Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Kiptopeke Weekend 2006

Around Raccoon Island, originally uploaded by jmharper.

The weekend after Labor Day, the River Mice gathered for the sixth annual Kiptopeke weekend at Kiptopeke State Park on the eastern shore. Located just three miles past the toll plaza of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, it is an ideal retreat close to home.

Camp was set up under the trees at the spacious campground. Most of our sites backed up against each other, making for a nice community feel.

The highlight of the weekend is the Saturday paddle. This year, conditions were ideal to paddle around Raccoon Island, a close-in barrier island. A large group headed out, including Bill and Cheri, Ed and Connie, George and Bev, Jeff and Chris, Jerry and Jeanine, and Peggy and Jim. Debbie and Joe arrived early in the morning, and decided to get acquainted with their new camper instead of paddling.

No matter where you are, the bridge-tunnel isn't far away. It is off to the left of this picture.

Among the Barrier Islands

Among the Barrier Islands, originally uploaded by jmharper.

Saturday's paddle had ideal conditions for exploring the barrier islands. The tide was up, and the wind was down. Those far-off islands were more inviting than ever, and most of the group took the bait. After traveling most of the way around Raccoon Island, our intrepid paddlers took off for the far point of Fishermans Island, a mile away across open water.

The trip out and back took most of an hour, with no chance for rest. Fishermans Island is completely closed to human visitors. Finally, it was time to take out in the mud. The tide had dropped about 3-4 feet since put-in. Then it was back to camp for showers, dinner, and another night around the fire.

Touring the Concrete Ships

Touring the Concrete Ships, originally uploaded by jmharper.

On Sunday the group took advantage of the beautiful weather and paddled out to the concrete ships that serve as a breakwater. Yes, concrete ships. They were an experiment during world war II, when steel was in high demand. Concrete was used for the ship's hull, and yes, it floated! When the Little Creek-Cape Charles ferry terminal moved to this location, the owner purchased the ships, floated them into place, and sank them to serve as a breakwater. Now, they are one of the sights of Kiptopeke.

It was another great weekend of paddling and friendship. The weather was near perfect- not too hot, with little wind. All in all, Kiptopeke was as it should be, a perfect way to start the end of summer!


Monday, August 07, 2006

Schonkathon '06

Schonkathon '06, originally uploaded by jmharper.

this was the scene as Moguls of all stripes gathered at John's house for a pool party on August 5th. Since John lives on the Lafayette River, the party was also a good excuse for a paddle.

Only half of the boats that got in the river are in this picture. NINETEEN boats and 21 people in all paddled across the river to explore the backyards of the creeks of Larchmont and the Riverfront neighborhood. It was a record turnout for a paddle, and several new people were introduced to the fun of flatwater paddling.

Oh, and there was this great spread of food, and a pool, and lots of good friends, but since this is a paddling blog...

Checking the Put-in

Checking the Put-in, originally uploaded by jmharper.

Jerry and Vonnie take a walk down the pier to identify possible put-in spots. In the end, paddlers descended a ladder and took a few steps over to a small patch of sand in order to get started. it took about 30 minutes to get the whole crew in the water.

It was a beautiful day for a paddle and a party. The heat wave finally broke, giving us a "cool" 86 degree day with lower humidity.

Lovin' it!

Lovin' it!, originally uploaded by jmharper.

Teresa decided to check out the River Mice way of life, and from the smile on her face, you have to say she loves it! She is in a Jazz, a short sit-on-top model that is perfect for checking out the paddling scene. It's a little turny for some mice paddles, but just right for a social paddle like this one.

Hope you can be like Teresa and join us for a paddle soon!

How'm I Doing?

How'm I Doing?, originally uploaded by jmharper.

We've seen Ed on the water a couple of times, but this was the first time we got to paddle with Connie. She did great, and seemed to be enjoying herself on Crab Creek.

3 People, Two Boats

3 People, Two Boats, originally uploaded by jmharper.

Jan and her friends take a photo break halfway through the paddle. Her friends (whose names I can't remember, but will edit in if someone lets me know,) are in a tandem boat, and seem to be getting along fine.

The pool party started at 2pm, and lasted until about 11. Some folks just couldn't get enough of the company and the awesome weather.

George's Big Splash

George's Big Splash, originally uploaded by jmharper.

The highlight of the party, aside from the perfect weather, was George's entry into the water. With years of experience in whitewater, he made it look easy. He also made the fully-clothed back-flop into the pool look easy!

Thanks to John and Jan for putting on an awesome party!


Sunday, August 06, 2006

Heat Wave on the Hague!

Heat Wave on the Hague!, originally uploaded by jmharper.

August 3rd, 2006 was the hottest day of the year, with temperatures topping out at 102 or 103 degrees. This thermometer reading was at 6:05pm, a few minutes before six mice put in at the Hague for our second evening paddle of the season.

Yes, you can put in at Ghent! We started in front of the Chrysler Museum, close to the footbridge. It was oppressively hot on land, but once we got on the water, things cooled off a bit. It was still hot, but not nearly bad enough to stay home. There was actually a nice breeze that helped alot.

On the Elizabeth River

On the Elizabeth River, originally uploaded by jmharper.

Our Paddle took us down the Hague, past the PETA building, and into the Elizabeth River, where we turned left. We passed the battleship Wisconsin, Nauticus and the new cruise terminal, Town Point Park and Waterside before stopping just before the Berkeley Bridge. In this picture, the bridge had just closed after opening for a rather tall tug. Jim and Peggy think the opening was for our little group!

Note how relaxed Peggy is.

Sunset Paddling

Sunset Paddling, originally uploaded by jmharper.

After we turned around, we were treated to the setting sun and some neat colors in front of Waterside. This view looks towards the Waterside Marina, and just left of center, the Huntington Tugboat Museum. The Portsmouth Naval Hospital is in the distance.

Turning around put is against the wind, making the paddle just a little more pleasant. Despite the haze, the sun did get in our eyes a little, though!

Fun on the Water

Fun on the Water, originally uploaded by jmharper.

Does this look like a group of people who just spent an hour and a half in misery? Of course not! Peggy, Jerry, Jeanine, Chris and Jeff have smiles on their faces after another great paddle. Photographer Jim was smiling too.

After the paddle, everyone gathered at Chris's condo nearby for some delicious snacks and beverages, as well as some great conversation. The flank steak and bean dip were delicious! Thanks for hosting us Chris!


Princess Anne Road Paddle- Dark Skies

Six Mice showed up July 20th at the Princess Anne Road put-in, hoping to get a paddle in before the skies cut loose. They got their wish, paddling down Upper West Neck Creek for about 45 minutes before hearing some distant thunder and deciding to turn back.

This picture actually shows the skies AFTER the paddle. It started to drizzle when the boats were tied back up and we were ready to leave.

Rainy Day Paddlers

Rainy Day Paddlers, originally uploaded by jmharper.

Jim, Barb, Brad, Jeanine, and Chris pose for the camera before the group disbanded for the day. Despite the paddle being cut short due to potential bad weather, they enjoyed the paddle.

Princess Anne Road seems to be the River Mice's jinxed paddle. For the second year in a row, the paddle was affected by rain. Hopefully the next time we try will be better- the West Neck Creek is really a beautiful paddle!


Saturday, July 29, 2006


Hague Paddle- RESCHEDULED, originally uploaded by jmharper.

We were rained out of an evening paddle once again, so we are trying next week!

Thursday, August 3rd, 6:15pm, THE HAGUE, in Norfolk. We will meet on
the north side of the Hague, along Mowbray Arch, between the Chrysler Museum
and the footbridge. This is a relaxed, after-work social paddle. We will
explore the Hague, and perhaps venture into the Elizabeth River for a little

Chris Hoyland will host some snacks and beverages afterwards at her place, a
block north of the Chrysler Museum.

Then on Saturday, August 5th, it is the 2nd annual John Schonk party. Among other things, you can paddle the Lafayette River in Norfolk. Bring your boat, or borrow one for a while.

Air Power Park Paddle

Air Power Park Paddle, originally uploaded by jmharper.

On June 24th, four daring mice snuck into Air Power Park to paddle the Back River from a dock located inside the park. Actually, we got permission from park personnel, but had to heave our boats over the fence and drag them about 50 yards to get them to the dock for put-in. Here, Jeff, jeanine and Chris do all the heavy lifting, while Jerry snaps a few pictures.

With the jets and rockets nearby, this was definitely one of the most unique put-ins we have ever used!

On the Back River

On the Back River, originally uploaded by jmharper.

This wasn't the paddle for you if you wanted to get away from it all. we did see herons, muskrats, and surprisingly, orioles! But a look at the top right of this photo will tell you that we were never far away from the rest of the world in Hampton.

The Back River is more of a creek and a drainage channel when you head south from the park. Aside from the roads, there is always a decent buffer of trees and grasses between the water and development.

Scenic Hampton

Scenic Hampton, originally uploaded by jmharper.

On this paddle, you get some interesting views, from the rockets of Air Power Park to the Hampton Coliseum. The lakes of the coliseum are separated from our creek by a spillway, so we couldn't get in there. Perhaps if the tide had been a little higher we might have been able to get a little closer.

Of course, the highways were a constant companion on this paddle, from LaSalle Avenue to the interstates. Road noise was never far away.

Pagoda Lunch

Pagoda Lunch, originally uploaded by jmharper.

If you look hard as you travel on I-64 at the 664 interchange, you just might see this little pagoda on a spit of land in the middle of a lake under the power lines. This was Jerry's goal for the paddle, to figure out what this pagoda was.

Apparently, it was built by a group of friends to be a hangout for beer drinking and other pursuits. We could see a fair amount of beer-related trash nearby. At any rate, it was a nice spot to sit down and have lunch. And just enough beach to pull up our kayaks.

Concrete Nature

Concrete Nature, originally uploaded by jmharper.

If you don't mind a little concrete, and a little noise, Air Power Park is a great place to put in. Next time, we may head the other way, towards Langley Air Force Base and the York River.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Lotus Garden Loop

Lotus Garden Loop, originally uploaded by jmharper.

On Saturday, July 8th, five mice met at Lotus Garden Park for a sunny paddle. The loop has some of the most varied scenery of any of our paddles. We started out with a narrow, tree lined creek up to the Hells Point golf course. after a right turn, we headed down a slowly widening canal for a couple of miles. in this picture, Marcial, Ginny, Jim and Chris have made it almost to the Back Bay.

After a short stretch along the edge of Back Bay, we entered a winding, open creek for the mile and a half paddle back to put-in.

Boats at the Ready

Boats at the Ready, originally uploaded by jmharper.

That's a Scrambler, a Zoar Sport, a pair of Tsunamis, and one of Jim's many boats. They come in many different shapes and lengths. The lime green boat is a sit-on-top model, very stable and easy to get in and out of. It has holes in the bottom, so the boat can self-bail.

The other boats are the conventional sit-in models. The middle three boats are recreational touring kayaks. They are very stable, and quite comfortable, but get through the water more quickly than the sit-on-top. Jim's boat is a little longer and narrower than the others, and is closer to a true sea kayak. You lose a little stability, but gain speed.

Whatever boat you have, you are welcome to join us on a paddle!

Hazardous Put-in

Hazardous Put-in, originally uploaded by jmharper.

The Lotus Garden Loop is just that- a loop. You paddle around in one direction, and return to where you started. Well, almost where you started.

At Lotus Garden Park, Sandbridge Road crosses the creek with a couple of small pipe culverts. Even at low tide, you can't paddle through them. So you have to walk across the road at put-in or take out. Our group decided to cross for the put-in. Of course, Sandbridge Road on a summer Saturday is quite busy, so it took a while to get all five boats across.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle, originally uploaded by jmharper.

During our brief trip into Back bay, we saw one of the coolest things you can see while paddling- a Bald eagle. In this picture, the top of the tree behind sort of muddles the view of it's head, but you can definitely see the head and beak, pointing to the left.

Bald eagles are still somewhat rare, but you can see one in our area if you are lucky. this one seemed kind of non-chalant, flying back a tree or two when we pulled up close. For some of us, it was our first bald eagle sighting!

Follow the Creek

Follow the Creek, originally uploaded by jmharper.

Here Jim and Ginny head through an opening in the reeds, close to the take-out. The final portion of this paddle was a winding creek for about a mile and a half. Reeds and cypress were the predominant scene.

After 2-1/2 hours, we pulled back into the Lotus Garden Park, and called it a day. A beautiful day and a great paddle!


Mice on the Shenandoah!

Mice on the Shenandoah!, originally uploaded by jmharper.

It really isn't a River Mice event, because the water was moving faster than a tidal current, but many mice joined George for Canoe and Steak Day on the Shenandoah River near Luray. He set up a rental house for two nights just up the hill from the river, and set up the paddle with the outfitters. Four kayaks and four canoes made their way down eight miles of the river.

Here Peggy and Jim are lining themselves up to go through a "hole" in a ledge that spans across the river just underneath the water surface. Perhaps they are thinking of the steak dinner awaiting them at the end of the day...

Our Hosts

Our Hosts, originally uploaded by jmharper.

George and Bev are shown here lazily floating down the river. In fact they always look like they are lazily floating down the river, because both are quite experienced paddlers. They were able to pick out the many obstacles in the river, caused by the low water level, and make it through with nary a scratch.

The low water conditions made getting down the river quite a challenge. It really tested your river reading skills to make it through what was normally a class 1 rapid, but instead was a little bit of water and some rocks. It was a lot of fun, as the challenge came without the risks of running rougher whitewater.

It's Shorn and Nancy!

It's Shorn and Nancy!, originally uploaded by jmharper.

Shorn and Nancy braved the campground at the outfitters, rather than staying at the house. They seemed to be none the worse for wear!

Yes, they are Mogul members, and occasional Mice. thankfully for us, they don't paddle like they ski, or they would have finished three hours ahead of us, and would have started over again from the put-in!

Taking a Load Off

Taking a Load Off, originally uploaded by jmharper.

Jerry takes a seat in his canoe, probably resting his feet. He spent quite a bit of time standing in his boat, scouting the river ahead. It takes balance, and experience to stand in a moving canoe!

Even though the water was low, everyone had a great time on the river. Thanks to George for putting it all together!


Saturday, July 01, 2006

Tentative July Mice Schedule

Stay tuned for details!

Saturday, July 8th- West Neck Creek.
---This is the paddle that soaked us last year. Rain from start to finish. We will actually try to see something this time!

Thursday, July 13th- The Hague.
---An easy social paddle on the Hague in Ghent, with a possible venture into the Elizabeth River, hosted by Chris. Snacks and beverages afterwards at her place.

Sunday, July 23rd- Lotus Garden Loop.
---We missed this one last year. Put in off of Sandbridge Road, and paddle a five mile loop through some varied scenery. A fun paddle!

All paddles are subject to change- an email will confirm them.

See you on the water!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Owl's Creek Night Paddle

Owl's Creek Night Paddle, originally uploaded by jmharper.

The third time was the charm! After two cancellations for rainy weather, seven Mice met after work at the Owl's Creek boat ramp near the Virginia Marine Science Museum. Jim, Ed, John, Jan, Ginny, Marcial and Jeff hit the water in mid June at about 7:30 pm for a nice relaxing two-hour paddle.

Here Ed models the standard paddling set-up. Boat, paddle, PFD (mandatory), and a desire to enjoy yourself on the water. Note the night addition of the flashlight. Our eyes will adjust to the increasing darkness, but the lights are so others can see us. Power boat traffic was minimal, as it usually is at Owl's Creek. It is one place where the power boaters seem to respect the no wake zone.

Sunset's On Its Way

Sunset's On Its Way, originally uploaded by jmharper.

Well, this time the fireflies weren't as numerous, but the sunset was great. Sunset on a kayak is a unique experience. Kind of like the pie and chips in the insurance commercial. Sunset? Kayaking? Sunset while kayaking! Everybody likes sunset while kayaking.

John and Jan are beaming in anticipation of the sunset to come, and perhaps a tasty libation at one of the Rudee Inlet watering holes afterwards! Jan was also enjoying her new boat!

That's My House Back There!

That's My House Back There!, originally uploaded by jmharper.

One of the many interesting aspects of any paddle at Owl's Creek is the trip under the Rudee Inlet Bridge and into Lake Wesley, otherwise known as Croatan's backyard. Lots of massive houses, some of which don't seem to make sense.

We learned a little something about each other by staking a claim to "our" favorite house along the lake. Here, Ginny seems to prefer the one with the large deck, or was it the one with the lighthouse, or the one with the huge yacht?

Rudee Inlet at Night

Rudee Inlet at Night, originally uploaded by jmharper.

This is one of the few "night" pictures that came out. Maybe you can get an idea of what we saw.

The best way to experience it though, is to join us! Every paddle brings something a little different. We missed the moon this time, since moonrise wasn't until early morning, but that just made the dark a little darker!

Hope you can make it to our next paddle!


Thursday, June 22, 2006

Air Power Park Paddle- TIME CHANGE

Hello Mice!

I hope some of you were considering joining us at Air Power Park this weekend- it should be a great paddle over some new territory. Jerry plans to take us up the Back River towards the Hampton Coliseum, and if there is time, down towards Langley AFB and the bay.

Air Power Park is at the intersection of Mercury Boulevard and LaSalle Avenue, and is best approached from the west. Taking the Mercury Boulevard exit off I-64 and heading east for about a mile and a half is probably the best option. Meet in the main parking lot.

The original scheduled put in of 1pm does not work with the tides (low tide is at 2:30), so the paddle is ***RESCHEDULED TO 10AM***. Pack a lunch, we will stop somewhere along the way to relax and eat.

Hope to see you this Saturday, June 24th, at Air Power Park in Hampton, 10AM!


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

June Mice Paddles

Ready to paddle? Here's what's coming up:

This was one of our most popular paddles last year. Meet at the Owl's Creek boat ramp near the Marine Science Museum in Virginia Beach at 7pm, put in at 7:30. We will paddle for a while in the light, then after sunset, we will explore some of the side creeks under the light of a nearly full moon. You will never forget the fireflies! Bring a flashlight.

Meet at the City boat ramp on the west side of the Lesner bridge at 10am for a traditional early season "social" paddle. We explore creeks and inlets at a relaxed pace, then adjourn to Bubba's restaurant for a late lunch and refreshing beverage. The perfect way to unwind after Harborfest!

A most unique put-in, found by Jerry Schneider during one of his investigations. Meet at 1pm at the park- we will put-in at a dock inside the park, and paddle up the Back River, through marshes, and under the I-64/664 interchange. Lots of nature in the middle of the city!

Times, and very occasionally dates are subject to change. Check your email before a paddle to get the most up-to-date info.

Future paddles will include putting in at the Chrysler Museum, and paddling our favorite leg of the Virginia beach Scenic Waterway, the West Neck Creek. (We will try to see it without pouring rain!) We will also be heading back to Merchant's Millpond for a daytrip.

As always, if you email me ahead of time, we will wait for you. If you don't, we won't. PFD's are mandatory, paddles are helpful. Turn off your cell phone and enjoy your friends and the scenery.

If you don't have a boat and want to try one out, let me know ahead of time. Many of us have extra boats and gear, but we need a little advance notice to load it up.

Keep an eye on the River Mice blog for what the Mice have been doing. It has been updated with some of our activities this season.

See you on the water!

Jeff Harper

Monday, May 22, 2006

Jerry's Trip to the Dismal Swamp

Jerry's Trip to the Dismal Swamp, originally uploaded by jmharper.

On Saturday the 20th, Jerry joined the CASK group for a paddle to Lake Drummond, in the middle of the Great Dismal Swamp. Put in was at the Ballahack Road boat ramp on the Dismal Swamp canal, the same place the Paddle for the Border went from.

A "Take-Out Trolley!"

A "Take-Out Trolley!", originally uploaded by jmharper.

To get into Lake Drummond, you have to portage around the dam at the end of the feeder ditch. Jerry was naturally attracted to this contraption, a trolley to help pull your boat up the bank!

Another Overnight Trip Location?

Another Overnight Trip Location?, originally uploaded by jmharper.

Flush toilets, some electric... What else do we need? Jerry thinks this would make a great overnight trip location. Keep your eyes open- it could happen!


Monday, May 08, 2006

Ready to Paddle for the Border!

Ready to Paddle for the Border!, originally uploaded by jmharper.

On May 6th, four Mice made the early morning trip to Chesapeake and the Dismal Swamp canal for the "Paddle for the Border", an event put on by the City of Chesapeake. Jan, John, Jim and Jeff met over 200 other paddlers at the put in for the trip to the North Carolina Welcome Center, 2 miles south of the state line.

The weather was iffy right up until the start. It was still raining during the drive to the put-in, but once our boats were on the water, we didn't feel a single drop of rain! By the end of the paddle, the sun was out, and a beautiful Saturday was opening up.

A Crowded Put-In

A Crowded Put-In, originally uploaded by jmharper.

We put in at the Dismal Swamp Canal boat ramp at the end of Ballahack Road. It sits on what is now old route 17- the Dismal Swamp Canal Trail. US 17 is now a beautiful and fast four lane highway that parallels the canal to the east. The old road is a multi-use trail- perfect for a bicycle ride!

Perhaps a pedal/paddle day is in our future?

Check out the variety of boats, and the nice carpet laid out for us!

Armada on the Canal

Armada on the Canal, originally uploaded by jmharper.

This was probably the STRAIGHTEST paddle the Mice have ever done. Take a look at a map. There is a grand total of ONE small turn on the canal between Chesapeake and North Carolina. Just a little jog to the left. Otherwise, just keep the rudder straight, and paddle for 7-1/2 miles!

This event was full- two hundred boats and 238 people on the water. It was great to see the huge variety of boats on the water, from Jazz sit-on-tops to a very nice looking rowboat.

A Great Morning's Paddle

A Great Morning's Paddle, originally uploaded by jmharper.

The City of Chesapeake and the North carolina State parks Division put together a great event. John and Jan are smiling over the swag they picked up. John is modeling the t-shirt and cap that all participants received. They also got a hot dog lunch at the take-out, and "valet" service for their boats. Volunteers from the local judicial system carried boats to staging areas, and delivered them to their car afterwards. A great paddle!


Sunday, April 30, 2006


Looking for Alligators, originally uploaded by jmharper.

The first River Mice paddle of 2006 was a big one, and a good one. Six mice saw the weather forecast (rain!) and decided to go down to North Carolina for an overnight paddle anyway. Jerry led the group, and was joined by Jeff, Chris, Jim, Jeanine, and George.

The rain wound up dominating events, but didn't keep the group from enjoying what paddling they could, and the rest of the experience. Mice have done rain before! (See the West Neck Creek paddle last August.)

The Secret to Paddle Camping

The Secret to Paddle Camping, originally uploaded by jmharper.

Thank you George, for coming along, and for bringing your canoe! Camping with kayaks means you are very limited in what you can bring along. A canoe means hauling capacity, and being able to bring a few things you otherwise couldn't.

The scenery at Merchant's Millpond was amazing, with cypress trees everywhere! It felt more like the bayou, or the Okeefenokee Swamp, than North Carolina! The trees were so thick in most places that colored floats marked the trail between the ramp and the campsites.

Waiting for the Rain to End

Waiting for the Rain to End, originally uploaded by jmharper.

We got back from our exploration paddle just before it started pouring. Thanks to George's forethought, we had a small canopy to gather under. We were hoping the rain would stop and we could have a fire, but the rain never really stopped.

It poured for 11-1/2 hours overnight, from 5:30pm to 5am, confining everyone to their tents for the duration. With all the rain, there was surprisingly little mud the next day, and very little leakage into our tents.

Breaking Down Camp

Breaking Down Camp, originally uploaded by jmharper.

Even when you are limited in space, you can bring along a few comforts, like a stove to cook breakfast, a table to eat it off, and a tent with a little elbow room.

Sunday morning was sunny, but cold, as the same front that brought us all the rain also dropped the temperatures by at least twenty degrees.

No Way it All Fits On One Boat!

No Way it All Fits On One Boat!, originally uploaded by jmharper.

After camp is broken down, everything is hauled back down to the boats for packing. It may seem like putting the toothpaste back in the tube, but if you have a system like Jerry does, it should all fit back inside the front and rear hatches.

Note the luggage trolley that makes gear hauling much easier.

Oh Yes it Does!

Oh Yes it Does!, originally uploaded by jmharper.

Here is Jerry's fully loaded boat, ready for put in. Jeanine is verification that yes, everything fit!

The Merchants Millpond overnight was quite an experience. Most of the paddlers want to try it again, to apply some lessons learned, and hopefully get some more paddling on this most interesting and different lake.

Keep your eyes open for a DAY PADDLE here in June. We will only pack lunches and cameras.


Sunday, March 12, 2006

It's almost time to Paddle!

It's almost time to Paddle!, originally uploaded by jmharper.

The weather is getting warmer, and it is time to think about loading those boats up and getting on the water. Time to think about where you want to paddle- an old favorite, or a new put in?

Our first paddle is coming up in a month. It is the re-scheduled Merchant's Millpond Overnighter. Save April 8-9, 2006 on your calendar, and hope the weather is better than the last time we tried this. We will paddle to a primitive campsite in the middle of the park, carrying everything with us.

Don't be afraid if you are new to this, we will have some experienced people along on the trip to help you load up and go! If you are interested, contact Jerry, or leave a comment on this blog. And...

See you on the water!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Giveback Weekend- Our First Project

Our First Project, originally uploaded by jmharper.

Over the last weekend in February, sixteen Moguls, many of them River Mice, volunteered their labor to help First Landing State Park clean up and get ready to open.

Our first project was to clean up an indian gravesite, located near the trailheads and visitor center. In 1997, remains of 64 Chesapeake indians, disturbed by nearby development, were re-interred inside the park.

Indian Gravesite

Indian Gravesite, originally uploaded by jmharper.

This was our first project, completed. Weeds were pulled, bushes trimmed, and mulch spread. The site is ringed by dogwood trees, and the only plant allowed inside these trees was a reddish vine with small leaves. It was a challenge leaving it in place while pulling everything else out!

There was talk of the club adopting this site- keep your eyes and ears open.