Monday, July 24, 2006

A Week Well Spent

A week on the river is guaranteed to be a great experience, even if it involves guiding between 15 and 18 Girl Scouts (depending on the day's attendance) on a 35-mile sojourn during the first blistering heat wave of '06.

The 2006 Rhythms of the River Sojourn with scouts from Camp DeWitt (Rolling Hills Council of GSA) was indeed a great experience for all. These kids learned the basic tandem canoe strokes and combinations thereof. They learned not to fear but to respect the power of the river. They learned about self-rescue. They observed the flood damage, wildlife, scenic views, geological features, and historic structures. They will never look at any river the same way again.

Some of the more notable wildlife sightings included: Eastern Brown Water Snake (they were shocked), Kingfisher, Osprey (diving successfully for a fish), Caddisfly larvae (what are those green worms on our feet?), Great Blue Heron (many many sightings), Cattle Egret, Turtles, and Vultures.

Two Bald eagles greeted us at Lynn Island. I have observed a solitary Eagle at this location several times (as have a few other fellow river ratz) this summer. Now there are two. We may have a nesting pair in 2007, somewhere between the Nockamixon Cliffs and Traugers Farm Market.

Many thanks to lead canoe instructor and Sojourn Partner Linda Straus (especially for maintaining your ACA Instructor certification), Hank and Bunny Snyder of Lazy River Outpost in Phillipsburg for providing trasportation and equipment, Dee Keller of Kellers Landing for providing an outstanding river access and teaching environment for days 2 & 3, and Alicia Hanson of Camp DeWitt for helping iron out all the details.

This blog will return to the issue of Delaware River floods upon my return from Pittsburgh and the high mountains of the Monongahela National Forest in northern West Virginia. For a real-time view of this gorgeous region go here. If time allows and we actually have a wireless connection in Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, I may offer up a few short posts about the Cheat River watershed.

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