Riley’s Lock to Pennyfield via the GW Canal
Ten paddlers met for our standard Sunday Paddle on the GW Canal. We had two OC-1s and 8 ‘yakers. In attendance were Wayne, Gus, Bob W., Hendrik, Barb and a friend, Tim P., Kathleen, Mikey B. and myself. Everyone was prompt for our meetup at Pennyfield, with Barb and her friend arriving 15 min early! Despite everyone’s promptness it was still 11 by the time we made our way out onto the Potomac from Seneca. This Trip Coordinator will be very pleased once the canal that allows us to do a loop from Violette’s is finally refilled.
The crossing from Riley’s to the GW Canal was trickier than anticipated for a couple of us, as the weather report had forecast light winds, when in reality the water was a bit choppy with 12 mph winds and gusts up to 20. However, the weather was gorgeous with clear skies and low humidity.
At 3.5 feet on the Little Falls gauge the rapids were much tamer than they have been the last couple of weeks. Though still fine for surfing and playing. After a brief discussion before setting out, it was decided that we would try the right side of the canal after Z-Channel. While there are perhaps fewer rapids on this side (save Jacuzzi), it is more technical with several tight turns to avoid wood. The rapid at the bottom of this channel that is often blocked with wood turned out to be just a bit too boney, so we navigated the sneak route to that goes around it to the left.
All were back at Pennyfield by 1, having enjoyed a fun paddle on a beautiful day.