Kayak Picnic and 4th of July Fireworks on the Water

 

Fireworks start at dark, usually around 9:15 pm and are launched from the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool --- lighting up the sky over the Washington Monument.

 

We will launch from two locations, Key Bridge Boathouse and Gravelly Point, paddle from there down river or up river, and moor opposite the Lincoln Memorial along Roosevelt Island. From there we will watch the fireworks from our boats and enjoy the food and drink that we all bring. Map is posted below and is useful for those that arrive later and don't paddle with the group.

To view a larger version of the map, click this link:

http://files.meetup.com/317560/fireworks_paddle_route.png

Key Bridge Boathouse group:

Patricia will lead the group paddling from the Key Bridge Boathouse (formerly Jack's Boathouse, where she keeps her kayak). This group will depart there between 6:45 - 7:00 PM and paddle together to Roosevelt Island. Please let her know if you are paddling from there and plan to meet her at 6:45 PM. She will wait within reason for you before launching the boats and heading to Roosevelt Island.

Gravelly Point group:

Dave will lead the group paddling from the Gravelly Point. The vehicle entrance to Gravelly Point will likely become congested so you should plan to arrive no later than 5:00 PM. This group will depart  between 5:45 - 6:00 PM and paddle together to Roosevelt Island. Please let Dave know if you are paddling from there and plan to meet him at 5:45 PM. He will wait within reason for you before launching the boats and heading to Roosevelt Island.

Paddling Group Assistants Needed:

We are looking for a couple experienced kayakers to assist Patricia and I leading the two groups. If you would like to volunteer, please either email or call Patricia and let her know who you are and what location you will be launching from. Her number is[masked]-2834.

Additional Details:

  • We will establish “Buddy Clusters” of kayaks. Members of each cluster will keep an eye on their fellow members so we can keep track of each other for safety and in case anyone needs assistance.
  • Be sure you have a piece of rope or bungee cord to tie to your fellow paddler's craft so we can form the flotilla and a light to strap on your boat as well as a headlamp.
  • When the fireworks end there can be a lot of large boat traffic on the water and you need to abide by the rules of the water, have your lights, and stay toward the edge.
  • You will need to provide your own kayak. If you do not own a kayak you will have to rent or borrow.
  • A life jacket is required. A light strapped to the boat and headlamp are also necessities.
  • Please post what food and drink you plan to bring to share with others. We will post additional details regarding the picnic later.
  • Alcohol is not allowed on Gravelly Point. You may or may not be asked to allow your vehicle to be inspected when you enter Gravelly Point. One option would be to give someone in the Key Bridge Boathouse group your alcohol prior to that evening and have them transport it to Roosevelt Island on your behalf.
  • Harbor Police will be out attempting to keep order.
  • Insecticide is a good idea.
  • Last year some folks jumped right in the river following the fireworks. You know who you are!

Kayak Rental Info:

Key Bridge Boathouse (formerly Jack's Boathouse)

http://keybridgeboathouse.com/classes-tours.html
(202)[masked]
Evening rental period: 6:30pm - 11:30pm
Single kayak - $70
Double kayak - $100 (SOLD OUT)
Stand-up paddleboard - $85

Canoe - $145 (SOLD OUT)

If you rent a kayak from Key Bridge Boathouse, look for Patricia at 6:45 PM and paddle over to the south end of Roosevelt Island with the group that she is leading.

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  • Betta

    I didn't get hold of the group as I left later (tried calling and left message), but I had a great time! especially later when things got quiet and I could see the fireflies.

    1 · July 5, 2013

    • Dave

      My apologies for the mixup with Gravelly Point. Also for not responding to the attempts to contact me. My phone was buried in my kayak and I didn't see the missed calls until after the event was over.

      July 7, 2013

  • Osiris

    Dave, thank you very much for planning this trip. It was more than I expected and you guys are super !! Enjoyed every minute. Thanks!

    July 6, 2013

    • Dave

      Patricia deserves ALL of the credit. She did all of the planning and provided much in the way of food and tableware. I only planned to act as the Gravelly Point coordinator and wasn't even able to do that due to the early closure of that location.

      2 · July 7, 2013

  • patricia z.

    Thank you all for making this an EXTRAORDINARY way to celebrate the 4th of July and for all the great picnic goodies we enjoyed. A special thanks to Dave, my co-host, for the all his work, for providing the extra kayaks ..... and for the watermelon slices and brie cheese! WOW. Stay tuned for next year's 2nd Annual Washington Backpackers Kayak Picnic and 4th of July Fireworks on the Water.

    July 6, 2013

    • Osiris

      Patricia thank you very much for all your help and guidance, was a great pleasure to meet you!

      1 · July 6, 2013

  • Osiris

    Excellent experience!! One of the most fun trip I have had.

    July 6, 2013

  • Alex L.

    Fantastic time, great people, awsome food, and beautifule show on the water

    1 · July 5, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    thanks patricia and dave for planning this! so glad i finally got to do it.

    1 · July 4, 2013

  • patricia z.

    REMINDER: I am bringing plenty of paper plates, napkins, plastic glasses for everyone, cork screw, church key ...as well as some wine and a few things to pass around.

    July 4, 2013

    • Osiris

      Hi Patricia we are in the KBB, im wearing a orange tshirt and kaki bermudas. :)

      July 4, 2013

    • Betta

      Hi Patricia, I'll probably be there in 1 hr or so, so I'll paddle directly to TR island and try to find you there. not sure what color my kayak will be (renting), but I'll give you a call. cheers!

      July 4, 2013

  • patricia z.

    Just heard from Dave and apparently parking is full at Gravelly Point. If you were planning to meet him there call him first. He may have to head someplace else to park and be unable to launch from there. His mobile number is[masked]

    1 · July 4, 2013

  • Alex L.

    Patricia, do we know for sure how many people are coming and if everybody updated their rsvp? I'm trying to figure out how much food to make

    July 4, 2013

    • patricia z.

      Yes. Also I have an extra headlamp I will bring

      July 4, 2013

    • Alex L.

      Great, thank you!

      July 4, 2013

  • Tony C

    sorry I waited to the last minute and could not rent a boat. have fun!!!!

    July 4, 2013

  • Tony C

    looking forward to meeting all.

    July 4, 2013

  • Osiris

    Hi Alex, I'm in Patricia's group, I'm going with my husband in individual kayaks, we are bringing hummus, pita, salami, cheese and wine. We will go by car from Bethesda leaving home at 4:30 so we will have time to find parking, walk to KBB and get the Kayaks. Thanks.

    1 · July 4, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I just found this! I would love to join!

    1 · July 4, 2013

  • Yvonne

    Patricia, me and two girlfriends will meet you at key boat house in a red inflatable ducky. We'll be paddling in from up river. Thanks for organizing. Yvonne

    1 · July 4, 2013

  • Jeff

    I wasn't able to book a single kayak on the Key Bridge site. Just wondering..does anyone have an extra or want to get a double?

    July 4, 2013

  • Hollis

    It's looking very unlikely that I will make it.

    July 4, 2013

  • Alison

    don't know why the system won't let me sign up. there will be 2 of us.

    1 · July 4, 2013

  • Alison

    from Gravelly Point. 1 red and 1 blue kayak on a Matrix. will be there early. bringing cookies.

    1 · July 4, 2013

  • Deborah E. G.

    I'm changing from bringing fruit to bringing an assortment of veggies, fyi.

    1 · July 4, 2013

  • Deborah E. G.

    I will bring some fresh fruit, possibly some kind of interesting appetizer, too.

    1 · July 3, 2013

  • Alex L.

    I havent decided quite what to bring yet but I am thinking some Fried Chicken(prob cold by the time we eat it) and maybe a desert but I will have to see. For adult beverages, does anyone have a preference? Ill be metroing down to Key Bridge unless anyone would have room in their car, please let me know if you do and maybe we can work something out, much appreciated!

    1 · July 3, 2013

    • Ashley

      Alex-I'm leaving from DuPont Circle area via car if you need a lift.

      1 · July 3, 2013

    • Betta

      thanks for thinking of food! I'll try to bring chocolate. just a note that if we are passing food around, bring hand sanitizer and/or utensils. you don't want to touch your mouth after touching Potomac sewage..I mean water.

      1 · July 3, 2013

  • Shelley

    If I can find a way to get there I will attend.

    1 · July 3, 2013

  • Hollis

    Please respond to this post with what location you plan to launch from (Gravelly Point, Key Bridge Boathouse, or other), so people know who to look out for before putting on the river.

    1 · July 2, 2013

    • Molly

      Paddling from Key Bridge Boathouse!

      1 · July 3, 2013

    • Betta

      Key bridge with single rental, woot!

      1 · July 3, 2013

  • Alex L.

    I am also interested but will have to look into renting a canoe, anybody want to go in on a double? I saw mentions of tents, is everyone camping there?

    July 1, 2013

    • Hollis

      You can make reservations online - that way you don't have to worry about busy signals. Double are sold out, but singles and SUPs still available. http://keybridgeboath...­

      July 2, 2013

    • Alex L.

      Thanks for the information Hollis, im booked now!

      July 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I would prefer to launch from Key Bridge due to less large boat traffic. Has anyone asked the boathouse if they will allow launch of private boats not stored there and if so the fee?

    July 2, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I just called...yes for only $5

      July 2, 2013

  • Aileen

    Thought I'd be able to borrow or rent a double. Neither is looking likely right now so my attendance is tentative.

    July 2, 2013

  • Hollis

    FYI...High tide is at 6:31pm for DC.

    1 · July 2, 2013

  • Timothy

    Paddling from Key at 6:30pm

    1 · July 2, 2013

  • patricia z.

    I will bring a couple bottles of wine, plastic glasses, paper napkins, small paper plates, sliced cheeses and sliced meats, and some crackers or sliced French bread. Perhaps something sweet if I end up with time to bake. Perhaps cupcakes.
    AND a couple large garbage bags!

    July 2, 2013

  • Osiris

    Ok. We got single kayaks ( no doubles anymore), now what about the picnic stuff? Any details? =) any sugestiona of what to bring ?

    1 · July 2, 2013

    • patricia z.

      Any traditional or untraditional picnic food; cold fried chicken, small sandwiches, watermelon slices, grapes, cheese, vegetables, brownies, cookies, other munchies able to be passed easily from boat-to-boat. Folks departing from Gravely Point may get "adult beverages" confiscated by the National Park Service, if they see them. That suggests that folks departing from Key Bridge Boathouse and other locations bring enough to share.

      1 · July 2, 2013

  • patricia z.

    Other years the kayaks at the boathouse have SOLD OUT early so if you want one, act fast.

    July 2, 2013

  • Dave

    I am a bit surprised that Key Bridge Boathouse is sold out for the evening rental period on July 4th since they had 25 single kayaks and 25 double kayaks still available as of about 1PM today. Perhaps there was a run on kayaks between the time I called and this afternoon when someone was told they were sold out. It could be they *are* sold out for the daytime rental session. Be sure to let them know you want to pick the kayak up at 6:30PM (the start of the evening rental session).

    1 · July 1, 2013

    • Aileen

      I think there's been a miscommunication. I went on their website and reservations are being accepted for 7/4 eve.

      1 · July 1, 2013

  • Ashley

    I booked a single kayak from Key Bridge Boat House. Are there any other folks renting that would like to paddle over towards Roosevelt Island together?

    1 · July 1, 2013

  • Osiris

    Any suggestion for any other rental places are welcome we really would like to go =/ ! Thanks!

    July 1, 2013

  • Molly

    My sister tried to book us a double kayak this afternoon and they were already SOLD OUT! Any suggestions for other rental places or should we book singles? :/

    July 1, 2013

  • Molly

    I'll be bringing my little sister with me and we'll be renting a double kayak from the Key Bridge Boathouse. We each have a headlamp but what kind of light exactly should we get to strap onto the kayak?

    July 1, 2013

  • Dave

    The event description now includes Information for one kayak rental option.

    July 1, 2013

    • patricia z.

      Thank you Dave for posting on rentals. Other years they have sold out early but this is a different operator. Keep and eye on the weather.

      1 · July 1, 2013

    • Dave

      When I spoke with the operator earlier today, they still had 25 single kayaks, 25 double kayaks, and 12 SUPs available. They did say it would be best to reserve soon.

      1 · July 1, 2013

  • Betta

    how many people can we cram on a double or SUP?? ;) I'm kinda serious...

    July 1, 2013

  • Deborah E. G.

    My mention of a "tent" was a typo! I typed too fast (or had camping on my mind). Has anyone actually arranged to rent yet? Have to make arrangements. Canoe is a possibility.

    July 1, 2013

  • Aileen

    Look forward to going if i figure out a rental :)

    July 1, 2013

  • Peter

    I would need to rent a kayak. Only did once for kayaking...

    June 30, 2013

  • Deborah E. G.

    I need to tent, too. I don't mind getting my own. Perhaps we could rent from the same outfitter; someone told me kayak co.s will bring kayaks to launch point. Have to investigate. . . Debbie

    June 29, 2013

  • Osiris

    Hi my Husband and I would like to joining, but we need to rent a double Kayak, can somebody suggest where can I rent one for overnight? Thanks

    June 29, 2013

  • Meghan H.

    I would also like to do this, but I would need to rent a kayak. Anyone want to go in together to rent a double?

    Where are good kayak rental places?

    June 29, 2013

    • Ashley

      I'd be up for renting a kayak together.

      June 29, 2013

  • patricia z.

    We will be paddling out to watch the fireworks from the water. We tie the boats together in a floatilla and bring out everyone's picnic stuff to spread on the deck of the kayaks and pass around, including beverages.

    June 23, 2013

  • Jaime

    Are you guys paddling out to watch the fireworks or watching after kayaking?

    1 · June 21, 2013

  • Molly

    This sounds like a blast. I will need to rent or borrow a kayak.

    1 · June 20, 2013

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