Catfish and Ben manned the first boat, with Rob, Anthony, and me following behind in boat #2, leaving Matt and Ed to run sweep. The creek mellowed after the first mile and by mile 4 I started to think that we should have picked the Kitzmiller or Stoney for a more exciting ride. The scenery was beautiful, though, and it gave you the feeling that you were in a truly remote area of the state.
After awhile, we hit a third portage where the width of the creek was blocked by a giant evergreen tree. Beyond that, the river was littered with passable pathways that we aggressively paddled through. The R3 boat was a little heavier than the R2, so we did get stuck on a few rocks along the way. But nothing that a trio of Shenandoah guides can’t handle. Who knows rocks better than us?!?
Finally, we started to notice a few landmarks that we’d seen while setting shuttle. We thought that we would paddle under two bridges, but actually passed under four before reaching the take-out. At this point, the gradient was higher than it had been earlier making for a very speedy ending to our trip.
It was great to have an opportunity to try a new run and it was even better to have had a swim-free day. A swim on the Abrams would have probably been a pretty painful dip, so we were happy that everyone made it through safely. All in all, it was a great start to the season. And boy were we glad that we left the van at the take-out. Dry clothes and a heater were the icing on the cake of our day!
Written by Bill