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MATTAWOMAN CREEK: American Lotuses, Green Tree Frogs & More

  • Jul 19, 2014 · 9:30 AM
  • This location is shown only to members

NOTE: Until further notice, RSVPs (18) are now closed.  This includes any new additions to the Waiting List Roster (13). Please DO NOT add your name to the 'Waiting List' at this time, if it doesn't already appear.

Photo 1: American Lotuses at Mattawoman Creek

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- SPECIAL UPDATE 1Field Lecture with Jim Long, Mattawoman Watershed Society (10am: Mattingly Park) . Jim has kindly offered to share his expertise on the ecology and history of the Mattawoman Creek Watershed with a 30 minute educational discussion/lecture. :)  The lecture will begin on-site at 10am. Please be sure to be have your kayak/gear ready before 10am.

- SPECIAL UPDATE 2:  2 Paddle Groups are being planned (Group 1:  Shelter Water 8'miler; Group 2: Open Water 15'miler) . WKC organizers (w/Andy, Marc, Randi) are currently working on a plan to accommodate as many members as possible to attend this event.  For now, it would only be limited to those who've already RSVP'd (18) and to those who are on the 'Current' Waiting List (13). RSVPs will be closed until we finalize the plan.  Please DO NOT RSVP at this time.

Tentatively, we plan to split into two paddling groups: 

    1. The Mattawoman Explorers Group (MEGs): an 8-10 Miler from Mattingly Park, MD). This group will include special educational prep session with MWS.

    2. The  Potomac Expedition Group (PEGs): a 15 Miler from Leesylvania State Park, VA)• .  The organizer for the PEGs will post the venue details, later this week.

The MEGs will paddle mostly sheltered waters, but may still paddle to Smallwood Park in the first leg (high boat traffic).  We'll return during high tide to paddle upstream in more 'sheltered' waters to explore Mattawoman Creek's wildlife and lotus fields. The PEGs will paddle in more open water from VA with a crossing of the Potomac to Mattingly Park for lunch (note: this is for experienced, long distance paddlers only).  The PEGs will likely miss the special talk by Jim Long with the Mattawoman Watershed Society, however we're working with MWS on this, too.

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Trip Description:

The month of July month features a special blooming of the yellow lotuses at Mattawoman Creek, which boasts the largest field of American Lotuses along the western side of the Chesapeake Bay. There are only 4 such fields along the Chesapeake Bay Basin (the other 3 are located on the Eastern shore).

Photo 2:  Mattawoman Creek translates as, "Where one paddles pleasantly"; or in this case, where one wears lotus leaves pleasantly" ;)

'Mattawoman' translates as 'Where one goes pleasantly" by our Native Americans. During this exploration, I'll share some special knowledge about these plants, and hopefully we'll gain some hand-ons experience on how these plants were used as a summer harvest crop by Native Americans.

Photo 3: An American Bald Eagle poses atop Mattawoman Creek;

Mattawoman also boasts itself as"the most productive spawning ground for migratory fish" (shad and bass), throughout the Chesapeake Bay by the DNR.

But it's a special place that always presents opportunities to view wildlife, including numerous Great Egrets, herons, wood ducks, bald eagles, ospreys, beavers, tree swallows, hawks and even Kermit the frog ...

Photo 4: An American Tree Frog poses atop the Chesapeake Oriole (my kayak deck)

Directions:

One can travel 'pleasantly' to Mattawoman in less than 1 hour's drive from Washington, DC to Indian Head, MD.  It's ~20 miles south of National Harbor at the end of Rt-210.  Make a left onto Mattingly Ave, which is the last road on left before the gates into the Naval Base.

        For GoogleMap, click here.

Trip Route: 2 Rountrip Legs

-  1st leg Downstream: 6.5 miles RT: Mattingly Park to Ft Smallwood Park   (10:30-1:30pm)

    Note: : Lunch at Fort Smallwood Park (~12:30-1:00pm) - Concession Stand/Cafe on premises, including ice cream, burgers and hot dogs. :)

-  2nd leg Upstream: 4 miles RT: Mattingly Park to Lotus fields (1:30-3:30pm)

Trip Specs:

- 15 paddlers total (recs, touring, sea kayak; must maintain a minimum[masked] mph - pace)

- Trip Time: 10:30am -3:30pm ; extended trip possible

- Total Trip Length: ~8-12 miles RT.

Weather forecast: Indian Head, MD

Summer weather in July at Maryland often spawns afternoon T-storms, and there's a chance that we'll switch or cancel one of the trip legs.

Tides:

- High Tide:[masked]: Sat, 2:30 PM EDT

- Low Tide:[masked]:  Sat, 8:00 PM EDT

Other comments:

- PFDs must be worn at all times

- Please pack a lunch/drinks/water

- Wide brim hat/suntan lotion

- Bring binoculars/waterproof camera/bug spray, too.

Special Notes:

- Single & Tandem Kayak Rentals are available on-site by 'Up The Creek' Rentals.

- For details, please visit:  <a>http://www.upthecreekrentals.net/Rental-Rates.html</a> (Reservations are recommended, please call ahead.)

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  • Susan L.

    DJ - I just saw on my Facebook page your photo on Adventure Kayak Magazine Daily Photo! Another great photographer capture! Very cool.

    2 · August 15, 2014

    • DJ-2011

      Thanks, I just saw it, too! :)

      August 15, 2014

  • DJ-2011

    Thanks everyone for making this a very easy and pleasant trip,.. esp for the MEGs! It doesn't really get better than circling young ospreys squawking overhead, great white egrets, green herons (including one tiny American green tree frog); great weather in the mid-80's, clean freshwater for paddling and a nicely sunny afternoon during our lotus bloom exploration to explode the colors at Mattwoman. And to cap it off, ... Good Humor Ice Cream bars for just $1.35 each at Smallwood Marina Cafe! ;)

    1 · July 20, 2014

  • Susan L.

    Thanks everyone for making this a fun and beautiful paddle - and thanks for all the great photos!

    1 · July 20, 2014

  • James K.

    Thanks for letting me hang with you guys even though I was no RSVP'd. Had a great time. Feel free to tag the photos I uploaded. What a fun day and great company.

    1 · July 20, 2014

    • DJ-2011

      Actually, thanks for being the 'Super Sweep', and fixing Audrey's rudder. MEGs and PEGs, allow me to give a plug for 'James 24 Hour Emergency Kayak & Tow Service." ;)

      July 20, 2014

  • Gary R.

    Clearly I have fat thumbs. Thanks also to Randi.

    1 · July 20, 2014

  • Marc

    Here's the Facebook is the Mattawoman Watershed Society: https://m.facebook.com/MattawomanWatershedSociety.

    1 · July 20, 2014

  • Gary R.

    Thanks DJ Tandi Kat for an excellent and informative trip. Looking forward to more outings.

    2 · July 19, 2014

  • Scott

    DJ/Randi - Laurie is still fighting something. Been going on all week. Was hoping it would be better by now but no luck. Sorry for the late drop but we were holding out hope to still be able to get on the water.

    1 · July 19, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry for the late notice but something came up last minute

    1 · July 18, 2014

  • DJ-2011

    Sorry for the late notice, but is there anyone who RSVP'd planning to rent a kayak?

    July 18, 2014

  • M

    Sorry to drop out! Too much going on this week/weekend. Maybe I'll see the lotuses next year

    July 17, 2014

    • DJ-2011

      Ok M. Thanks for notice. It looks like there'll be trips there over the next 2 weeks.

      1 · July 17, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I think I am in waiting list in both group but, my preference would be Group 2 (longer paddling)

    Many thanks

    1 · July 15, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      there are 2 optionsa t 18' or less:

      July 16, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Epic 18x and V8. The first one is pretty much like what you have, less sturdy but faster and the V8 is an ideal combination of speed, ease of remounting and high level of stability. in downwind and wavy condition, some believe that the more stable ones are faster than fast ones like me! as you can use your full power!
      I paddled the V8 last weekend and it was awesome, fast enough and highly reliable in choppy and windy condition!

      2 · July 16, 2014

  • DJ-2011

    To all (31) members 'currently' on either the RSVP or Waiting List: A 2nd Group (15 mile open water) to Mattawoman will likely be scheduled; however the venue will likely start from Leesylvania State Park, VA. I need to know in advance who would prefer to join this group. If yes, please respond to this post by stating "Group 2'.

    July 9, 2014

  • DJ-2011

    From Jim Long (MWS), "There may be another option..., which is to participate in a Sierra Club Lotus Blossom outing on July 27, 10 AM, also launching from Mattingly. Mattawoman Watershed Society is assisting. Note that this is not a paddle like your members ordinarily engage in, though. It will be very slow, only cover a couple miles or so roundtrip. Registration is required: http://maryland2.sierraclub.org/pages/outings-calendar-maryland ..."

    July 14, 2014

  • M

    I can go w/the MEGs. The Leesberg put-in is just a bit too far

    1 · July 13, 2014

    • DJ-2011

      Thanks M! I'll deputize as MEGawoman with full WKC authority. :)

      1 · July 13, 2014

  • ed s

    DJ i thought i emailed you to take me off the wait list.....please assign the spot to someone else on the list.....thanks for considering me....ed. s.

    1 · July 13, 2014

  • DJ-2011

    Hi all, if you're PEG'd for Andy's Leesylvania Lotus Paddle please be sure to change your RSVP to 'No' in this meetup, so those next on the waiting list can fill your spot. Thanks!! :)

    July 12, 2014

    • DJ-2011

      Actually, I just figured out that I can edit the list. Based on those who RSVP'd for the PEGs trip, I'll change their RSVP, if it still appears on the MEGs trip. :)

      July 12, 2014

  • DJ-2011

    Presently, at least 5 from the RSVP'd list: Andy, Marc, Rose, Sonja, Becky will be paddling with the PEGs. This would leave open slots for the MEGs group for the next 5 in the Waiting list. Here another 5 paddlers: Becky, Jaclin, Amy, Lise (+ guest) will RSVP with the PEGs for a total of 10 PEGs. I still feel it's best to reduce group size of <18 MEGs. (However, I may be able to work something out, if there's someone in this meetup w/previous trip leader experience who has a VHF radio and assisted-rescue skills, and often paddles with other rival Meetup Groups in the Baltimore area is able to assist us with a group of this size. Hmmmm, .... who could this be? :/)

    July 10, 2014

    • DJ-2011

      Once we post the PEG meetup, those on the Waiting list will automatically fill the RSVP slot. If there's space in the end, the attendee limit will remain at 18 and other members can still join.

      July 10, 2014

    • Gary R.

      Not sure where everything is falling out, but I'm still interested in the MEGs (group 1) trip, so will await my chances on the waiting list. If I make the list I can take one other kayak on top of my car. I'll be coming from near Takoma Park, MD.

      1 · July 10, 2014

  • Lisa

    DJ, I'm out of town and have not been able to follow all of the many messages I have received about this event. I wanted to send you a pm, but there's no link for that on your profile. Since I can't figure out what's going on I'd just say include me in Becky's group if there's a choice. Please let me know where you want me to go and when...

    2 · July 10, 2014

  • Becky

    I would like the PEC group 2. Thank you!

    July 10, 2014

  • Lise

    Took the me+1 off the waitlist - we've got enough going on this Sat that we can't afford the extra hours for the drive down to VA. Y'all have a wonderful time in the lily field!

    July 10, 2014

  • Bob P.

    I'm a naturalist and would love to be one of the Megs. Do we have a choice?

    July 9, 2014

    • Jaclin G

      Hi Amy,

      July 10, 2014

    • Jaclin G

      Sorry. Let me try this again. Hi Amy, you can take yourself off the waiting list by clicking the Change button on the top right :)

      July 10, 2014

  • Pat S

    I would prefer to avoid the open water group. Thanks

    1 · July 10, 2014

  • Cathy N

    i think I am a MEG group. It is early!

    1 · July 10, 2014

  • Patrice M.

    I'm joining the MEGs group.

    1 · July 10, 2014

  • Rose

    I want to join Group 2 (PEG).

    2 · July 9, 2014

  • Sonja

    I thnk I would like to join the PEC Group 2...as long as we will be going to the lotus fields.

    1 · July 9, 2014

    • DJ-2011

      Yes Sonja, the primary intent for both groups is to view/paddle within the Lotus fields. :)

      July 9, 2014

  • Jaclin G

    I would join the group in Leesyvania. 15 mile open water sounds great!

    1 · July 9, 2014

    • Marc

      I measured the Potomac crossing to be about 2.5 miles. It's about 15 round trip to the lotus fields. We can make it longer by going farther up the creek. :)

      July 9, 2014

    • Jaclin G

      Yeah, i didn't think that the open crossing was 15 miles :) It just looks that way because I typed everything together really fast! 15 miles AND open water is what i meant.

      1 · July 9, 2014

  • Lise

    Will the PEG group (Group 2) still go up to the lotus fields on the Mattawoman? And any idea about the launch time and return time for this Group 2?

    July 9, 2014

    • DJ-2011

      Yes: they'll go after lunch break. Launch/return time TBD

      July 9, 2014

  • DJ-2011

    Current 'Waiting List' Kayakers (13): Joan, Kari F., Amy H., Lise (+1), Ed S., Regina L., Pat S, Gary R., M, Jaclin G., Tim, Erik B.

    July 9, 2014

  • DJ-2011

    UPDATE 2: Please review new updates posted above: RSVPs are now closed. No new names will be added to the Waiting List, which is currently 13 until further notice. :)

    July 9, 2014

  • Pat S

    FYI, there is parking before you turn onto Mattingly Ave, which would require car shuttles. If you use the Indiad Head bike trail that's where they recommend that you park: No parking available directly at Mattingly Avenue trail head. Park across Route 210 at either the Village Green Town Park or Charlie Wright Park (adjacent to Indian Head Elementary School). Right turn off of Route 210 onto Doctor Andrews Way - bear left just before baseball field onto Doctor Mitchell Lane. After parking, follow signs/road markings to trail.

    1 · July 7, 2014

  • Jaclin G

    DJ, FYI- a number of us found accessible parking on the street above the park if you find yourself crunched.

    1 · July 7, 2014

    • Jaclin G

      Think so. I know most of us parked on the right side (south, I think?) as you turned on to the street. I think I remember cars on the other side, too, but I can't swear to it.

      1 · July 7, 2014

    • Jaclin G

      And, by the way, 2 or 3 lotuses were in bloom last Saturday, so I think you are going to hit the best display right on the nose. I was excited by the idea of heading downstream, also, because I have never been that way! But I think I am too far down the list :)

      1 · July 7, 2014

  • DJ-2011

    It's great to see everyone's interest for this paddle. The attendee limit is 'partly' based on the availability of parking spaces at Mattingly Park and partly given my purpose to share some discussions about the lotus fields during the paddle. A larger group size would likely result in me acquiring laryngitis. ;) Also please be aware that parking will still be an issue with this number, plus the typical number of visitors of dock fisherman, hikers and motorboaters. If you can carpool with someone, I urge you to please try and do so!! The bass fisherman hitch trailers that occupy the long (double) spaces. As kayakers, we'll need try to park 2-3 cars/space, if some are available. There's still a chance that some may have to park more distantly, but we'll try to arrange a shuttle. I also updated the distance: 1st leg is 6.5 miles RT; 2nd leg is 4 miles RT.

    More updates to follow in next several days. :)

    July 7, 2014

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