One finds healing on the river at night.
On the night of our paddle, there will be a phased full moon, so we will have a unique river trip. We will head out to West Virginia for a river trip, on the most scenic and historical stretch of the Potomac River. It will begin and end at the oldest city in West Virginia, Shepherdstown.
This trip will be 8 miles, and the put in will be the same as the take out. That is, there is no shuttle on this trip. Each of us is to bring food and water in a collapsible container for a late dinner at the halfway point. Plus, we will have ice cream at the halfway point at Barron's Store when we reach Snyder's Landing. This is the only ice cream store on the Potomac River and it will be open up for us; after we eat, the owners will join us in their canoe on our adventure back to Shepherdstown. Bring cash for the ice cream and soda and whatever else you may want to obtain there. But make sure you bring your meal in a collapsible bag as well.
Here is the map of our adventure:
Shepherdstown to Snyder's Landing, Eight Miles Round Trip
Here are two of our members heading down the river at our last full moon paddle
We will paddle upriver for 4 miles, have a dinner break, and then paddle downriver for 4 miles. It will take much less time and effort to do this shuttle-less trip, as the shuttle tends to be as long as the actual paddle. Guests and teens are welcome.
Some of us chose to use a tandem kayak at a prior full moon paddle
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.
When you arrive, bring your boat and gear down to the boat ramp, and then go to park your vehicle.
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.
THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO ALCOHOL ALLOWED ON THIS TRIP AND ALL ATTENDEES MUST WEAR A LIFE VEST AT ALL TIMES WHILE ON THE RIVER.
Your food will be examined and tasted - all for your own good, naturally
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 night.
The sunset is predicted to be at about 8 PM on this date. This full moon is called the Full Sturgeon Moon, and its name was important to Indian tribes, as those large fish were readily caught during this time. Other tribes called it the Full Red Moon due to its reddish hue as it rises.
The full moon appears East to West over the People's River
This would be a unique 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 8 miles long, and the moon would come over the Blue Ridge Mountains at our halfway point. While dusk on the river occurs before the actual sunset, the sunset on this night is predicted to be at approximately 8 PM. If you have to rush, and you feel compelled to repeatedly ask when are we getting back, this is not the right trip for you, and you should consider another activity.
The photos of the kayakers on this page were taken on our prior full moon paddle, right before darkness became visible.
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 Shepherdstown police will make parking spots available to us close to the take out.
During our adventure on the People's River, 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 we are at our last full moon paddle, as the sun is about to set
Some associate this full moon with lycanthropy, and the Mothman Prophecies are a part of this area, so the full moon has much to do with many legends. For us, though, it will be the guiding beacon in the sky, the full moon that a mariner would travel under and use as a compass. We are not using artificial lights on this trip when darkness falls; just the moon and the stars. That's right. On the downstream part of the trip you will see silhouettes of others and that is it. You would lose your night vision if you had a bright light around you. Even if it is nebulous out, we can still do it, as we have in the past, using the reflected natural light and traveling by listening to the paddle strokes of the other boats. On our last full moon paddle, we had fish jump into our boats, and that provided added entertainment. Folks can learn much about nature this way, and about themselves. One will learn about team work, and about trusting others. And also about trusting oneself. You will need a kayak, a paddle, and a PFD. Also, bring real food (not rodent kibbles) and plenty of water. You can bring a light to store inside your boat in case you need it to find something therein, but do not keep it on at all times or use a headlamp whereby you blind everyone you look at. Again, the objective is to maintain your night vision. And mine. If someone blinds me, that person becomes very wet.
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. 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. Of course, if you own a kayak, that is great, and you do not have to worry about renting. But if you need to rent a kayak, here is the outfitter's web site:
If the web site is down, just call them at: (304)[masked]
Remember that your paying by credit card now reserves the kayak, paddle, and PFD, as well as having the kayak, paddle, and PFD brought to (as well as picked up from) the boat ramp. When you call to reserve your boat, pay for it as well. Just telling your neighbor that you called someone for a boat or writing in the comments that you had a dream of having a boat just won't cut it.
Eddie, the owner of Pedal and Paddle, is thoroughly aware of our adventure, and he is always there for our kayak trips. He is both athletic and a supporter, so, combining those two qualities, makes him, well, special.
The rental prices as of this writing for the entire day are: Single kayaks for $65.00 each, and tandems or canoes for $105.00 each for the day. This includes the boat drop off and pick up at the boat ramp. Please pay the outfitter by credit card before the day of the paddle.
To be a survivalist, always keep an eye on any paddlers who have wild animals tracks all over their body and who wear pirate bandanas
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 one. Some of the Potomac River Paddlers (who are also members of this Meetup group) are attending this adventure, and the local store owners who have shops along the river will be sliding their canoes in the water as we paddle along and they will join us as well. Of course, a profile photo is required for identification and safety purposes. Moreover, all attendees are to answer the question that will appear when they RSVP so that I know their skill level and what type of boat they are bringing.
Here are our paddlers on a prior full moon paddle.
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. We will not be back at Shepherdstown until 11 PM or more likely later, especially if paddlers join us along the way, as has happened before, or if the ever-changing river conditions dictate our speed differently than planned, or if someone tries to find out if God exists along the way. This is not a race, but an educational as well as a recreational kayaking trip. Shepherdstown has all night coffee shops as well, and you can get fresh coffee as well as a meal there. 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.
I took this photo on a prior paddle, as we finished our dinner and headed out on the river - folks were mesmerized by the natural beauty
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 wise to walk there from the parking lot. There will be no parking anywhere else.
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 at the halfway point.
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:
Please print, read, and bring this document with you:
Our Full Moon Adventure On The People's River
Here is the weather prediction for our location:
Here is a map of the area showing the parking lot at East High and North Princess Streets:
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?