This will be a safe paddle with an appropriate instructional class for first-timers
It is safe, as the water is not moving and you will be with a safety support
It is better to learn this in a peaceful reservoir rather than on a moving river with no support
This is a beautiful multi-use state park with a clear lake surrounded by mountains. We can kayak, hike, swim, and picnic.
Either bring your own boat or rent one from Pedal and Paddle Outfitter who will bring it to the lake. You must reserve the boat and pay for it ahead of time directly with Pedal and Paddle if you are renting. Make sure you pay at the time that you reserve and not later. If you rent, you can rent a kayak from anyone you wish, but as there are no rental facilities at the lake, Pedal and Paddle is the only outfitter who has agreed to bring the kayaks to the lake and rent them to us. Of course, if you own a kayak, that is great, and you do not have to worry about renting.
The all-day boat rental rates with Pedal and Paddle are as follows:
Single kayak day rental - $65.00
Tandem kayak & canoe day rental - $105.00
Again, there are no kayak rentals at the park, which is why we have to use an outside outfitter so that the boats have to be brought there and then picked up - and you must reserve the kayak ahead of time and not on the day of the paddle if you do not own a boat.
Bring your picnic in a large cooler, and keep it in your car where it will be parked beside the lake. Remember that no alcohol is allowed in the state park.
Guests and young'uns are welcome. No pets on this event, however.
We did this activity last year (June 9, 2012), and it was very well received, and many of us received life-saving skills that made paddling more enjoyable. In fact, I was told by two members who attended that prior class that it had saved their lives when their boats capsized during later paddles.
Again, this is a great event for first-timers as well as a good way for more experienced paddlers to brush up on their skills. The water level always stays the same on this lake as it is a reservoir for drinking water. The prime criterion will be safety. And, after that, our priorities are to learn, get a good workout, and have fun on the water. Yes, and also to eat!
If you have a paddle float and water bailer, please bring then. Note that you can easily (and cheaply) build them. See the examples below:
Store-bought paddle float.
Home-made paddle float (foam kick board, waterproof duck tape, polypropylene string, and cord lock clip)
The little black clip is called a spring-loaded plastic cord closure or cord lock, as well as a plastic spring cord lock drawstring toggle.
Store-bought water bailer
Home-made water bailer (gallon jug cut at an angle)
Two items that you should always have with you are waterproof duck tape and polypropylene rope (available at Walmart):
We will meet at the boat ramp on the 42-acre, man-made lake (there is a beach there, so bring your bathing suit). We will paddle, then swim, and then eat. As noted, the lake is a reservoir for drinking water, so it is very clean.
As well as paddling in this fresh water lake, we will learn how to do self-rescues and assisted rescues, as well as go over and demonstrate towing techniques. Proper paddling methods will also be looked at and shown.
We will cover the Forward Stroke method of paddling, whereby one uses the body rather than the arms. Here is a short video clip showing that it works:
Let's say you were on a solo paddle, with no one around, and - SPLASH - you capsized, and were in deep water in every sense of the word, what would you do next?
Using the paddle with a float on it and placing it behind the seat and making a "T" with it, while holding the deck rigging, that would be the best way to reenter your boat
This is our Barb, who is "all alone" and has capsized in deep water - what would she do next?
With solid support all around her, she quickly learns what to do
A good frog kick, and she's back in her boat
And she is good to go after having rescued herself! Here, Barb sees an osprey that was watching her
Then Gail D tries it as well - she gets tossed out of her boat in deep water, and then......
She positions her paddle with the paddle float on it, using the Holy Trinity maneuver (three points of contact), and then......
Okay; this photo really scared me - I feared she became an amphibian creature from having been in the water too long
So, she swings back into the cockpit, pumps out the water, and is good to go
Scott gets ready to do the unassisted cowboy reentry
The rear entry or cowboy (or cowgirl) reentry method
Some like to paddle and some like to observe paddling - but all have a great time
This is a separate reentry method. The kayak T-Rescue technique, which will empty the water out of the boat as well as rescue the victim.
There will be other kayakers all around you so there is no reason to fear when doing an unassisted self-rescue
Notice how it is done from the photos. When getting back on the kayak on your own in deep water, always go in from the rear of the cockpit, whether it is the paddle float reentry method or the cowboy reentry technique, it does not matter. And use a good frog kick to boost yourself up and over.
This small lake in a state park that prohibits gasoline motors is perfect for paddlers. The 42-acre freshwater lake at Greenbrier State Park is placid and shallow and safe for paddling, and it also has a sandy beach wherein we can swim. Admission is $5 per person for MD resident, and $7 per person for out-of-state resident. There will be a concession booth at the park for food and drinks.
From the East: Take I-70 west to exit 42. Bear right onto Rt. 17 north (follow signs). Go into the center of Myersville and Rt. 17 will turn right. Follow Rt. 17 to the flashing lights at the intersection of Rt. 40. Turn left onto Rt. 40 west. Follow for three miles and the park is on the left.
From the West: Take I-70 east to exit 35. Bear right onto Rt. 66 (follow signs). Go straight to the stoplight at the intersection of Rt. 40. Turn left onto Rt. 40 east. Follow for two miles and the park is on the right.
You can either bring your kayak or rent one. Pedal and Paddle at 115 West German Street in Shepherdstown has rental kayaks (singles and tandems) available for those who need a boat (as well as paddles and PFDs). A day's rent would be required. Contact Eddie (he knows all about our event) and make arrangements directly with him for the needed equipment. Make sure that you actually pay when you first reserve the boat. He will bring the boats to the lake for you and then pick them up at the end of the day. Remember that the outfitter is 15 miles away from the lake, so Eddie has to make two-round trips with a total distance of 60 miles to carry out the kayak rentals.
Here is the web site for Pedal and Paddle outfitters in Shepherdstown, WV:
Here is the page for the Greenbrier State Park Boat Launch:
Here is the web site for Greenbrier State Park in Boonsboro, MD:
Where we meet - and eat!
Please join us on this flatwater kayak trip. There are no rapids or ripples whatsoever on this body of water. All are welcome on this paddle, and it is safe for all ages. Since this lake is extremely calm, as well as protected by the surrounding mountains, we will practice and demonstrate self-rescues, two-boat rescues, and various towing techniques. Of course, a profile photo is required. Also, please, no alcohol and no smoking.
On this paddle, we will also give demos of the proper forward stroke method, as well as of different bracing techniques. As is the case for all our kayak trips, there will be a first responder with us who is trained in CPR and First Aid.
Bring a cooler with plenty of food and beverages, for a meal along the forested lake or at the beach. Kids and guests are welcome. However, note the park restrictions on pets on the park web site, due to the swimming and water directives.
The trip will be based on safe weather, so, if there are any changes to our plans, all attendees will be notified the day before no later than 9 PM. Rain is okay; lightning is not.
Here is the weather prediction for our area updated in real time:
The park is open 8 AM until sunset. We can swim at the beach from 11 AM to 6 PM.
If you have any inquiries, please contact me directly. May you all have fair winds and following seas.
For all the sacrifices of others that allow us to enjoy our great outdoors, let us be thankful to our men and women in uniform.
Below are various photos of Greenbrier Lake in Greenbrier State Park to give one an idea of what the area looks like.
The dock at Greenbrier Lake.
1 and 1/2 kayakers at Greenbrier Lake.
Greenbrier Lake in the evening.
Greenbrier Lake facing the beach.
The Greenbrier Lake beach.
Greenbrier Lake at dawn.
Greenbrier Lake gazebo.
After all this paddling work, it's time to head to the beach for a swim
The kayak security patrol will watch over us!