Kayak Downriver Adventure on the Shenandoah River With Lunch and Dinner

There are three kayaks left for this event, and they are holding them until Thursday morning.  If not rented by then, they will be released to outsiders (yes, to strangers!) so act now.  This is the last paddle there until next year for us.

 

We had such a tremendous response for this June 29th trip, that we are doing it once more.  We were able to convince the outfitter to get us enough kayaks in August for our group so that we can once again paddle the Shenandoah River.

There are still some rentals available as of this writing.  Please call Nancy at Shenandoah River Outfitters at[masked] or 800-6CANOE2.

This paddle has become a regular event with our group.  On the last trip, we were able to get 60 kayaks.  This time, we have 40 kayaks reserved.  Once they are gone, however, that is it until next summer.  Take a look at the pictures from July 14, 2012, to see how last year's adventure went.

 

Here we are, last July 14th, getting ready to head downriver (you can check out those pictures in the Photos tab if you are curious)

 

 

This will be an all-day event, with all our meals provided for.  This event is a great one for all, whether you are a first-timer in a boat or an accomplished river-reader.

Shenandoah River Outfitters is the oldest and largest outfitter in the entire Mid-Atlantic.  They even have a magazine out about their paddling outfit:

Shenandoah River Outfitters Gazette Summer 2013

 

 

 

This is a beautiful way to spend the day

 

 

 

 

This is a good, day-long paddling excursion on the Shenandoah River that is mostly flatwater but with some exciting spots along the way.  We are going with the current, so the effort is not that great.  The rates are $66 per person for the kayak with a barbecue lunch and an evening steak dinner; and there will be musical entertainment as well.  You have to pay online using the below information. We could save $10 and get our own lunch, and we could save another $24 and get our own dinner, and we could save even more by staying home......But this way they do it all for us.  The food is delicious and there is plenty of it.  They provide the boats, the gear, to include paddles and life vests, the shuttle, and the meals.  Moreover, please be aware that, as time passes, the trips will be all booked up and they will run out of boats!  If you procrastinate, there will be no more vessels for you; if that occurs, and you cannot get a boat, you are welcome to join us for dinner only at a cost of $24.

 

 

 

That is some paddle that Julia has!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bryan makes it look easy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christine is using a rare air paddle

 

 

 

 

Since this is a relaxed trip, and the facility can accommodate a large group, teens as well as guests are welcome to this event.  Of course, all members who sign up for this event need to have an appropriate profile photograph posted.

Please, however, do not contact me at a later point in time to tell me that you waited and waited and when you finally decided to go you were told that there were no more boats available.  Forewarned is forearmed.

 

 

 

To me, this was the scariest sight on the river last summer

 

 

 

Here's some of the boats waiting at the outfitter's - the one thing missing in them:  You!

 

There is a beach and a swimming hole along the way where we can go in the river after having been on the river.

 

 

For a mid-day lunch, you could pack a PB&J sandwich with a granola bar in a ziplock bag that will be waterlogged, or you you could have this grill waiting for you with the burgers sizzling along the river......  I'll take mine well-done!

 

 

 

 

 

Relax and let the three Nancys cook your steak

 

 

 

 

 

The river can heal one's soul

 

 

 

 

 

Except for the arrival time at 9 AM, these are tentative times, but I am listing them here to give you an idea of our planned day-long river adventure.  I am basing this on my past experience of running this stretch of the river:

We need to be there at 9 AM

They will take care of us from that point on (9 AM) as we begin our adventure on the river

Wear your bathing suit since we will go to a secret place to swim

We should get on the river at 10 AM

We will paddle for 5 hours

During the day, there will also be a lunch break and a swim break for another 1 hour

We will be off the river at 4 PM

We will go to our steak dinner at 5 PM

We should be able to leave by 7 PM

Again, it all depends on the water current and the river level and the weather outlook, as these are factors controlled by One at a much higher pay scale than mine.  So, once more, these are all tentative times except for your arrival time of 9 AM.

 

 

 

Off they go!

 

 

 

The dinner will be held back at the outfitter's pavilion.

The food will be great, and there will be plenty of it.  We will have huge portions of chicken and steak for dinner.  And we are planning to have live music for us at the post-paddle meal, most likely by a folk singer who is quite good.  The area will all be set up for us when we are ready to eat and socialize, with wooden tables under a wooden canopy.

We are using kayaks, but NO rafts and NO tubes because they will not be able to keep up with the kayaks on the long trip.  Once the kayaks are gone, they are gone.  So ACT FAST!

Here is the safety video recommended for all of us to see:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfMuJViVpec

Please wear your life vest at all times, and remember that there is no alcohol allowed on the river.

 

The outfitter even has hot showers for us after our trip.  Be aware, however, that the trip will take place rain or shine.

Here, again, are the rates for this particular trip.  The rate is $66 for a single kayak with lunch and steak dinner.  When they run out of boats the event closes.  And you may not bring your own boat because the contractual agreement for this trip is to use their boats and their food.

You may not bring your own boat to this event.  You must reserve it with the outfitter.


TO RESERVE A KAYAK:

 

You sign up online.  Have your credit card ready and go to this site:

http://www.shenandoahriver.com/QuickJoin.html

This is very important: When you reserve using the online form, enter the following information and check it carefully:

Trip ID:  10963
Group Name:  Cianflone 2
Click:  Find Group Reservations
Our river trip will then appear
Enter your personal information
Place your name in the Liability Waiver box
Click the green "+" sign for each reservation at Add To Cart
Submit Order

When you sign up make sure you sign up for the right event.  It is the August 17th kayak trip with lunch and dinner.  The cost will be $66 and you put it on your credit card.

 

 

 

Our lunch will be in a hidden spot along the river (yes, that is a real saw)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lining up for the steaks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The cost of the entire activity is worth it just for the steak dinner!

 

 

 

There will be many people that the outfitter is getting on the river this day, so, to ensure you are with our group, follow the above directions.

You will also need to provide a liability waiver.  If you followed the directions provided, you will have filled it out electronically as part of the reservation process.

If you wish to extend your adventure and stay overnight and camp here, just reserve it online the same way you are reserving your boat.

At dinner, we will relax with a big steak or BBQ chicken. We can talk about the day's adventures and how the river healed you.

Remember:  The limit for the RSVPs is dictated by the number of boats that the outfitter has available for you to reserve.  Thus, when the boats run out, then the event will close to new RSVPs.  I asked for 40 kayaks because that is the number we used last year.  Again, the reason we cannot bring out own boats or bring our own food on this river trip is that that is the agreement that we have for this trip and the price is set.

The outfitter is buying much good food for us, as well as spending substantial resources on preparations for our well-being, so there are no refunds, and the trip takes place rain or shine.  Accordingly, if you find out you cannot make it after you have paid for a spot, get someone to attend in your place by you sending out an email advertising your spot and selling it to that person and then letting me and the outfitter know who is taking your place.

While there are canoes and tandems available, based on personal observation and experience, it is better to be in a single kayak on this trip, particularly at the rapids.

 

 

 

 

The scenery is very varied along the Shenandoah River and it changes as the mood of the river changes - this is why river readers say the Potomac is masculine but the Shenandoah is feminine, as their original Indian names signify

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We will have a good view of the mountains on our journey

 

 

Here are the directions.  If you use a GPS or Mapquest, you will get lost.  So use these:

http://shenandoahriver.com/Directions.html

For those members who are coming yet did not use the online registration (I know who you are), you will have to print, complete, and bring the following liability waiver:

Liability Waiver for Shenandoah River Outfitters, Aug. 17, 2013

Obviously, we do not know what the weather and river level will be like until it is close to the event.  I will check the gauges and confer with the outfitter on the best and safest place for us to paddle in.  As always, your safety and well-being comprise our foremost goal.

This trip is appropriate for first-timers, as well as a good event for veterans.  Please bring your waterproof camera, as we will have ample opportunities to engage in nature photography.

When we get to the rapids, I will paddle ahead of the group and remain there with throw ropes in case any paddler has problems.  This is another reason we all should remain with the group.

 

At Compton's Rapid, on our way to the take-out, we will go over some good waves

 

 

 

 

Some good Class II action awaits us towards the end of our journey

 

 

 

There will be areas with ripples and waves.  One particular spot, Compton's Rapid, should have solid Class II whitewater, and it is very important that paddlers remain to the right side of the river when going through it.  There is a false channel on the left side with several pillow rocks therein.  Right after the rapids you will enter a pool of very deep water.  It is important that you wear your life vest.  Since this is an unguided trip, I will stay there while our group goes through it to take your picture as well as to render any assistance.  I will have a throw rope just in case.  So this is another good reason to stay with the group.

 

 

 

 

There goes Bryan over the rapids

 

 

 

 

 

 

And there goes Sarabeth over the rapids

 

 

 

 

 

There seems to be many types of paddling techniques here

 

 

 

 

The wildlife will be watching you

 

 

 

 

All kinds of families share this river

 

 

 

One goes right and another goes left

 

 

 

For Our Trip:

  • Wear  tennis shoes or river sandals for the river with an ankle strap; the rocks are sharp and there might be glass there. Flip-flops are useless.
  • Bring a towel for the shower after the trip or for sunbathing.
  • First aid: a packet of baby wipes, bug spray with Deet, Noxzema will keep the gnats away, some band-aids, or whatever you personally need for health supplies.
  • Bring a retainer or string for eyeglasses.  Leave your vehicle key behind at the outfitter.
  • Trash bag:  Bring one just in case, for trash and to keep things dry.  Bring a rope to tie it on your boat.
  • Bring plenty of water so that you do not get dehydrated.
  • There is no alcohol on the river.
  • Do not bring any glass bottles or anything you can cut yourself on.
  • Other Extras: River gloves if your hands are delicate, a water bailer (just cut a plastic gallon jug at an angle keeping the handle on it.)
  • If you plan to fish, make sure you have a valid license (you can get one at Walmart).
  • Sun protection: Lotion, hat, pants, long sleeve shirt, and sunglasses with a retainer.
  • Bring a complete change of clothes and leave it in your vehicle; remember to bring extra underwear and footwear, as people tend to forget these.
  • Rain and wind protection, just in case; a wind-proof jacket will keep you warm.
  • Parking at the outfitter:  There will be many different groups there, so it is important that you do this cleanly.  Upon arrival for your trip, stop in the 10 minute area, check in with the staff, unload the river gear at the outfitter's store, and follow the road to the parking lot 200 yards behind the store.  Please only park in that lot.  Other areas are part of the National Forest and you can't park there.  Leave your vehicle keys at the outfitters--not in the River!
  • Please leave all your valuables at home! There is no need to lose valuable rings in the river.
  • Directions:  Again Follow our directions.  MapQuest and GPS units are sending some folks 1 hour, 50 miles, and 2 mountain ranges more than they need to go.  It is a beautiful drive, but maybe not what you want to do on this date.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Shenandoah River is a unique river, as it flows south to north, while most other rivers flow north to south.

Here is the river map that is specific to our trip:

Shenandoah River Map for our Aug. 17th Trip

Remember that the trip logistics are totally dependent on the river level.  For example, one localized storm the week before or an extended area drought can change the plan, so that the paddle location will be moved.  For our trip, the current plan is for a 12-mile downriver paddle.  On the above map, we would put in at #8 (where we are parked) and take out at #19 (where the shuttle picks us up).  Our lunch will be provided for us at #13 (where one of the swimming holes are located).  We even go by two bald eagle nests.  I will provide more information on the planned trip in time.  For now, this map tells you much, so study it.  It is not a topographic map, but it shows the key areas for our specific trip.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The outfitter is a family-run operation that has been in business for many years.  They started more than 40 years ago with two old canoes and a dream.  Since then, they have been making paddlers of all skills levels happy.  We will have a great time.  If anyone has any questions about the event or about the river or about anything else, just shoot me a direct email.  The three Nancys are eagerly awaiting our arrival.

Towards the end of our journey, as you traverse Compton's Rapid, it may get interesting, so I will stay there to ensure all is well, and bring some throw ropes.  I want to emphasize that the trip is safe and appropriate for beginners but listening is the key.

To prevent problems at the rapids, it is important that there be no failure to communicate:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fuDDqU6n4o

 

 

 

Heading down the lazy river......

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The steaks bring out the best in every paddler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then we will have music along the river - if you hear any banjos paddle faster

 

 

 

Directions (from the Washington, D.C. area):

Take the Route 495 Beltway to Route 66 West to Exit 43A at Gainesville.

Take Route 29 South to Warrentown.

Follow the signs to Route 211 West to Luray.

In Luray (follow the signs), take the 2nd exit to Route 340 South Business (at 200 yards).

Turn right onto Route 675 (Mechanic Street, then the name changes to Bixler's Ferry Road)

Go about 4 miles to Bixley Ferry Road.

Cross the Shenandoah River, then turn right on Route 684 (South Page Valley Road).

Go about 6 miles until you reach the Shenandoah River Outfitters (on your right).

Park in the lot behind the store.

 

 

 

When our group was told to connect with the river last summer, our folks knew no restraint!

 

 

 

 

Here is an old timer negotiating Compton's Rapid - keep the boat straight in the direction of the flow and go in between the rocks.

Join or login to comment.

  • Samuel

    I’ve been told I crack myself up,
    but you guys gave me Soooooo much Great Material it was hard to stop laughing long enough to compose my thoughts.

    I was up half the night these past few days literally laughing aloud!!!

    Either you guys make it far to easy or I must have missed my "calling"

    Hope you all have as much fun with the Photos as I did!!!

    Can’t wait till our next meet-up ;)

    1 · August 20, 2013

    • Bob

      If you can do this on a self-proclaimed civilized river, wait until Saturday, when we all go to West Virginia, where fact is stranger than fiction.

      August 20, 2013

  • Bob

    I knew that there was a reason why we did not see Samuel's pictures right after the trip...... He was in his mad photographic laboratory working on his latest hilarious creations! They are a hoot and a hollah! And thanks for rescuing Sarabeth way in the back of our long aquatic convoy...... You are living proof that those self and assisted rescue classes truly pay off.

    August 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Very funny Sam!

    August 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sam you're captioned photos are great! They started my day with some great laughs. (Check 'em out everyone, photos[masked]

    August 20, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Sam i too started the morning with a smile on my face after looking at your pictures. Thanks for sharing hope you're having a good week!!

      August 20, 2013

  • Doortje L.

    Yes, I agree with Corinne; we even had free comic entertainment while on the river! (Thanks Bob) The scenery never ceases to amaze me And such nice people!!! Thanks to all!

    August 18, 2013

  • Bob

    This is one trip where I never worry about having a gastronomic bonanza, but, as well as fine eating, the kayaking was stupendous as well, with apparently custom-made weather. We had an absolutely perfect day for kayaking, as the water was temperate (and crystal clear), there was no humidity, a slight breeze enveloped us, the sky was sunny, and it was warm yet not too hot. We began our journey in a Class II adventure on a big old yellow bus which brought us to the river for an 11-mile journey. We had it all: Flatwater relaxation, ripples over underwater walls to test our navigational skills, and whitewater excitement. We started just as the fog lifted over the Shenandoah and we headed north (while on most rivers we would have headed south). We did fine, and ate lunch cooked on a real mill saw along the river with a bountiful steak dinner at the outfitter's pavilion. We even had live entertainment during our dinner. It was a good day on the river with a great group of people.

    1 · August 18, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      It was a perfect day from the beginning to the end. We even had live comical entertainment on the water. (Thanks Bob). Fun group of people. Incredible scenery, organization,food . Thanks for this incredible day!

      1 · August 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thank you Bob for a wonderful day!

    August 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    What a great time. Thanks Bob for all your efforts.

    August 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thanks for organizing, Bob. Wonderful day all around!

    August 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    What a blast! Great time.

    August 18, 2013

  • David

    great fun!

    August 18, 2013

  • David

    The best weather ever! Thanks Bob for your leadership. Great to meet everyone!

    1 · August 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Awesome day!! Great food, great fun and great people!!

    August 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm really becoming a kayaking fan. Great day...

    August 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    What an absolutely fabulous day with a great group of people. Thanks especially, Bob, for making it happen!

    August 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Most excellent. A great trip, a great crowd and great fodder!

    August 17, 2013

  • Doug R.

    Hello - is anyone interested in car pooling from the West Falls Church, Dunn Loring, or Vienna Metro stations?

    All three are convenient to me, but we would nee to pick one. Please email me with your contact information and preference if any.

    Doug

    August 14, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Where are you? I've been at Vienna metro for 30 minutes and know if we don't leave soon we won't make it!!!

      August 17, 2013

  • Bob

    Folks - When you get there before 9 AM, drive all the way to the back of the property where the pavilion is (and where we will end up after the paddle for our steak dinner). Then walk up to the front where the office and buses are, sign in, get your wrist band, get your lifevest, get your paddle, and look fabulous until we are ready to go at 9 AM on our bus. SYOTR.

    August 16, 2013

  • Karen

    I've just been advised I have to work tomorrow - so I won't be attending. I've already paid - months ago. Not happy about having to miss this trip. But hope everyone else has a great time - have some fun for me!!

    August 16, 2013

    • Bob

      Karen - Sorry you can't make it! To advertize your space, go to Discussions, then Mailing List. Use that email address to write an email from your personal account to all the members, selling your spot. Give your own email address in the body of your email and reference this event therein. Good luck. - Bob

      August 16, 2013

  • Bob

    We are going swimming along the way, so you should dress for the water. And if it rains in the afternoon, folks can jump in the river so that they don't get wet from the rain. Bring a large water bottle because even though all the food and beverages are provided for at lunch and at dinner, while on the river, you will get thirsty, as it is a long paddle. Regarding clothing, I am wearing sandals and shorts and that is it (along with a lifevest and sunglasses, of course). At Compton's Rapid, we should see some Class II action; it is very important that we go through it one at a time and that all your gear is secured in your boat. The plan is for me to go first and stay there with throw ropes. More will be said about this during our trip when we can see what the river looks like (I plan to scout it before the trip).

    August 16, 2013

  • Bob

    Right now, the river prediction for this area on Saturday is for 1.5' and 0.9 kcfs, which makes it low and slow to the layman. As is the case every day, there a chance for precipitation, so please plan accordingly in your dress. Wear sandals and what you would wear for swimming, so that way you are not waterlogged with clothes (i.e., cotton is the worst).

    August 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm not able to attend the trip this time around. Must cancel. Have fun everyone!

    August 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Anyone interested in carpooling together from Alexandria, Arlington or Springfield area?

    August 6, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I did send an email, thanks bob

      August 14, 2013

    • Bob

      But if this ends, then what we do for entertainment?

      2 · August 14, 2013

  • Bob

    Right now, for Saturday it is predicted to be 74 degrees air temperature and 74 degrees water temperature. The river level will be assessed as the event date is closer.

    August 14, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Question- if I sign up now(late) will I be able to get a campsite or pay someone a fellow meetup " for use of their real estate?

    August 13, 2013

    • Bob

      The only one whom I know is going camping is Steve (see his comment below). I would send him an email and see if it can be worked out.

      August 13, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Annmarie - you are welcome to share our site. Email me if you want to join us and we can work the logistics 'offline'. We are camping both Friday and Saturday evenings.

      1 · August 14, 2013

  • Bob

    Folks - If you want to bring your own boat, call Nancy for a shuttle reservation. But remember that the outfitter is not responsible for any damages to the boat.

    August 13, 2013

  • Bob

    Folks - Instead of using the online option (that shuts off new reservations when it is less than one week before an event) call Nancy by telephone and reserve with her. She is at[masked] or 800-6CANOE2.

    August 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Looks I am going to be camping with my girlfriend Patti, still deciding on whether 1 or 2 nights. Anyone else camping? If so, which night(s)? We will bring stuff for smores and need to know how much extra to bring....

    1 · July 31, 2013

    • Bob

      Folks - The camping option that Steve is doing is excellent as the cabins and tent sites there are really nice.

      August 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    So I called today and they said there were still 13 boats, however the site won't let me reserve or open the trip up. Is it closed?

    August 12, 2013

    • Bob

      Call Nancy and reserve by telephone. She supersedes the web site (that is erroneous as it is date-sensitive since when it is less than one week before the event it closes).

      August 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    apparently all the kayaks are reserved, as the trip does not come up on the reservation website.

    August 12, 2013

    • Bob

      Call Nancy; there are three kayaks there still.

      August 12, 2013

  • Bob

    Folks - Corinne just checked with the outfitter, and after she is done reserving her vessel there will be 5 kayaks left in the entire inventory. (Thank you, Corinne.) Once these kayaks are gone, they are no other boats available.

    August 8, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Bob so when I called they said 6 were left but when I reserved mine online it said there were 16 spots available. Maybe they didn't realize I was part of the group or the accent got in the way ;)

      August 8, 2013

    • Bob

      That is interesting! They may be counting canoes and logs as well...... I will talk with Nancy later to make sure you are with us. The important part, however, is that you got a kayak, as they will all be gone soon.

      August 8, 2013

  • Bob

    There are still some rentals available. Please call Nancy at Shenandoah River Outfitters at[masked] or 800-6CANOE2.

    August 7, 2013

  • Bob

    Folks - If any of you want to bring your own boats and simply pay for the shuttle and meals, that is fine.

    August 6, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I assume we would just contact the outfitter to adjust this if we already paid but have our own kayaks to use - correct?

      August 6, 2013

    • Bob

      You have to reserve a spot on the shuttle for your own kayak ahead of time. Know that the outfitter is not responsible for damages to private boats.

      August 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Anyone from Maryland interested in carpooling? I'm looking forward to the kayaking but the 5-hour plus round trip from Baltimore has me daunted. I could easily pick up or meet anyone located along I95 or BW parkway to the Wash. beltway or around the beltway (Silver spring, etc.) to Rt. 66 in Va. Email me if interested.

    August 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Waaaa! I've had to cancel. Already went through the outfitters for my refund. Enjoy!

    August 2, 2013

  • raaj

    Well.I cant make it as i have an unexpected out of state trip.
    If any one interested in my spot,please email me "[masked]".
    sorry to miss this trip:(

    July 30, 2013

    • Bob

      You may have better luck writing to those not going rather than to those already going...... Use the format in the previously sent emails. At the top, go to Discussions and then Mailing List.

      July 30, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    This is going to so much fun!

    July 20, 2013

  • Bob

    Folks - Please remember that once the boats are all rented, then that is it. We are not bringing our personal kayaks to this trip. If you know you are going, reserve now.

    June 19, 2013

  • Bob

    I have added the electronic sign up capability so that way you do not have to use the telephone to reserve a kayak. Look at the activity narrative above and follow the directions.

    June 18, 2013

  • Bob

    The reason it is wiser to use the outfitter's boats and provide the actual shuttle is that the put-in spot may vary based on river levels. I own several boats, but on this particular trip I defer to the outfitter to provide everything - even the food and the cooks.

    June 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Wow, very convincing... I am in

    1 · June 17, 2013

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Katie, started NYC ICO

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