, I just spoke with Amy in the park office and gave her your name. She said there should be no problem with you checking into site 21 on Friday.

    Lianne, I think I read that you are planning the first paddle for around 9. Is that correct?

    October 18, 2012

    • Lianne

      We aim at starting the paddle at 9:30. I am asking day paddlers to arrive at 9. It might get pretty busy at the launch spot with 23 people.

      October 19, 2012

  • David C.

    I know I'm last minute here but just wondering if anyone still has space available. I have a small one-man tent and need a spot to pitch it for Saturday night only (or a couple of trees to hang a hammock will do as well). I'll pay the going rate.

    October 18, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I have site 94 reserved that Friday afternoon through Sunday morning up until noon, so I'll be close to the group. I'll set up my tent Friday shortly after noon o'clock (yeah, I know 0_o) but you know what I mean.

    I've also been told by a Park employee today that there is no longer a boat launch fee since July *IF* you launch at the kayak/canoe launch site at the far end of the campsites. Otherwise, you need to pay a fee to launch anywhere else.

    I'm also bringing my bike to ride the trail that runs along side of John Tyler Highway if you want to join me between kayak outings.

    I'm open to share the other half of my electric tent site if anyone chimes in at the last moment needing somewhere to set up.

    September 27, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      Site 94 is quite large, so I don't think that my car, my tent & your van will cause any "space issues" there. Looking forward to meeting you, Gayle.

      October 15, 2012

    • Gayle O.

      I am really looking forward to meeting new folks, exploring new waterways, and having some vegie chili. I'm bringing brownies. Can't wait until tomorrow!

      1 · October 18, 2012

  • Anne W

    Veggie chili is ready to go.

    2 · October 17, 2012

  • Jim C.

    The Orionid meteor shower will occure this weekend. Sat night into Sun morning. The waxing crescent moon sets before midnight on October 20, and that means a dark sky between midnight and dawn, or during the best viewing hours for the 2012 Orionid meteors. On a dark, moonless night, the Orionids exhibit a maximum of about 25 meteors per hour. These fast-moving meteors occasionally leave persistent trains and bright fireballs. If you trace these meteors backward, they seem to come from the Club of the famous constellation Orion the Hunter. The Orionids have a broad and irregular peak that isn’t easy to predict. More meteors tend to fly after midnight, and the Orionids are typically at their best in the hours before dawn.

    October 17, 2012

    • Lianne

      Awesome, Jim. I hope we'll be watching some of this. As for the social, I encourage people to get together on our "tba" central spot at any time, breakfasts, anytime, not just Sat night. That just seems natural to me.

      October 17, 2012

  • Jim C.

    Vickie and I have site 21 reserved and there should be room for 1 more tent if anyone still needs a spot.

    August 23, 2012

    • Jim C.

      Dan, from what I have read so far it looks like Sat night will be a social event with a shared meal. Vickie and I are planning to bring a large pot of chili. Apart from Sat night I assume all meals will be done on an individual basis due to the kayaking and some people watching the football game(s)

      October 17, 2012

    • Jim C.

      Forgot to let you know that we will be arriving late Fri evening. We will not be leaving sufffolk till after 6:00 pm so we will be setting up afterdark. Our tent is abt 10x10.

      October 17, 2012

  • Lyn

    I have a few extra quad folding chairs & all kinds of camping stuff for this type of campground. Happy to share/loan. If u are on the fence about camping, just go for it! We're a family of sorts and everyone will be looked out for!

    1 · October 15, 2012

  • Tarcela M.

    I will have a crockpot full of Southwestern White Chili (w/chicken) and cornbread available. Football fans: SC & FL are playing @3:30. DH is a SC fan so this will be on in the camper if you want to stop by...

    October 15, 2012

    • Lianne

      That's awesome, Tarcela.

      October 15, 2012

  • Lianne

    I updated some info about meal sharing, and the weather. See info above.

    October 15, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    U bet. I was really looking forward to it. :-(

    October 10, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I have read through everything n it is a little hard to decifer if there is a spot to share. :) Does anyone have a camp site they would like to share, before I make my own reservation? Lianne, remember I have one of those short boats so is this still a good trip. ;)

    October 4, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      Great! Thanks!! Anne is that true? I will send you a message too. :)

      October 4, 2012

    • Anne W

      Right now the other half of my site is taken.

      October 5, 2012

  • Dianne

    I have an extra kayak and skirt..., reserved site 26 if anyone wants to share.

    August 21, 2012

    • Lianne

      Scott, you need to ask someone else, because Dianne canceled.

      October 4, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      Oops! Now that I look over on the right side, I see her name over there. I'll look around. Thanks!

      October 5, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm still up in the air about this one, but I'm seriously considering it. I love to camp...got everything a camper would need including a portable propane grill with 20# of fuel.

    Does anyone have an electric tent site reserved (I love my gadgets!) with extra space for one more? I've got a 16X10 tent to share if needed. I plan on staying all weekend.

    September 19, 2012

    • Lianne

      Hi Scott, I am not sure anyone has a site with electric. I charge my gadget in the car, and use a battery operated/rechargeable light, and solar/crank NOAA radio. I don't have a good overview of who camps with whom and where at this point, hope someone will let you know if they have an open spot.

      September 20, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thanks Lianne. I'm hoping others will see this message & post what they reserved. If within the next week someone doesn't say anything, I just may reserve an electric site myself...as close to the group as possible, then see who will want to share that with me if need be...either my tent or the second space.

      I'll go ahead & RSVP as yes, but subject to change. I really want to camp out one more time before it gets too cold to enjoy the outdoors. I'm from Indiana, so I'm used to cooler weather than most folks here are!

      September 20, 2012

  • Jim C.

    Just reserved site #21 for Vickie and myself. Sounds like this is going to be fun. Any plans for a night paddle?

    August 22, 2012

    • Lianne

      Make sure you bring lights for a night paddle. No plans yet, but maybe I'll plan one for Fr evening 7pm, and then there's always the spontaneous paddle. Just to be clear for everyone: no paddling with/after alcohol.

      August 25, 2012

    • Lianne

      We won't take Morris Creek for a night paddle, we'll be doing that for Saturday. But good to know about turbulence, wasn't expecting it. Depending on the weather, we'll be going up/down the Chickahominy or James river.

      September 20, 2012

  • Tarcela M.

    We will be on site #321.

    September 18, 2012

  • Lianne

    Hey everyone, don't forget to sign up for Sunday as well and arrange with others for sharing a camp spot if you plan on attending both paddles. And let us know if you are willing to share or need a kayak or other equipment.

    August 21, 2012

  • Lyn

    Hey Joseph
    Contact Chuck Conley. He's our group leader. They're due upon joining. Renews by each persons anniversary date.

    August 20, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thx Lyn I saw the pay pall link on the page and used it ,,,,,, thx

      August 20, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    When are dues collected for the membership. I do plan on making other meet ups before the Oct 20th

    August 20, 2012

  • Lianne

    I am pleased to see so many people sign up and planning to camp. Should be a fun weekend with lots to paddle, share, practice, cook, eat chat and relax. Just hoping for some nice weather now!

    August 20, 2012

  • Dianne

    camping, site reserved...

    August 20, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Lianne thx for the welcome to the group and thx for the information so good to be able to get things done over the phone with out a headache.

    August 20, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I made a reservation myself for R25 trying to talk my son in coming he used to be my canoe partner on the Rap

    August 20, 2012

  • Lianne

    Here is the reservation info, just in case (someone is not as smart as Richard): https://www.jccegov.com/recreation/parks/chickahominy-park.html

    August 20, 2012

  • Lianne

    Hi Dan, I have heard of this put in but never used it, and was planning a trip with camping there earlier this year, which got canceled due to the weather. Opted for the campground this time because it's a bit easier to organize and the driving in or parking is easier as well.

    August 20, 2012

  • Lianne

    Joseph, welcome to the group. You have to make your own reservation with the park. They allow 2 tents, 4 adults, 6 people max per spot. If you are interested in sharing a spot with someone, post it here. Or just go ahead and make a reservation and offer to share with someone. I just reserved R24W for Lyn and myself, and "someone" reserved R22W this morning, they said. R23 would be good to take or 25 or 26. I can't make reservations for others due to the upfront costs and risk of cancellations.

    Please attend some kayak events before this one and we will get you up to date on cold water paddling.

    August 20, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    This will be my first event with the group I plan on attending. I don't see a place to pay for the two night of camping, will that option come up later?

    August 20, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Heading into late October the water temp and air temp will be or have the potential to be very gold any one have any suggestions on gear for all weather Kayaking

    August 20, 2012

  • Lianne

    Hi Henry, I just called the campground. We can't make a reservation more than 60 days in advance, and have to call back on Aug 20. I am going to reserve R24W - which means access to the water. They allow only 2 tents per spot these days. Either make your own reservation with another person, and/or post here if you want to share a spot. I am hesitant to make more than one reservation, but I hope everyone soon joins in to have a fun weekend of paddling, camping, cooking, chatting, or maybe even organizing some additional instruction or practice, or visiting Williamsburg. I for example would enjoy learning more about navigation, gps, marine radio's etc.

    August 14, 2012

  • Henry

    Lianne, what is your campsite number? How many are waterfront?

    August 14, 2012

  • Lianne

    This is going to be a (very) leisurely paddle suitable for smaller boats as well. I think the total up and down is 12-13 miles, plus maybe a few short arms to explore in the creek, but we (or I) will take time to explore the creek and area, have a lunch on the banks, so pretty much planning for a full day, or at least 4-5 hours. Of course, if there's a group at the start that wants to do it faster or return sooner, that's an option.

    I am also going to ask everyone to let me know if they plan on camping. Please post it in teh discussion here, or use "change rsvp" to add a note (while leaving your rsvp as it is) I will reserve one spot soon for Fr & Sat night with its own descend/launch to the water, hopefully. It will allow 3-4 tents per spot (not 3-4 cars). Then for more people, it would be nice to reserve the adjacent spot. I will post more soon.

    The paddle on Sunday on Gordon Creek is more open water, and depending on the weather and maybe a bit faster, also about 12-13 miles.

    August 14, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    About how long is the Morris Creek paddle on Saturday?

    August 13, 2012

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