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Trip Reports

Cacapon - 10 " / 2.6 ft virtual - Thur, 2 May
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by John Snitzer

Fine day on the Cacapon, an easy comfy paddle, like a stroll through the woods rather than an expedition. Tony's virtual gauge on American Whitewater gave us 0.9', 2.6 vs a zero of 1.7. It was a bit higher than the usual Cacapon run. The timing was perfect for the abundant dogwoods and pinxterbloom azaleas (R. periclyminoides). The wildflowers were about ten days behind us here in DC area, so we still had a few bluebells and the remains of redbud flowers. Some of the dogwoods were quite large, suggesting they missed the anthracnose kill off two decades ago. Ginny spotted a sleek brown creature running away from us on the bank - muskrat or mink seemed probable. We had an eagle precede us down stream for a half mile. He looked fresh from the cleaners with extra bright white tail and head feathers. There was a lot of woody debris for the Cacapon, with the good line through one ledge blocked. 

There were a few low points. The banks are now covered with Japanese barberry in places. It will look even worse in coming years. We saw two gents in orange vests tagging trees just past Caudy's Castle. They were spraying blue paint on the trunks of large trees for "forest management", a well known euphemism for "cutting down trees." There will likely be a high graded patch of forest at one of the most scenic spots on the river bank. We had a great group (Ginny Q, Tony A, John S) but it was slightly distressing to have so few folks show interest in a classic spring run on a nice day. Feels like our paddling cohort is on its last legs.

Alf Cooley comments- Don't beat up on "our cohort" - We need to look to our publicity. In this case the Cacapon decision was made only on the day ahead. - and when Mark sent the APB to the Thursday Group, there were also two other trips offered, which may have sucked away talent from the Cacapon. Better yet might have been to send a WARNORD to the 204 folks on the Pick-Ups group list early in the dithering process saying Cacapon was in the wind. Monday morning quarterbacking, I know - because I've been there, too.

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