The Chairmans Cockpit

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					                                                                                           Canoe Cruisers Association of Greater Washington DC, Inc. October 03

                                                                                                     September—October 2003

The Chairman’s Cockpit
By Angela Killian

     If you haven't already, please take a mo-
ment to check out the Member Survey avail-
able on the website at This is
your last chance to tell the Board what works
at CCA and what doesn't. If you have trouble
with the survey questions, or would like to
expound on your answers please contace the
Chair directly at Your
answers are important to us and will be con-
sidered when all results are tallied!
     Finally, CCA is in need of a new editor for
the Cruiser. I think you will all agree that
Susan Sherrod has put together many wonder-
ful issues, but work has become too demand-                  Missouri Rive, Montana—Lewis and Clark's "buffalo jump" at Slaughter
ing for Susan and she has asked to be replaced.              River Trip report by Tom Gray starts on page 8. Photo by Larry Lynch
Please contact her directly at newslet- if you are able to take on this
task for the club. Thanks, Susan, for your
wonderful work!

 CCA Meetings—Wednesday October 29,
 Annual Holiday Bazaar and Presentation by
 USGS Friday, December 5—pg 2
 Nantahala Trip, Minnie’s Island—pg 2
 Potomac Sewer Makeover—pg 3
 Rappahannock Fall Line Trip—pg 4
 A Few Words About Saving Your Life—pg 6
 Missouri River, Montana Trip—pg 8
 Sassafras River Trip—pg 9
 Intro to Canoeing 2003—pg 10
 On the River (and off)—pg 10                                The Missouri River, Montana—Photo by Larry Lynch

Canoe Cruisers Association   Chairpaddler: Angela Killian              Address Corrections: Lee Tucker
PO Box 3236                  Secretary: Jennifer Plyler               Newsletter: Susan Sherrod
Merrifield, VA 22116-3236    Treasure: Brinton Bohling, Sara Smiley   Web Site: Bob Combs
Web Site:          Membership: Tom Prunier                Instruction: Bob Kimmel

                                                                       Page 1
Canoe Cruisers Association of Greater Washington DC, Inc. October 03

   CCA Meeting—Wed.,                                             Nantahala Trip                             Ever Wanted Your
   Oct. 29 & Fri. Dec 5                                          Oct. 31– Nov. 2, ‘03                       Own Island?
   By Ed Gertler                                                 By: Jennifer Plyler                        By: Matt Berres, Potomac Conservancy
   CCA Programs Coordinator
                                                                      Join the CHOTA Canoe Club                 The Potomac Conservancy seeks
   CCA meetings are normally held at the Clara                   (Knoxville, TN) for our annual trip        a Minnie's Island Caretaker to over-
   Barton Community Center, 75th and MacArthur                   to celebrate Halloween and Guest           see natural resource management
   Blvd in Cabin John, MD, at 7:30pm.                            Appreciation Festival (GAF) at the         and volunteer coordination respon-
                                                                 Nantahala Outdoor Center (http://          sibilities of the Conservancy's
   Wednesday, October 29 Meeting                        Octo-          Minnie's Island preserve. The Care-
        “Retracing the Path of Jack Lon-                         ber 31-November 2, 2003. We will           taker will work with the Director of
   don.” Mike Dixon, who loves paddling,                         paddle the Nantahala River (Class II-      Community Action to organize vol-
   the far Northwest, and the writings of                        III) on Friday and Saturday. Sunday,       unteer workdays, education pro-
   Jack London, combined those interests                         we will paddle the Ocoee River             grams, and island open houses and
   to launch a series of visits to Alaska and                    (Class III-IV) in east Tennessee.          to coordinate other activities in con-
   the Yukon doing as the title describes.                            I have rented several cabins in the   junction with the Conservancy's
   Tonight he shares his experiences with                        Nantahala Gorge (see http://               Lockhouse 8 Learning Center. Lead-
   slides and commentary for a most                     The cost         ership experience and canoe/kayak
   unique show. Come join us.                                    for Friday and Saturday night will de-     competencies required. Natural re-
   Friday, Dec. 5 Meeting and Bazaar                             pend on the number of people who           source background or educational/
                                                                 stay. Plan on about $40 a night. The       interpretive experience desired.
        As usual, we will be combining
                                                                 sleeping arrangements include bunk         Part-time volunteer position. Vari-
   our November and December meet-
                                                                 beds or sleeping on a futon. No tent       ous fringe benefits provided, includ-
   ings to dodge conflicts with holidays.
                                                                 camping is allowed at this establish-      ing access to your very own place
   But this is not just any ole meeting.
                                                                 ment although tent camping can be          on the Potomac.
   It is the return of our annual bazaar,
   swap meet, and all-round good time.                           found nearby. The cabins come                  To apply send resume and
   There will be local retailers, back-                          equipped with full kitchens and baths      cover letter describing why you
   yard merchants, and craftspeople                              and some have fireplaces and Jacuzzi’s.    want to be the Caretaker to:
   displaying their wares and an oppor-                               A $35 deposit is required no          Minnie's Island Caretaker, c/o Poto-
   tunity for you to buy or sell used                            later than September 24. You are           mac Conservancy, 1730 North Lynn
   equipment. And last but not least, all                        welcome to confirm after this date         Street, Suite 403, Arlington, Virginia
   your friends will be there.                                   but I cannot guarantee your accom-         or email to:
        But really best of all, there is a                       modations since they are on a first
                                                                                                            Volunteer Lockkeepers Needed
   great program. Our guest speaker is                           come first serve bases.
   Dan Soeder, a hydrologist from the                                 Since I plan on visiting family            The Potomac Conservancy is
   Maryland office of the U.S. Geological                        before and after GAF, you will have        recruiting a cadre of "Lockkeepers"
   Survey. Knowing our preoccupation                             to provide your own transportation         to assist as docents at its Lock-
   with river levels, Dan will educate us                        to and from NC/TN. It is approxi-          house 8 Learning Center. Lock-
   on their fabulous river monitoring sys-                       mately 10 hours to the NOC and 12          keepers will be responsible for
   tem, how they get the information to                          hours to the Ocoee from the DC             staffing the Lockhouse on week-
   us, and hydrology in general. Do come                         metro area.                                ends and evenings, handing out
   and join us and give Dan a well-                                                                         literature, answering questions,
                                                                      If interested, please call Jennifer
   deserved warm welcome.                                                                                   and assisting with other interpre-
                                                                 Plyler at 301.445.4815 before 8 PM.
                                                                                                            tive tasks. Volunteers will be asked
        Please Note: Parking can be a sensi-                                                                to make a minimum 6-month com-
   tive issue. We will have the lot behind
   the building available. Otherwise, please                      Free Firewood                             mitment. Training will be pro-
                                                                                                            vided. This is the perfect opportu-
   consider carpooling or parking farther                         It’s yours if you come haul it away.      nity for history buffs and those
   away, especially if you have an identify-                                                                who enjoy people.
                                                                  Call Kathleen Sengstock,
   ing feature like a boat on your car.
                                                                  (301)649-3917                                  For more information, contact:
        Call for Cookies: It would add to                                                                   Matt Berres, Director of
   the festivity of the special December                                                                    Community Action, at ber-
   meeting if those with hidden talents                           Boat for Sale Five-year-old Mo-           or
   for such would bake some cookies                               hawk fibreglass canoe, Nova 16, in        703.276.2777, ext. 203
   or other goodies for the event. Even                           good condition, w/paddles, two life
   some regular junk snacks would be                              jackets, solo saddle: $600 obo. Port
   appreciated. Let the program chair                             Tobacco, Md. until mid-September,
   (Ed at 301-585-4381) know if you                               then in Greenbelt. 301/934-1412,
   can help or just surprise us. We will                
   have a refreshments table set up.
                                                                                       Page 2
                                                                                            Canoe Cruisers Association of Greater Washington DC, Inc. October 03

Conservation Currents
Edited By Mac Thornton
CCA Conservation Chairman

WASA Report on Poto-                             tural, and architectural design ele-                    Multiple applications for Special-
                                                 ments. DCWASA provided report                      Use Permits were approved by the
mac Sewer Makeover                               comments that were satisfactorily                  NPS to conduct topographical sur-
     (Note: this memorandum from                 addressed by our Consultant.                       veying and geotechnical drilling at
the DC Water and Sewer Authority                       The conceptual design and archi-             the four NPS sites, and this work is
gives an update on refurbishing the              tectural information for Sites 1995, 27,           currently underway and mostly com-
Potomac Interceptor Sewer along                  17 and 4 were presented to representa-             plete. Once the data from the field
the Potomac. In 1999, CCA sued                   tives of the National Park Service (NPS)           work is received, the design team
WASA to force these changes).                    and the State Historic Preservation Of-            will proceed with finalization of the
     This memorandum provides a                  fices (SHPOs) of Maryland and the Dis-             conceptual design of the facilities,
summary of project activities since              trict of Columbia on February 12, 2003,            including civil, geotechnical, and
the last public meeting conducted                as required under Section 106 of the               structural concept designs. The con-
on October 3, 2002. At the time of               National Historic Preservation Act                 ceptual design is expected to be
the October 3, 2002 meeting, the                 (NHPA). Since that time, DCWASA has                completed in August 2003, and the
Federal Register notice for the Poto-            been working with the NPS and SHPOs                detailed design is expected to start
mac Interceptor (PI) Long-Term                   to refine the architectural features of            immediately after the conceptual
Odor Abatement Program Environ-                  the four sites located within the lands            design is approved by WASA. The
mental Assessment was published                  of the C&O Canal National Historical               approved conceptual design will rep-
and the public comment period was                Park (C&O Canal) and George Wash-                  resent about 60% completion of the
underway. The public comments                    ington Memorial Parkway (GWMP). A                  design process. The detailed design
received during the meeting were                 second meeting was held on April 23,               is expected to take six months to
generally in favor of the preferred              2003 to present architectural modifica-            complete, and the construction bid
alternative (alternative #2), includ-            tions that were made based on the NPS              package is anticipated to be ready in
ing strong support from the Cabin                and SHPO input at the February meet-               March 2004. Construction is ex-
John Citizens Association (CJCA) and             ing. Additional concept alternatives               pected to begin in late summer
the Bannockburn Civic Association                were requested for Sites 27 and 1995,              2004. Currently, the overall project
(BCA), and opposed to the place-                 and a third meeting was held on June               schedule is on-track with estimated
ment of an odor treatment unit at                25, 2003 to present sketches for the               construction of the facilities to be
Site 15 [Lock 10](alternative #3).               new architectural concepts. One addi-              completed in late spring/early sum-
                                                 tional round of architectural alterna-             mer of 2005.
     Upon receiving strong support
from the public and the National                 tives was requested for these two sites                 DCWASA plans to post addi-
Park Service's stated intent to sup-             at the June 2003 meeting, so the design            tional information on the website in
port the preferred alternative,                  team is currently working on architec-             the coming months indicating the
DCWASA and our Consultant began                  tural sketches to reflect the requested            progress of the PI Long-Term Odor
preparation of conceptual designs                concepts. In addition, the NPS re-                 Abatement design, as well as posting
for the PI odor treatment units. A               quested small modifications to the ar-             graphics of the architectural render-
Concept Finalization Report was                  chitectural sketches for Sites 4 and 17,           ings of the buildings in NPS lands.
submitted to DCWASA on February                  which are currently being produced.                In addition, DCWASA plans to coor-
10, 2003, which included our Con-                Once approval is received from the NPS             dinate with the CJCA and BCA to
sultant's recommendations for me-                and SHPOs, architectural renderings                plan another public meeting this fall,
chanical treatment systems, HVAC                 will be prepared for the four sites, and           once the architectural renderings are
systems, electrical and instrumenta-             it is expected that a Findings of No Sig-          complete and the FONSI has been
tion systems, as well as details re-             nificant Impact (FONSI) will then be               issued by the NPS.
garding civil, geotechnical, struc-              issued for the project.

Submissions to the Cruiser
Should be made via e-mail to, submitted on 3.5”disk, or typed for scanning. No special formatting is required, but plain,
block style is preferred. Photos—are strongly encouraged and can be e-mailed, or snail-mailed. Color photos are preferred.
Classified Ads—The first 3 lines are free. Each additional line is 75 cents per line. Send classified ads to
Lost & Found—No charge. Give-Aways—No charge. Paddlers Flea Market—on the web at—No charge.
Display Ads—$5 per column inch, Quarter page $40, half page $75, full page $150, insert $300-$450. Display ads can be submitted via e-
mail, 3.5” disk, Zip disk or CD-R. Hard copy ads will be scanned. Advertisers receive a link on our web site. For additional information, e-mail, or call Susan Sherrod at 703-725-4278 evenings. Payment—must be received prior to publication.
Mailing Address—Cruiser Editor, Canoe Cruisers Association, PO Box 3236, Merrifield, VA 22116-3236.

                                                                      Page 3
Canoe Cruisers Association of Greater Washington DC, Inc. October 03

   Rappahannock Fall Line, August 2nd
   By: V Star Mitchell

        The night before my scheduled                            arrive, parked there with boats on           though many of you may have old
   Rappahannock Fall Line trip (Mott's                           roof racks.                                  pictures of the dam, you may not
   Run Landing to Fredericksburg), I                                   Tim Tilson had previously              know that as I write these words,
   was sweating bullets concerning the                           warned me about the misconception            that section above the dam is sup-
   water level. The CCA's Handbook                               of getting off at the correct place for      posed to be closed to boaters in or-
   says the minimum level is 3.3. When                           the exit to this rest stop, and what a       der that the dam(s) can be removed.
   I started checking the American                               devil of a time one would have going              We learned from a local pad-
   Whitewater gauge, the level was 2.47                          to the next exit and backtracking (as        dler the above information. He
   and in the non-runable gold code.                             he had previously done). Well, I             told us there are two dams on the
        I started to think I should begin                        wasn't even in the correct lanes of          river. There is the large dam that
   the miserable task of calling all in my                       the highway to take any exit. Getting        you can see. Up river from the
   group and telling them we're not                              out of the HOV lane and backtrack-           large dam, under water is an older
   meeting at the I-95 rest stop, but at                         ing was an ordeal, but we did man-           smaller dam. After the large dam
   the I-66 rest stop and we were going                          age to do it and arrived only about          is removed, the smaller dam will
   to be doing the Remington-Kelly's                             10 minutes late.                             then, also, be removed. We can all
   Ford section of the Rappahannock. I                                 The faithful paddlers were all         wait with baited breath to see what
   knew what a mess this last minute                             there awaiting my arrival.            The    kind of rapids lie under all of that
   change could possibly become. If it                           g r o u p c o n si s t e d of :      A la n  dam(n) water.          Just think, un-
   were the same meeting spot, it could                          Dickerson              OC-1,                 known rapids that beckon us to
   be much easier.                                               Jeannine Hagan K-1, Kip                                     play and await new
        A paddling buddy had told me                             Reynolds K-1, Kathleen                                      names! What is more,
   that she had made it down this part                           Singstock      K-1,       John                              I guess I have the dis-
   of the river at a level of 2.2. The                           Stapko OC-1, John Paul                                      tinction of being able
   river was rising, so I thought at 2.47                        Tolson, and Jan Wolf O-                                     to say, " I led the last
   and rising, perhaps I would not be                            C2, and myself K-1. The                                     organized CCA trip
   stoned to death by my group of                                rest of the drive down I-                                   down this section of
   paddlers. Saturday morning I arose                            95 was relatively slow                                      the      Rappahannock
   to check the gauge.          American                         and bumper to bumper,                                       with       the     portage
   Whitewater showed the river at                                but moving. John said,                                      around the old dam."
   5:15 a.m., to now be 3.27 and in                              "This traffic must be like                                  "This dam has a his-
   the green code and runable. Praise                            this all the way to Flor-                                   tory      that     extends
   to the river gods; I had made the                             ida!" I knew there was a                                    back to colonial days
   correct decision.                                             BRV James River trip and                                    when it was the first
        John Stapko arrived bright and                           I was sure glad we were                                     dam built for a canal
   early at my house and we proceeded                            not driving all the way to                                  bypassing the fall-
   to load his 18-foot Old Town Voy-                             Richmond.                       VEPCO’s Embrey Dam on       sline rapids.           Civil
                                                                       The weather predic-       the Rappahannoc River.      War        photographs
   ager canoe and my kayak on top of
   my van. We were soon headed                                   tion was for a very hot humid day                           show a 12- to 15-foot
   around the Beltway making good                                with thunderstorms. Most of the DC           dam with a great deal of water
   time only to find a major backup of                           area got the thunderstorms, but              flowing over it." Virginia White-
   traffic trying to exit onto I-95. It                          down there in Virginia, we had an            water by H. Roger Corbett. I don't
   took us at least 15 minutes or more                           overcast sky for most of the day and         know where Roger got this infor-
   to just get onto I-95.                                        a wonderful blowing breeze that felt         mation or where he saw the pic-
                                                                 like a storm was coming up. Fortu-           ture of the smaller dam, but ac-
        Knowing how smart I am, on I-
                                                                 nately, no storm ever material-              cording to the local paddler, there
   95, I soon got into the middle HOV
                                                                 ized. The overcast and breeze kept           is still a smaller dam there up-
   lane headed south at record-
                                                                 us invigorated.                              stream from the large one. Too
   breaking speeds.         WRONG!       I
                                                                                                              bad that Roger did not live to see
   thought the HOV lane ended before                                   As I remember, this was a first
                                                                                                              the uncovering of the smaller dam
   the first rest stop on I-95. So with                          time run of this section of the river
                                                                                                              about which he wrote.
   the big long canoe sporting it's                              for everyone on the excursion, ex-
   bright orange painted bow and stern                           cept for me (lucky group). I greatly              I had asked the group to bring
   and the little lemon-yellow kayak on                          regret that no one brought a camera          plastic bags to clean up the trash
   top of the big green GMC "Atealla                             to document these boaters' first time        mess at the dam. Several months
   the Van" we flew down the HOV lane                            entering the river by the approxi-           earlier, Jeff Davis, Jeff's neighbor, Dr.
   past the rest stop while looking at                           mately 20-foot (my guess) wooden             Jim Hale, Jean McAulay, and I ran
   the cars, waiting patiently for us to                         boat ramp slide into the water. Al-                                  (Continued on page 5)

                                                                                    Page 4
                                                                            Canoe Cruisers Association of Greater Washington DC, Inc. October 03

(Continued from page 4)
this section. We picked up trash and put it into plastic
bags (left by previous litterers). We gave the place a "face-
lift," but considering the flimsy bags we found lying
about, it was not possible to pick up all of the trash.
      My group scurried about like ants on a hill and
picked the grounds clean. We ended up
with a huge heavy-duty oversize black
bag full of garbage that John Stapko
graciously put in his canoe. A few of
us had grocery-sized bags of trash
stuffed in our boats. Just below the
dam there is a roadside "park" with a
garbage can where we unloaded this
stinking stuff.
      I just do not know what kind of people feel that they
have the right to "trash the world" and leave wads of dan-
gerous fishing line, broken bottles, non-biodegradable
Styrofoam, beer cans, etc. One item we found was a
metal bowl that should fit into a bong. When the dam
goes, maybe it won't be such a hang out for the
"potheads" and "trashers."
      We ate lunch enjoying spray and mist blowing in our
faces from the roaring and pulsating 20-foot VEPCO Em-
bery Dam. The dam's vivacious rhythm seems to mimic
the beating of a noble heart. Unknown to the old dam,
soon its heart will beat no more.
      After the dam, the more interesting rapids of basically
Level II to II+, invited us to stop and play. All of us were
hunkered down in our boats either on our knees or sit-
ting on our bottoms except for John Stapko who gave us
a show by running ALL of the rapids standing in his canoe
and paddling with a double bladed paddle. It is always
nice to have unusual entertainment on a trip! No one
flipped or swam on any of the rapids (maybe we weren't
playing hard enough). At the one Level III rapid, all
chose to take the river-left, Level II side. However, we did
stop so people could climb over the rocks and check out
the rapid on river-right.
      The take-out was the usual vertical climb to the road
above, but we all helped one another and made the most
unpleasant part of any river run an esprit de corps
event. The local paddler gave us a great suppertime tip
and we were soon loaded-up and headed for
Allman's. (From the take-out, go south on Bus. Rt.1 aka
Jefferson Davis Hwy. Go about one mile. Look for
Allman's at the intersection of Augustine Ave. and
Powhatan St.)           Go to
Movies/2002/062002/bestBarbecue for more information.
      Allman's is a Bar-B-Q restaurant, locally owned and
run by a charming black family. The environment has the
"homey look-of-yesterday," with a huge authentic stuffed
bore's head on the wall. The grandmother knows all of
the recipes and does the cooking. The granddaughter
waited on us and another relative (son?) was behind the
counter. The friendliness and the food were a ten. The
prices were very reasonable (suitable for tight-fisted pad-
dlers). I finished my Bar-B-Q off with a chocolate sundae
and bought one of the big, nut-filled, homemade brown-
                                           (Continued on page 6)

                                                                   Page 5
Canoe Cruisers Association of Greater Washington DC, Inc. October 03

   Rappahannoc (Continued from page 5)
   ies for the road. I want to go back
                                                                 A Few Words About Saving Your Life
   and run the Rappahan-                                         By: Gus Anderson
   nock again just so I
   can eat at Allman's.                                               When I recently read about the      raft was bent over the top of the
        We said our                                              kayaker who drowned below Bull           limb with the current piling up in
   goodbyes and                                                  Falls on the Shanandoah when he          the bow, creating enough pressure
   then John                                                     swam and his spray skirt caught on       to keep us from pulling the raft
   and          I                                                an underwater snag, I was re-            under the limb.
   headed for                                                    minded of the only river fatality I
   DC. Well, it                                                                                                The raft had wrapped at the
                                                                 have seen in thirty years of pad-
   turned out to be                                                                                       front edge of the metal rowing
                                                                 dling rivers all over the country,
   DC        liter-                                                                                       frame so that one third of the raft
                                                                 and the lessons about safety that I
   ally. Oh, hur-                                                                                         was on top of the limb and two
                                                                 learned but have neglected in re-
   ray, the HOV lane was now turned                                                                       thirds were below the limb, upside
                                                                 cent years.
   around and we could get back in it                                                                     down. Everyone in the raft had
                                                                      The fatality that I encountered     been washed out and downstream,
   and go north. With boats on top, off                          was on the Klamath River in far
   we flew, like bats out of hell (or I                                                                   but had now made their way back
                                                                 northern California in the summer of     to the raft except for the missing
   should say the way the average boat-                          1977 or 78. I had learned to kayak
   ers seem to drive)! But, alas, per-                                                                    boy.
                                                                 in the summer of 1974 and had
   haps my heavy foot or our lack of                                                                           To get the raft out, we had to
                                                                 learned to row a raft on the Middle
   concentration, we missed or there is                                                                   cut the floor of the raft away from
                                                                 Fork of the Salmon River in 1975 or
   no exit off of the HOV lane onto I-                                                                    the tubes in the bow so that the
                                                                 76 when I was the only kayak on a
   495. The signs were now saying we                                                                      current could flow through and
                                                                 raft trip put together by the owner of
   were in the HOV for I-395! John                                                                        release the pressure on the bow of
                                                                 a small rafting company.
   exclaimed, "Oh my gosh, we're on                                                                       the raft. I was then able to pull the
   the HOV Lane to Hell again! We're                                  The following summer he de-         raft out from under the limb using
   going to fly through the Dis-                                 cided not to run his trips so I sub-     the oars on my raft. I swung the
   trict!" I'm sure going to have to pay                         contracted with him to run week-         raft around into shallow water in
   more attention from now on when I                             end raft trips on the American and       an eddy where the other guides
   drive in HOV lanes.                                           Klamath Rivers.                          were able to reach under it.
        Alas, we saw an exit for the                                  I was doing a joint trip with            They found the boy under the
   George Washington Parkway.           I                        Echo River Trips on the Klamath          raft with the collar of his life jacket
   made a quick exit and we were off of                          River along a stretch that parallels     caught on the T-hole pin of the row-
   the HOV Road to Hell. Then we had                             a highway. The river level was           ing frame which is a heavy metal pin
   an argument that sounded like two                             fairly low and we were approach-         to which the oar is attached. We
   married people or two tandem pad-                             ing a class two rapid when we saw        tried CPR for an hour afterward but
   dlers as to which way we should                               a woman on the left bank waiving         could not revive him.
   go. John said, "Go Chain Bridge!" I                           frantically at us. We pulled over,
                                                                                                               For many years after that I al-
   said, "No! Key Bridge is the way to                           and she told us that a raft had
                                                                                                          ways carried a knife with the
   my house!" John retorted, "I knew I                           flipped in the next rapid and was
                                                                                                                          thought that in a
   should have driven!"       I replied,                         wrapped around an underwater
                                                                                                                                situation like
   "Guess what? I'm driving and we're                            limb that stuck out from a downed
                                                                                                                                  that only you
   going Key Bridge!"                                            tree on the left side and that a
                                                                                                                                  can       save
                                                                 teenage boy was missing.
        After I crossed Key Bridge and                                                                                            yourself     in
   we made a left turn on M Street and                                We unloaded our passengers,                                 time to avoid
   then a left turn onto Canal Road and                          and I rowed my raft down to the                                  drowning.
   flew out of DC to Bethesda, John                              rapid. The approach was very shal-                               Over the last
   was gracious and manly enough to                              low and the current funneled to                             few years I have
   admit that was indeed the best and                            the left of a large rock where the       neglected that lesson and failed to
   fastest way. I now view it as a better                        raft was wrapped around the tree         carry a knife. I am reminded by
   way (for me at least) than I-95, I-495                        limb. I managed to pull to the           this recent incident that situations
   and my usual exit.                                            right of the rock and get down-          like this can arise on easy sections
                                                                 stream of the raft and tie up to it.     of rivers under circumstances
        Words on a page can never                                The other guides brought two
   really give you the feel and spirit                                                                    where without a knife to cut your-
                                                                 more rafts down and tied up in the       self free you are not going to be
   of a trip or the camaraderie that                             eddy behind me.
   prevailed. Despite the traffic hang-                                                                   rescued in time to save your life.
   ups (that one soon forgets), I                                     We tried to pull the raft out            I plan to resume my old habit
   would give this day, this group,                              from under the limb which was            of carrying a knife every time on
   and this run a ten.                                           about six inches below the water         every river.
                                                                 surface, but the front end of the

                                                                                    Page 6
                                                                             Canoe Cruisers Association of Greater Washington DC, Inc. October 03

Missouri River trip, Montana, August 1-8, 2003—Part 1
Fort Benton to James Kipp Recreation Area, 150 miles

     We were a group of six men in             Islands (mile 29.7) 7 hours           able gear and asked the Adventure
four canoes, five Gray boys and a         8/3 26 miles to Eagle Creek Camp           Bound guy if all of our canoes could
Lynch: the three brothers Chet, Tom            (mile 56) 8 hours                     be with web seats rather than the
and Gordy Gray, Tom’s son Brian,          8/4 17 miles to Pablo Rapids Camp          form-fitted vinyl ones. We then had
the brother’s first cousin Will Gray,          (mile 72.9) 5 hours                   four Old Town Discovery 169 canoes
and Larry Lynch, Gordy’s long-time                                                   – 16 feet and 9 inches long with flat
                                          8/5 20 miles to rough camping on
mountaineering partner. Our ages                                                     bottoms to carry lots of stuff. We
                                               the right below Holmes Rapids
ranges from 37 to 64.                                                                would have two solo canoes and two
                                               (mile 93) 7.5 hours
     There is a good, strong current                                                 tandem canoes. There were still
                                          8/6 17 miles to rough camping at           some last-minute things to do, so
for almost the entire trip. The river’s
                                               Greasewood Bottom (mile               Chet, Will, Gordy and Larry went
flow at Fort Benton ranged from
                                               109.7) 6 hours                        back to buy ice and film, gas up the
4700 to 5100 cubic feet per second.
The USGS gauge height there ranged        8/7 27 miles to Hideaway Camp              cars for the shuttle, buy fishing li-
from 2.0 to 2.2 feet. I estimate that          (mile 136.7) 8 hours                  censes and get lunch. Meanwhile,
it would still be possible to canoe       8/8 13 miles to James Kipp Recrea-         Brian and Tom started packing the
the river with 1.5 less than we had.           tion Area boat ramp (mile             four canoes.
The current moves at about three               149.4) 3.5 hours                          By starting at the upstream end
miles per hour. Most days, we found       150 miles total in 47 hours                of town, we got the benefit of seeing
ourselves paddling for 4 or 5 miles,                                                 Fort Benton from the river, imagin-
then if the current is good, rafting                                                 ing how it looked in the steamboat
together to drift while enjoying the      DAILY LOG:                                 days, when, in high water, boats
scenery and a drink or a swim. Drift-                                                would unload passengers and freight
ing was especially pleasant in the        8/1/2003 - 6 miles in 2 hours              by the Grand Union Hotel, now re-
White Cliffs area, watching the rock           We arrived in Fort Benton at          stored and in business.
formations as we floated by.              8:30AM, but didn’t put in until 1:30           This wide river, with strong cur-
     The elevation at put-in was 2620     PM. We visited the Bureau of Land          rent takes some getting used to. If
feet; at take-out it was 2260. That’s a   Management’s Upper Missouri Na-            you choose a route, you may be un-
360-foot total drop with an average       tional Wild and Scenic River Visitor       able to go as planned, unless you
gradient of only 2.4 feet per mile.       Center where we
The River Mile numbers referred to        got     some    very
are not posted along the river, but       helpf ul     advice
are marked on the series of four to-      about      camping
pographic maps entitled Upper Mis-        sites, drought con-
souri National Wild and Scenic River      ditions, and hikes
sold by the Bureau of Land Manage-        to take. We were
ment. The maps are at a scale of          advised        that
1:63,360 or one inch equals one           whether or not the
mile, with a contour interval of 100      store at Judith
feet.                                     Landing is open
     We had been advised to prepare       depends          on
for both hot and cold weather, but        whether        Amy
we had all hot - sunny days with tem-     comes in. We were
peratures in the 90s, with lows no        told it would be
less than the mid 60s. We had thun-       OK to dig cat holes
derstorms the last three evenings in      rather than buy a Paddling the Badlands. Tom Gray and Chet Gray
camp. On several days, we had to          “Luggable     Loo”. Photo by Gordon Gray
paddle into strong winds.                 Then they showed
                                          us a video about the river. After pos-
                                          ing for a photo in front of the statue   allowed plenty of distance to get
TRIP DISTANCE SUMMARY                     of Lewis and Clark and Sacajawea,        where you want to go. The river is in
                                          we went to the Adventure Bound           control, pushing you forward. We
8/1   6 miles Ft. Benton fairgrounds
                                          facility for our rental canoes and       camped at Evans Bend Primitive
      (river mile -.3) to Evans Bend
                                          supplies. They lead us over to the       Boat Camp, at mile 6. The only facil-
      Camp (mile 5.9) 2 hours
                                          fairground which would be our put-       ity was one iron fire ring. We had
8/2   24 miles to rough camping on
                                          in spot. We unloaded our consider-
      an island to the left of Three                                                                                 (Continued on page 8)

                                                           Page 7
Canoe Cruisers Association of Greater Washington DC, Inc. October 03

   Missouri River (Continued from page 7)                        left at mile 29.6. The islands on the     wall on our left. That was the only
   been warned by the B.L.M. ranger                              right at that point are labeled Three     place where the cliffs come all the
   that because of high danger of fires,                         Islands on the map. After the 98˚         way down into the water. Pilot Rock
   we must never build a fire unless                             day, clouds rolled in and held the        was a black column in the last farm
   there is a ring. We swam at camp. A                           heat in. It was too hot in the tent, so   along the river. We finally arrived at
   strong southeast wind kept the night                          I sat out until midnight.                 this day’s destination, Eagle Creek
   warm.                                                                                                   Camp at mile 56. There were two
                                                                 8/3/2003 - 26 miles in 8 hours
                                                                                                           other small groups in other sites at
   8/2/2003 - 24 miles in 7 hours                    We traded places in the canoes,                       the camp. It would be the only
       The amount of bird life in-              as we do every day, so people paddle                       camp we would share on the trip.
   creased. There were lots of families         with different partners, in both ends                      Directly across the river is a160-foot
   of Canada geese. We encountered              of the canoe. Everyone got their                           vertical cliff, at the top of which used
   many white pelicans. Now we know             chance to paddle one of the two solo                       to stand the Eye of the Needle. That
   why Adventure Bound uses the                 canoes. The weather was still over-                        famous rock structure was destroyed
   white pelican as its symbol, painted         cast, it began to drizzle, and a strong                    by vandals in 1997.
                                                                   wind blew from                               After dinner, Gordy, Larry, Brian,
                                                                   the      northeast.                     and Tom paddled across the river to
                                                                   Much of the morn-                       climb to the top of the rock. We
                                                                   ing this wind was                       found a steep, narrow slot up which
                                                                   in our faces, slow-                     we could climb. There were four
                                                                   ing us down. Up                         pitches that required hand holds. At
                                                                   to this point, we                       the top, we took photos of each
                                                                   had been traveling                      other. The view looked just like
                                                                   through     agricul-                    published photos of Eye of the Nee-
                                                                   tural land, with                        dle looking downriver. The climb
                                                                   frequent irrigation                     back down was scary in the steep
                                                                   rigs spraying river                     pitches.
                                                                   water on fields.
                                                                                                                As we did most evenings, we sat
                                                                   Frequent       steep
                                                                                                           around the campfire (we had for-
                                                                   bluffs and islands
                                                                                                           aged for firewood before reaching
                                                                   kept it from being
   The former “Eye of the Needle” stood here. Larry Lynch,                                                 the camp) singing, passing around
                                                                  too civilized.     We
   Gordon Gray, Brian Gray. Photo by Tom Gray.                                                             Chet’s guitar. About 10:30 this eve-
                                                                  did not see another
                                                                                                           ning, we had a visitor. A man walked
                                                                  boat. We are seeing
                                                                                                           over from a nearby site and told us
   on each canoe. We startled several           a lot of fish, about 20 inches long,
                                                                                                           politely to shut up. He said he is an
   mule deer. The set of four maps              probably carp, that are feasting on
                                                                                                           off-duty B.L.M. ranger, camping to-
   from B.L.M. were helpful in telling          the thousands of floating insects.
                                                                                                           night with his family who is trying to
   where we are, but are inaccurate in          The carp slowly swim upstream with
                                                                                                           sleep. We had seen the regulation
   its portrayal of islands. The river          their mouth open, scooping up in-
                                                                                                           mandating quiet hours between
   obviously shifts its course a lot.           sects. They look like they are wear-
                                                                                                           10PM and 6AM.
   Some river channels shown on the             ing orange lipstick.
   map do not exist. Some channels                   As planned, we stopped at Coal                        8/4/2003 – 17 miles in 5 hours
   that we canoed weren’t shown on              Banks Landing. We refilled our wa-                         Today is Chet’s 64th birthday!
   the map. The map showed a mile-              ter carriers, and dumped our trash at
   long rapid named Black Bluff Rapids.                                                                         After a quick breakfast, we began
                                                their dumpster. As we had lunch at
   When we got there, there was no                                                                         our much-anticipated hike in Neatts
                                                one of their picnic tables, we
   rapid at all, not even a riffle. As we                                                                  Coulee. Ever since seeing the beau-
                                                watched two sea kayaks and three
   passed the mouth of Marias River,                                                                       tiful photo of hikers in a narrow slot
                                                canoes put in. The B.L.M. host told
   we watched for the channels in its                                                                      canyon, we wanted to know where
                                                us a group of 12 had put in earlier.
   delta, shown on the map. They                                                                           to find it. Back in the B.L.M. Visitor
                                                A few miles farther on, we saw the
   don’t exist. USGS showed 490 cfs                                                                        Center at Fort Benton, ranger Mark
                                                group of 12. It was a huge war ca-
   flowing in the Marias that day, about                                                                   Schaeffer told us the path into Neatts
                                                noe with guides steering it. The pas-
   10% of the Missouri’s flow. It’s hard                                                                   Coulee begins at the downstream
                                                sengers sat two by two with paddles.
   to imagine today why Lewis &                                                                            end of Eagle Creek Camp. We hiked
                                                A large motorized inflatable raft car-
   Clark’s crew spent ten days debating                                                                    into the coulee and turned right at
                                                ried their gear.
   which fork was the main river. The                                                                      the fork as directed by Ranger Mark.
                                                     The river was now flowing                             Suddenly, we were in the slot can-
   Marias must have been in flood               southeast, so the northwest wind
   when they arrived.                                                                                      yon. We could reach out and touch
                                                had become our friend. Finally the                         vertical rock walls on both sides.
        After some swims to cool off            famed White Cliffs came into view                          There were places where rock scram-
   while floating with the current, we          with intricate shapes eroded into
   made camp on an island on river              them. A great one formed a sheer                                                 (Continued on page 9)

                                                                                   Page 8
                                                                                 Canoe Cruisers Association of Greater Washington DC, Inc. October 03

Sassafras River Trip
By: Ed Pilchard

     Intrigued by Hulbert Fortner's         nah Solo Plus. A few minutes later,          Kent Co. native, Catherine "Kitty"
1944 opinion that the Sassafras was         our attention was again diverted by          Knight, defied Admiral Sir George
the most beautiful river on Mary-           the "mad bee" sound of an outboard           Cockbum and refused to leave an
land's Eastern Shore (see "Rivers of        motor boat bearing two boys going            invalid neighbor resident while
the Eastern Shore" by Hulbert               full-tilt down the middle. This time,        torches were being applied to the
Fortner), John Heidemann and I had          the waves were smaller but still big         porch. "Kitty" reportedly beat out
a look -see there on the first Satur-       enough to require a change in our            the flames with her broom while
day in September and found things           line of travel so as to meet .them           the soldiers marched back to their
had changed. At least, the weather          bow-first. On we went for about a            boats. The two houses have since
was beautiful: sunny, light breeze,         mile along the Kent County ( south)          been joined and currently consti-
air temperature in the 70's. We put         shore, occasionally exchanging greet-        tute The Kitty Knight House and
in at the Fredericktown public land-        ings with those we saw working or            Restaurant (telephone 1-410-648-
ing, about 400 yards west of the            relaxing on their boats and docks.           5200). We lunched inexpensively
Route 213 bridge, and headed up-            The opposite (Cecil County) shore            at Twinsey's Restaurant in Galena,
stream.-Both river banks were lined         appeared mostly undeveloped east             then checked out the public boat
by big power boats and sailboats.           of Fredericktown with grass mead-            landing at the end of Fox Hole
Lettering on their transoms and             ows and tracts of deciduous trees,           Road, about two miles east of Ga-
sides informed us that most hailed          the land gently sloping to the water         lena, off Route 290. Here, the Sas-
from Atlantic cities and ports; one         line. We could see a few more docks          safras is about 100 yards wide and
was from the State of Oregon.               and man-made structures upstream             has the character of a place for
     Our attention was soon diverted        from Greg Neck Boatyard where we             fishing boats and water skiers.
to the source of the deep, mellow           turned about, taking out after an                 Continuing eastward for three
sound of a ship's horn and low rum-         hour on the water.                           miles on Routes 290 and 299 we
ble of its diesel engine: a 50-foot sail-        From Hulbert's book and a               found no public access to the Sassa-
ing yacht talking to the lift bridge        Kent County brochure, we were                fras there nor at the village of Sassa-
tender. Although traveling at "No           reminded that most of George-                fras and its mill pond, sans mill. Al-
Wake" speed and about 200 yards             town, at the south end of the                though we didn’t check out the Route
from us, it sent us a series of big         bridge, was burned by British sol-           301 bridge, our copy of a. recently
waves that were barely accommo-             diers during May 1813. A church              revised map shows no public parking
dated by the freeboard of my Weno-          and two brick houses were left.              or river access at that location.

Missouri River (Continued from page 8)       Breaks. Ranger Mark had told us to          the river, you can gaze in awe at the
bling was necessary. After a quarter         head north across the level summit,         features passing by. A camera can’t
mile, the slopes opened up and we            and come back down the north fork           capture it; where would you point it
turned left at a second fork, follow-        of Neatts Coulee. He said there are         when it’s spectacular in every direc-
ing it up to high ground. From               Indian tipi rings at the top and natu-      tion? Among the white sandstone
there, we saw distant mountains, the         ral arches on the way down this re-         cliffs are many dark volcanic intru-
only time on our trip we could see           turn route. We didn’t see them, but         sions. Some are tall plugs like La-
out of the valley of the Missouri River      we did encounter a twelve-foot high         Barge Rock, some are long black
                                                     drop in the floor of the            dikes, some look like walls that by
                                                     stream bed.       We climbed        their texture resemble bricks laid in
                                                     down that dry waterfall and         rows. Because we had already had a
                                                     continued down the coulee           good hike this morning, we didn’t
                                                     to our camp site. The green         hike up to Hole in the Wall. When
                                                     vegetation in the coulee was        we passed the bottom of the trail to
                                                     nothing like the arid environ-      Hole in the Wall, there were already
                                                     ment outside.                       six canoes and three kayaks pulled
                                                     After some food, we finally         up on shore. We passed some for-
                                                     loaded the canoes and started       mations in white sandstone that
                                                     paddling, at 11:00AM. We are        looked like European cathedrals,
                                                     now in the heart of the White       with carvings of saints, each in its
                                                     Cliffs.   It is spectacularly       own compartment. We made camp
Singing around the campfire, Missouri River, Mon- beautiful. In many places, the         at Pablo Rapids Camp, mile 72.8
tana. Tom Gray, Will Gray, Larry Lynch. Photo by cliffs are eroded into fancy                  To be continued . . . .
Gordon Gray.                                         shapes. As you drift down

                                                              Page 9
Canoe Cruisers Association of Greater Washington DC, Inc. October 03

   On The River—(and off)                                                            Introduction to Canoeing 2003
                                                                                     By: Ed Pilchard
   N=Novice PN= Practiced Novice LI=Low Intermediate I=Intermediate
   HI= High Intermediate AI=Advanced Intermediate A=Advanced E=Expert                     A total of 88 potential canoeists attended this year's
   Check the On-Line Calendar for schedule changes and the Message Board for         "Introduction to Canoeing" sessions on the C&O Canal at
   last minute trips at To Volunteer to coordinate a Trip contact Gus      Fletcher's and Swain’s boathouses. That figure represents the
   Anderson at (703) 903-9738 or                                   smallest response we've seen since 1972, when CCA started
                                                                                     offering beginner classes to the general public. We held 21
   October                                                                           classes this year during June, July and August. Rainy weather,
   31    I NC Nantahala River—call Jennifer Plyler before                            a fallen tree at Swain's, and the draining of the C&O canal at
         8 PM, (301) 445-4815.                                                       Fletcher's prompted five cancellations.
   November                                                                               CCA volunteers John Heidemann and Ed Pilchard
   1     I NC Nantahala River—call Jennifer Plyler before                            instructed at both boat houses for most of the June, July
         8 PM, (301) 445-4815.                                                       and August dates. John Paul Tolson, Jan Wolf, Ed Kron,
                                                                                     Robin Siegel and Kathy Sengstock also instructed at
   2     AI TN Ocoee River—call Jennifer Plyler before 8
                                                                                     Fletchers, while Jim Finucane, Mike Fisher, Tom Dugan,
         PM, (301) 445-4815.
                                                                                     Fred Huemmrich, Susan Sherrod, Lee Tucker and Barbara
   16    Join fellow members for a trip and event                                    Brown lent a hand at Swain1s.
         planning party at Barb Brown's house on the
                                                                                          We thank the friendly boat livery proprietors at
         Potomac. We will provide beer and burgers,
                                                                                     Fletcher's and Swain's for again availing us of their facili-
         and you bring your thoughts on what kind of
                                                                                     ties and equipment.
         trips and events we should plan for next year.
         The house is next to the tow path so the
         spouse and kids can come and take a hike
         while we do the planning. Sunday, Nov. 16th,
         3 to 6 p.m. 10801 Admiral's Way, Potomac,
         Maryland (first left upstream (west) of Swain's
         Lock, last house on the dead end street near
         the canal.) Tel. Gus for more info 703-903-
         9738. Call Barb if you get lost. 301-765-9115
   5     CCA Meeting and Holiday Bazaar—Speaker will
         be from the USGS. See details on page 2.

                                                                                     Ed Pilchard with a group of students at Swain’s Lock.

   Canoe Cruisers Association of Greater Washington, DC
   PO Box 3236
   Merrifield, VA 22116-3236

                                                                                  Page 10

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