It's time once again to get ready for winter camping and canoeing (or kayaking if you must) on the second annual Rappahannock River Ramble!
I had a great time with the trip last year, and though it may be a little colder, I'm looking forward to it again.
This event will take place on the first weekend in February (2&3) with camping at the Rappahannock River Campground The first day will, depending on the water level, be Kelly's Ford to the campground or if there is enough water, the put-in in Remmington.
The second day, as last year, we will split up into a group doing the longer flat water section from the campground to Motts and another group for more of a moving water trip from Motts to Old Mill Park.
I'll post more as we get closer, but please let me know if you would like to come or have questions.
Here is the trip report from last year.
Scott McDermott planned his first ever paddling/camping trip for the February 4-5 weekend and it was a huge success. Scott has been paddling (his 17 foot Nova Craft canoe) for less than a year. Scott posted his trip in several places. The paddler (Scott A) that drove 6 hours from northern PA above Scranton gets the distance award. Scott Mc made arrangements for the Rappahannock River Campground to open for us in the "off" season and we were the only ones in the campground. He also greeted us with coffee and donuts when we arrived Saturday morning at the campground. What Scott Mc planned as his first trip appears to have become the 1st Annual Rappahannock River Ramble which is planned to be held again on the first weekend in February 2013.
On Saturday, our 10.7 mile trip was from Kelly's Ford to the Rappahannock River Campground and we were on the river for 3 hours. Despite an afternoon rain forecast, it was just cloudy. The Remington gage was 3.81 feet and 526 cfs which was a perfect level. We had 7 paddlers and six boats, 3 kayaks and 3 canoes. Scott Mc and Kara were in the tandem canoe. Shortly into the trip they landed against a downed tree on river right in fast water. We could see the canoe bottom at a 45 degree angle and everyone (including Kara) was sure they were going to swim. At this point Scott Mc performed a never taught, seldom used save called a "tree grab" and successfully put the canoe bottom back where it was supposed to be. With the same save he pushed the canoe forward and they were merrily on their way. Later in the day Scott A did enter the water briefly from his canoe. But when you are standing in a canoe and poling through a rapid, it's like surfing a kayak - you increase the odds that you might go into the water and it really does not count as a swim. The only significant white water on this trip was Snake Castle Rapids. With a gradient of 6, I would classify it as a Class 1 run in "moving" flat water - easy but continuous paddling. To me the highlight of this section was the tranquility and peacefulness with trees lining the banks on both sides for the entire 10.7 mile trip. I think that there were less than 5 houses on this trip.
On Saturday night the seven of us enjoyed sitting around the campfire talking and eating many of the snacks that Kara had brought to share. A light rain came late at night. Sunday morning Brian and Chip decided that they were going to do the 4 miles of whitewater below Motts Run which would let them head home a little earlier. Scott Mc, Chip, Dave H and I decided to stick with the original plan - Rappahannock River Campground to Motts Run.
The Rappahannock River Campground to Motts Run trip was 13.8 miles and took us 3 hours and 45 minutes. We did not get the forecast rain in the morning. We were a little slow with breakfast and shuttling and did not get on the water until a little after noon. This was to our advantage because the sun was out most of the afternoon, it was warm, and just a beautiful day. The Remington gage was the same as yesterday which covered the 5 miles from the campground to the confluence with the Rapidan. The Fredericksburg gage was 3.21 feet and 1380 cfs which covered the rest of the trip. Again, a Class 1 run in "moving" flat water with the significant rapids being about a half mile or so beginning near the confluence of the Rapidan river. Two good February paddling days at "perfect" water levels with new paddling friends. That's what paddling is about.
PFD's (Life Jackets)
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Sounds like fun|
Posted by: yatipope on Dec-24-12 3:06 AM (EST)
I might be interested but surely this is a "drysuit" paddle,..right? It is usually pretty darn cold up there in early February ain't it? I have a 4-day weekend and might make the trip if the weather is cooperating.
If you have one|
Posted by: McDerms on Jan-02-13 8:46 PM (EST)
A dry suit is reccomended. I only have a wetsuit, but it works for me!
Posted by: Mcderms on Jan-13-13 2:19 PM (EST)
The campground we use has gone out of business, so it looks like we will be camping on one of the many camp sites along the river. There is still a possibility of camping at the Virginia outdoor center, but it's not certain. So far we have 8-14 people on this trip.
Two weeks to go!|
Posted by: Mcderms on Jan-19-13 11:24 AM (EST)
It's been a twisty and turbulent path to get here, but I've finally got confirmation on everything. Since twisty and turbulent is how i like some of my rivers, I guess I can't complain.