By David Cottingham
Four intrepid souls, 3 in OC-1s (Ginny Quam, Gary Quam, and Larry Lempert) and David Cottingham in his kayak, braved winds and low temperatures (43 at put-in, 45 at take-out) on Earth Day to paddle down Antietam Creek. It seemed more like late March than April.
We donned our drysuits, fleece caps, and long johns as we unloaded boats and launched in a flow measuring 3.0 ft / 304 cfs on the gauge at Burnside Bridge. We didn’t have any upsets and enjoyed the few play spots along the way.
Some Virginia bluebells still lined the shores. Redbuds and dogwoods were in full bloom. Birds were frequent and interesting: two bald eagles greeted us just below the put-in; many common mergansers and wood ducks fled as we approached; a green heron alighted in a sycamore just above us; several kingfishers scolded us as we past; and geese protecting their nests hissed as we went by. A wonderful way to celebrate Earth Day by being surrounded by nature in a National Park.