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Wilderness Tripping - BWCA & Beyond New Topic Printer Friendly Version

  Rapidan river
  Posted by: Mcderms on Aug-18-12 11:26 PM (EST)

This might not be wilderness enough for some, especially since I was able to walk out, but here is my trip report.

I started my first solo camping canoe trip at Eli's Ford at 0900. I had made a trip plan so my family would know where to find me. Day one was a relaxing paddle about six miles to the confluence. Set up camp and depart the next morning and canoe down to Old Mill Park.

The six miles from Eli's to the confluence is almost all flat water. Allthough it's not wilderness tripping, you usually wont see anlyone else on the river except maybe the occaisonal fisherman. I did see six heron, or maybe the same heron six times since they always fly off down river, a flock of over 20 geese, five turtles, three dear and a bunch of fish. My Dog seemed to like theheron the best though as those were the only things she tried to jump out for.

I reached the camp site at the confluence at 11:30 am and found it empty. Once I had unloaded the canoe and my bladder I got to work setting up my tent. While admiring my handiwork my dog Misty decided that under the rear vent of my tent was a perfect spot to poop.

After burrying the dog poop Misty and I took a walk in the river wich is low again this Summer. She had good fun chasing fish, snakes, sticks, and who knows what else. I took of my river shoes and let the minnows nible at my toes. The Water felt good on my feet so I left the shoes off and headed to shore.

My head was vibrating like I'd been whacked with a cattle prod but the water felt goon on my back and I thought it might be a perfect place to sleep. Then common sense kicked in and I was trying to figure out why I was laying in the water and why I couldn't see. My vision came back quickly and I realized I had slipped on a rock, hit my head, and blacked out. I also figured out going to sleep was a realy bad idea and though the water was only an inch deep on the rock I fell on, I needed to get out of the river.

I had cell service so I called a few people who didn't answer and I finally got a hold of Brian (Aka Nutter I think). He and his wife werent far away and were kind enough to drive to the trail that leads to the camp site and give me a ride home.

The trail is a mile or so long and I ran into enough spiderwebs to make a bandage fror my head, which had a steady trickle of blood running out of it. They showed up shortly after I made it to the road and we decided I should probably go to the doctor. Rumor has it I was slurring, but I probably always talk that way. The only problem with that plan is I left my wallet with ID and insurance card at the camp site. Brian volunteered to walk the trail and get it for me while I sat with his wife in his air conditioned truck.

Just got back from the hospital, three staples, no hemoraging, speach still a little slurred but otherwise ok. I'm hoping my canoe and camping gear will still be there in the morningwhen I can go retrieve it.

Many thanks to Brian and his wife for coming to get me and taking me home.

Lessoned learned? Solo trip in the winter when your not tempted to walk in the water barefoot. Also, make sure you have first aid gear and a reliable mode of emergency communication (cell phone, sat phone or personnal Locator Becon depending on your trip.)

Irony: The first time I did this route was my first time canoeing solo, but no camping. There was a flash flood while I was on it.

I blame typos and poor writing on my concussion.

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