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!