Sunday, September 03, 2006

Good Call

With the passing through of Ernesto, I thought all the rain and extra run-off would fill up our kayak waters nicely. Some obstacles might be gone or underwater, new ones might appear. I really really wanted to hit that area of the Patuxent River where we have to climb over logs and walk through shallows. I was hoping to get as far as the last log that impeded our progress and see if it was easier to get over.

Dad managed to get sick, so mom (reluctantly) and Fox and I went out. At the landing, there is a floating dock, anchored to a wooden dock on the shore. We can drive right up to the wooden dock and unload our yaks, then park the car up the hill and head out. Usually. Today, the water was so high, the wooden dock and surrounding shore was underwater! The floating dock was floating, and the current in the river was swift. It wasn't exactly as I had expected (I didn't expect to have to launch from the road!) but I was so excited! I knew it was going to be great. We got started just after 1130 or so.

There really wasn't a good place to stop along the way because the current was so swift. We had to go off the current river into the flood planes (which wasn't hard to do right now). I expect what we saw today was some semblance of the rivers former glory, it used to be a mighty force before it silted in considerably. We even had to go off the river to get around a new obstacle. There was a tree in our way, we could paddle under it, but the current was very swift and not worth the effort it would take to get through.

In no time (about an hour, actually), we were at the old Queen Anne Bridge. This bridge has been blocked off to traffic for years and usually stands a good 5 or 6 feet above the water. It should also be noted that we passed the first log we usually had to climb over some way back, unnoticable beneath the high waters. So, the bridge was not 5 or 6 feet above the river. The river rose right up to meet it, so much so that Fox tied off his kayak and got out onto the bridge! This was a little discouraging because it was practically impassable (without a lot of unnecessary exertion), so we didn't make it to the other log today. One day, I will make it to that log, and over it, and to the bridge across Central Avenue. This is my goal! I will do it!

Both of my kayaking companions had a lot of fun today. I'm so glad! I was really looking forward to seeing the river like that. Next time we get a big storm, I'm going to hit Mattaponi Creek to see what that looks like. It took us and hour and 15 or 20 minutes to get up to the bridge (with breaks and all) and only 15-20 minutes to get back to the dock in that swift current. What a ride!

By the way, it looks like that little stinging bastard got me twice on my hip. It itches like crazy today!

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