This will be a fall paddle. However, it is being held at the end of the warm water paddling season.
Last year on this same date, the water temperature was 72 degrees. After this date, we begin what is referred to as the cold water paddling season.
We will assemble at the boat ramp at 1 PM, leave on the water at 2 PM, and get to Barron's Store on the river at 4 PM for ice cream (and soda, candy, or whatever else your sweet tooth craves).
The sunset is predicted to occur at approximately 7 PM on this date. We are planning to finish the paddle by sunset.
The real reason people paddle on the Upper Potomac River is for the ice cream
This trip will be 8 miles long, and the put in will be the same as the take out. That is, there is no shuttle on this trip. Plus, we will have ice cream at the halfway point when we reach Snyder's Landing. That's right; we will visit the only ice cream store that is on the Potomac River and it will stay open up for us. The owners will join us in their canoe on our adventure back to Shepherdstown. Bring cash for the ice cream (and for any other item you wish to purchase there).
Here is the map of our adventure:
Shepherdstown to Snyder's Landing, Eight Miles Round Trip
This is a paddle in a calm area and in shallow waters, so it will be a refreshing change from our open, deep water trips.
At our last paddle at this location, we saw strange objects floating on the water, some of them resembling human heads - it must be a West Virgina thing
Here are two of our members heading down the river at a prior paddle on the Upper Potomac River
We will paddle upriver for 4 miles, have a dinner (and ice cream) break, and then paddle downriver for 4 miles. It will take much less time and effort to do this shuttle-less trip, as the shuttles tend to be as long as the actual paddle. Guests and teens are welcome. This trip is appropriate for first-timers.
Some of our paddlers prefer to use tandem kayaks, and it is important that paddlers work together on such boats
Remember that for this trip you have to either provide your own boat and gear or rent it from Pedal and Paddle in Shepherdstown. Naturally, you provide your own food and water for the midpoint dinner.
For those of you who own kayaks, when you arrive, bring your boat and gear down to the boat ramp, and then go to park your vehicle.
Those of you renting boats, go to the outfitter and finish the paperwork and then return to the boat ramp. The outfitter is a short walking distance from the boat ramp and our parking lot.
Our paddlers like to make a bright fashion statement - and not too many outfits have electrical charges going through them
Here are the directions for the trip's meeting point: From Frederick, take Rt. 340 West (which will take you from MD through VA for a spell and finally into WV over the Potomac and the Shenandoah Rivers), then turn right at Rt. 230, then go over Rattlesnake Run Creek into Shepherdstown, then turn right on North Princess Street, and go until it ends. You are on the city-owned public boat ramp. Park therein.
Since the boat ramp cannot accommodate an unlimited number of vehicles, if you do not find a parking spot at the boat ramp, our parking location will be the Shepherd University parking lot at East High and North Princess Streets (Parking Lot "A") that you passed on the way to the boat ramp. If anyone has questions, please email me directly.
THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO ALCOHOL ALLOWED ON THIS TRIP AND ALL ATTENDEES MUST WEAR A LIFE VEST AT ALL TIMES WHILE ON THE RIVER.
Even the most sophisticated of food critics will approve of the ice cream flavors available at Barron's - and one can even ring the bell for seconds
Regardless of the source of your vessel, whether one's own or rented, each of us needs to bring: A boat, a paddle, a PFD, and any other gear. Also, in a waterproof container, bring food and water. Bring a full meal, not just a snack, as it will be a long day's journey into the evening. And, of course, bring cash for the ice cream.
The sunset is predicted to be at 7:00 PM on this date. The plan is to make it back to the boat ramp from where we originated by the time the sun sets.
Here are two happy paddlers on the way to the ice cream stop at our last paddle
This would be a safe paddle, appropriate for beginners, teens, and adults. Note, however, that this is a paddle rather than a float, as we will be heading upstream for the first 4 miles. The flatwater paddle would be a total of 8 miles.
While the entire paddle will take place in Maryland, since the Potomac River is owned by that state, we would park in West Virginia and put in on the West Virginia side of the river. The dinner break will be on the Maryland side of the river. The Shepherdstown police will make parking spots available to us that are close to the take out if parking is an issue.
During our adventure on the People's River, when we have our dinner and ice cream stop, it is of the utmost importance that we tell embellished stories and trade somewhat true experiences and share mostly factual events and impart historical facts that may have even happened.
Here is another of our past paddlers from the last ice cream paddle that we had
So, you will need a kayak, a paddle, and a PFD. Also, bring real food (not rodent kibbles) and plenty of water.
For those who do not own boats and gear, contact the Shepherdstown Pedal and Paddle for a rental and mention my name and this trip:
If the web site is down, just call them at: (304)[masked]
The rental prices for the entire day are: Single kayaks for $45.00 each, and tandems or canoes for $55.00 each for the day. Pay the outfitter by credit card before the paddle.
The boat drop off and pick up at the boat ramp is $20 per rental boat. Bring $20 cash for the boat transport.
Eddie, the owner of Pedal and Paddle, who is also a pro biker, is thoroughly aware of our adventure, and he is always supportive of our kayak trips. He is both athletic and a supporter, so that makes him, well, special.
Tonight is the full moon, the Full Harvest Moon
As well as ice cream, coffee is available for those who like to keep awake
Again, you would have to obtain and bring your boat and gear to the meeting location that is close to the take-out, either your own or a rented. Some of the Potomac River Paddlers (who are also members of this Meetup group) are attending this adventure, so there will be support and assistance for first-timers.
Here are our paddlers at our last paddle in this location
This is a flatwater trip with no rapids, appropriate for newbies, comprising 8 miles total. I will scout the river before the trip to ascertain any issues we may be faced with. Write to me directly if you have specific questions. Naturally, safe weather and good river conditions are needed for the trip, since paddler safety is the prime priority; therefore, I will notify all attendees on the day before the trip by 9 PM if there are any changes to our plans. SYOTR.
When the sun sets on the Potomac River, its mesmerizing beauty heals one's soul. I took this photo on a prior paddle at our dinner stop
There is a Sheetz at 8332 Martinsburg Pike in Shepherdstown, but you have to drive there. You can get fuel, food, and beverages therein, and it is always open.
Pedal and Paddle is located at 115 West German Street, only a couple of blocks from our parking lot, so it is a convenient walk there from the parking lot. There is no parking at the shop, so you would want to walk there.
Always dress for the water rather than the air. Bring clothes appropriate for the river, and wear water shoes or sandals with a back ankle strap. A pack of baby wipes and some ziplock bags would be practical, especially for the ladies, as the only port-a-pots are at Snyder's Landing.
We will have ample assistance with one's boat and gear - and we may even engage in the riddle of how many kayakers does it take to unload a kayak
For information on kayaking and particularly about safely paddling the Upper Potomac River, please get a Yahoo ID, join this (free) group, and look at the documents in the Files section:
Here is the weather prediction for our location:
What to bring:
- A dry change of clothes that can be left in your vehicle
- A towel to dry or sit on
- Suntan lotion
- Eyeglass retainer or strap
- Plenty of water, as it is very important to be properly hydrated on our trip
- Food in a cooler or sack for the paddle, since it will be a long trip
- Cash for the ice cream or for any other snacks
What to wear:
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me directly by email.
Here is our put in and take out at river right; you will see the lights over the bridge from a distance
Guess who else used our boat ramp on the way to Antietam 150 years ago?