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Trip Reports

Mud not Ice on Violets Lock loop, January 5, 2023
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Hendrik Van Oss, Jackie Hoglund, Wayne McDaniel, Temmy Kimes and Gus Anderson signed up for a VL Loop on a January Thursday a week after the previous Thursday trip had been prevented from returning up the canal by thick ice on the Canal,

We gathered at 11 am on a beautiful Thursday morning with an air temperature of 63 degrees. Gus had arrived earlier to walk along the canal to see if the canal had enough water to return up the canal. Gus thought it was at a bare minimum but doable. Wayne and Hedrick looked at it and decided to set up a shuttle to Pennyfield. Jackie followed them down to drop off their vehicles and brought them back to the put-in.

Hendrik (OC-1), Wayne, Jackie, Temmy and Gus (K-1s) started across the Potomac in bright sunshine with clouds on the southern horizon and a water level of 4.4 ft, We had a fast run down the GW canal at that level with many more waves than rocks. Not at all technical at that level but a little difficult getting back across the Potomac to the carryover path to the C&O canal. No bike threats crossing the towpath to the canal.

The canal was a little shallow at first. maybe 4 or 6 inches then got deeper for most of the way up until about 50 yards from the parking lot when it started to get shallow again. For the last 20 yards we had to push our way thru the muddy bottom using one hand in the mud and one hand using the paddle to pole the boat. We made it to the take out spot but using muscles we don't usually use for paddling. On future trips I suggest testing the water depth at the canal take-out in a boat before attempting a loop if the water level is questionable. Water level can be affected by side streams even if very little is coming in from the river.

Regardless of the mud we enjoyed the trip. It could not have been a better day for paddling or playing in the mud.

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