ANTIETAM - 333 cfs - Thursday Paddle - Little Antietam Creek (Mark's) to Burnside Bridge - 15 March 2018.
This was deep into the unseasonable cold spell (minus 5 degrees as the sun rose in McLean), but we had got so irritated at having to cancel our two prior Thursday Paddles (for cold) that we barged on. Mark, our TL and host, said to come up to his rustic abode in Keedysville to start at 11:00. Miki and I, driving up together, arrived 15 mins late, just as the rest were setting out to do the shuttle. We five were Mark, Wayne, Miki, me (all Thursday Decemviri) - and Tony Allred
Day overcast - bits of sun shining through only after we’d left the river. In partial submission to the chill, Mark chose for us a short five-mile stretch - from his house down to Molly's Hole below the Burnside Bridge.
We started on the tail end of Little Antietam Creek, a 50-yard carry down from Mark's house (a converted barn), putting in at the mill, so we city folk each notched up a PFD on that stream. By our noon put-in, the day had warmed up, and the predicted winds did not arise. This is a mild section of a mild stream, so we found a couple of ledges to surf on, but, really, the wave at the USGS weir below Burnside Bridge was by far the most bodacious.
With the 333 cfs meant almost no scraping on the pebbly ledges. Good surfing at the USGS weir, but no one wanted to truly engage with the terminal curler there, saying "oh, we'll come back in the summer when it's warmer." Yeah!
Back at Mark's we warmed up, relaxed, ate pickles, swilled beers, and warmed up various pizza parts and other pick-up foods. Tony got on Mark's iPad and showed some of the work he has been doing in recent times on the "What's Flowing" part of the AW website. Truly impressive, with virtual gauges - like for the Lost, the Lower GPF, et al - and with programming linked up to USGS to give real-time values. My vaunted Stream-Finder appears like yesterday's newspaper. Got to see if I can learn from Tony's work.
Miki got us home by before 5:00 - A nice opening paddle for the Thursdays. But will there be enough water for my Moorefield Canyon trip next week? Not bloody likely.