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.
Camping: no ferrying across rivers to camp! The VOC came through with a camp site for us at the low cost of $7 per person. It's right on the river in Fredericksburg and, I'm led to believe, has real bathrooms and hot water. It also has a large shelter area where we can have the pot luck (which i still have not compiled). I'll be going to view the site on Monday and will send out a description.
Paddling: the new campsite means we can't start at Kelly's ford. However, this gives us an opportunity to see the Rapidan River!
Day 1: starting at Ely's Ford and going through the confluence to the Rappahannock, and ending at Motts. That trip takes me about 6 - 8 hours solo depending on the water level and how much I practice eddy turns, sightsee, etc... If we go on to the VOC from there, it's another 6 miles, or 2-3 hours. With a group this large, I would prefer to end at Motts the first day to allow for sightseeing, bird watching, playing, etc, but if a group of faster paddlers would like to do the whole thing the first day, I can show you the take out at VOC. There is a few great spots to stop for a quick lunch right before and after the confluence.
Day 2: the VOC has agreed to shuttle us to hole in the wall on the Rappahannock for $15 a person. This will add 2 hours of paddling as opposed to starting at Motts, and to me, is worth it. If everyone would rather save the money and self shuttle, we'll have to start form Motts. The take out we'll be at city pier (wharf, docks, whatever it's called) in Fredericksburg. This trip has the largest rapids for the trip, at Fall Hill, and ends with a mile of flat water and a view of some beautiful homes in Fredericksburg. The Fall Hill rapid is listed in the river guides a class III, but I would give it a II or II+. The entire trip from Motts is only 3-4 hours for me usually, or 5-6 from Hole in theWall. If the water is high enough, we can do the back side of the island which is a class III and a rare treat. I'll need to know if anyone is opposed to the $15 shuttle by Wednesday so I can cancel it if need be.
The Rapidan is similar to the Rappahannock where we'll be on it. If you would like a preview in fast forward with banjo music, go to http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YvyfiTo_0E8 from a mobile device or http://youtube.com/watch?v=YvyfiTo_0E8 from a computer. If those don't work, just search rapidan river, canoe, and Scott McDermott on YouTube.
Feel free to pass this on to your friends.
Rescue / Throw Bags