I was up early on Saturday to meet with friends for a kayaking trip down the Shenandoah. I had done this trip last year and enjoyed it so much that I jumped at the opportunity to do it again. Even though I was there early, others had arrived before me, so we managed to spend some time chatting and catching up with each other before we had to hop on to our bus. The weather was dull but very warm, perfect for water activities. All we had to do was grab a paddle and life jacket and the rest of the day was organized for us. We had nothing to think about or plan.
The river looked so inviting and we all casually paddled downriver, some of us chatting while others enjoyed the beauty of the river while paddling alone. We would all take turns at this as we covered the 12 miles and sometimes folks would just be sitting in their boats with feet dangling over the edge in the water and just letting the current take them.
We soon came upon the Compton Rapids which were class II and seemed to be flowing pretty quickly today. The tubers were going through and screaming as they tumbled over the waves. As soon as I saw a gap I paddled fast and tried to steer as best as I could. It was exhilarating and I loved every second of it. I had some huge waves tumble over me and knew my boat would fill up. I just hoped I wouldn't be tipped over.
We were getting pissed with the tubers though. Many of them had not packed their litter away before negotiating the rapids, so much of it fell out and bobbed down the river. Jen and I tried to catch as much as possible which did result in me collecting a couple of unopened beer cans that would accompany my steak nicely that evening.
We all chatted for a while after dinner but were soon feeling tired. We left the site with full bellies and a few bruises. I was grateful that I hadn't sustained any flesh woulds like some of the group and felt fortunate that I didn't have too long of a drive home. I was exhausted. I barely remember getting home and flopping into bed.
3 weeks ago