Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Fall Follies 2005

Fall Follies 2005, originally uploaded by jmharper.

When you see burning furniture, you know it is Fall Follies time! It isn't a paddle, but many Mice come to this annual event, held at Newport News Park the weekend before Thanksgiving. This is not roughing it, unless you call sleeping in a tent on an air mattress under an electric blanket roughing it!

The Follies has been a Mogul tradition for over ten years, and is usually the biggest camping event of the year. It is pretty much the final outdoor event before the holidays and ski season. It is also a great chance to relax and enjoy the comany of your fellow campers.

Ready for the Bike Ride

Ready for the Bike Ride, originally uploaded by jmharper.

As this is a paddling blog, it probably should at least cover a group of people using their own physical power to travel a scenic route, even if it isn't on a kayak!

One of the highlights of the Fall Follies bike ride through Newport News Park, the Yorktown Battlefield National Park, and historic Yorktown. This is a very traditional ride, with several mandatory stops along the way. This time, the weather was perfect for the daring riders, including Jeff, Jim, Bobbie, Debbie, Chriis, Jim and Chris.

George Washington (blanked) Here

George Washington (blanked) Here, originally uploaded by jmharper.

The first traditional stop on the Fall Follies bicycle ride is Washington's Headquarters, just inside the battlefield park.

Mogul historians have uncovered the truth about this spot. He didn't lead his army from here, but he did take care of some urgent "personal" business down at the creek behind this sign. Various Moguls have reenacted this momentous event throughout the years.

The group also makes it a point to stop on top of the bridge over route 17, and to NEVER follow Jim and Bobbie, except for this year. In addition to the traditional historical spots, Jim and Bobbie led some rapidly tiring cyclists to Yellowstone National Park this year on their way to Yorktown.

The Cornwallis Tree

The Cornwallis Tree, originally uploaded by jmharper.

Legend has it that when the American and French troops had Lord Cornwallis surrounded at the end of the battle of Yorktown, he climbed this tree, and refused to come down until the troops apologized for calling him names.

Traditionally, Mogul has reenacted Cornwallis' fateful climb. Several riders would climb up and sit on the large limb until they were photographed. After years of such abuse, the limb now needs support, so Chris, Chris and Jim lend a hand with some historic preservation.

The Destination

The Destination, originally uploaded by jmharper.

The Yorktown Pub has been around for a while, and is a cozy, neighborhood kind of place that happens to serve people from all over, including a certain campground on the other side of the battlefield. The pub is on the scenic Yorktown waterfront, in the shadow of the Coleman Bridge. The chowder comes highly recommended, as does the St. George Golden Ale, brewed up in Hampton.

This year, the group was joined by John, who ventured out just a couple of weeks after heart surgery. It was great to see him out and about!After a tasty lunch, most of the group trudges back up the steep hill to start the ride back to camp.

Seeing the Sights

Seeing the Sights, originally uploaded by jmharper.

Some folks decide to stay at the Pub until the big football games, like Michigan- Ohio State, are over. Then it is time to wander back along the route as it gets dark.

When one is confident in their ability to pedal back to the campsite at dusk after several beers, one stops to see some of the sights along the way. Here, Chris and Debbie check out George Washington's personal cannon. Yes, it really is that big!

It Wouldn't be Fall Follies Without...

Jerry burning stuff. From radio cabinets to chairs, from wood to wicker, one of the highlights of Fall Follies is seeing what Jerry will add to the fire to make it burn brighter.

Thanks to Jeanine for organizing (and founding) the Fall Follies each year. One of the best events going!

END Fall Follies

Friday, November 04, 2005

Put-in at Cherrystone Creek

Put-in at Cherrystone Creek, originally uploaded by jmharper.

One of the benefits of a sit-inside kayak is that you can extend your season. Two mice did just that, venturing back to the Eastern Shore in late October for a paddle on Cherrystone Creek. Jerry and Jeff found this put in just upstream from the Cherrystone campground near Cape Charles.

It turned out to be a beautiful day for a paddle, with the temperature in the mid-60's, and very little wind. Looking at all of the open water, the lack of wind was a real blessing! A friendly dog even joined us, and found a good stick to fetch!

Follow the Creek Wherever It Goes

There are numerous small creeks that branch off of the very wide Cherrystone Creek. We wound up following Eyrehall Creek for quite a while. It started about 20 yards wide at a dock and boathouse, and wound up pretty close to US-13 at about 8 feet wide. As with many small creeks, there were a lot of twists and turns, so while you may have paddled a long way, you might not have wound up very far away.

This nice scene was about two-thirds of the way up Eyrehall Creek.

Any Place to Stretch Your Legs

Any Place to Stretch Your Legs, originally uploaded by jmharper.

One of the things abouit paddling is that you always want to stretch your legs, and your seat can get kind of sore. It isn't always easy to find a place to pull over, so when you see something, you go for it. Here, we found a very small sandbar. Not much room, but if all you want to do is stand up, what the heck!

This sandbar presented a unique hazard. In arriving, we scared off a couple of swans, and a large flock of terns, just hanging out on this small spit of land. When birds are just standing around, what do they do? Well, lets just say we watched our step on this particular sandbar!

END Cherrystone