Thursday, July 31, 2008

Land of Canaan...

Went on the yearly pilgrimage to the high country of West Virginia for the Parsons Family Reunion. Crossed many rivers along the way and stopped to linger by the Cheat River in Holly Meadows, where the Parsons family settled centuries ago.

Most of the action was in Canaan Valley and the nation's 500th National Wildlife Refuge, where my 96 year old Aunt Virginia and cousin Sharon still reside. It's been the site of the reunion for decades. The reunion has always been a study in eating disorders, although the quality of the food has improved radically with the generational shift. No more multiple versions of meatloaf, fried chicken and baked beans. Those days are gone, thankfully.

We hiked some wonderful wilderness areas along the Blackwater River, which is one of the headwater tribs to the Monongahela River (via the Cheat). Canaan Valley is the largest alpine valley east of the Rockies.

Returned home to a muddy Delaware River that also spiked up several feet while we were away. August is the time for some local paddling and relaxation before an insanely busy September and October, where nearly every weekend will be consumed by various river-related activities including two courses I am developing and will be teaching for the Musconetcong Watershed Association and Delaware River Greenway Partnership. More to follow on that.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Great Blue Morning

A ride along the towpath at 6am is a peaceful and solitary experience. Carp, turtles and the occasional heron. This pic was shot with the cell while sitting on my bicycle.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

A cleaner 6 miles...

Photos by Leona Fluck

Forty-five volunteers pitched in on a hot and humid day to remove over a ton of trash from the Delaware River during Operation River Bright, which was held Saturday, June 28 and covered a 6-mile stretch of the river between Easton/Phillipsburg, NJ and Raubsville, PA.

Unfortunately, this stretch of the river receives a steady supply of trash and litter of every imaginable type from local residents who frequent favorite fishing spots, as well as in-flow from the Lehigh River and upstream urban areas.

Cleanup participants used canoes and kayaks to transport the trash to the Delaware Canal State Park Locks 22-23. A baby stroller, rugs, mattresses, tires, a lawnmower and bicycle, and thousands of unsightly plastic beverage containers, tarps and bags were removed from the river banks and islands.

Operation River Bright was sponsored by the Delaware River Greenway Partnership and the Lower Delaware Wild & Scenic River Management Committee. Participating organizations included the New Jersey Youth Corps of Phillipsburg, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (Delaware Canal State Park), National Canoe Safety Patrol – Lower Delaware Chapter, and the Delaware Valley Division of the American Canoe Association. Lazy River Adventures of Phillipsburg provided canoes for the NJ Youth Corps volunteers, and ShopRite of Flemington generously donated supplies including trash bags, gloves, water and snacks.

A special thanks to the National Canoe Safety Patrol - Lower Delaware Chapter for providing a safer and more efficient day on the water, and for shepherding and mentoring the New Jersey Youth Corps of Phillipsburg. And kudos to the New Jersey Youth Corps whose members worked hard, learned something about the river, and made their own community a better place.