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Posted May 3, 2009 | ©The Northern Virginia Daily | comments comments

Journey ends

The journey of 183 miles and sixteen days down the Shenandoah River has ended. John and I pulled into the Potomac Wayside on Saturday evening. We decided to make the final day on Saturday after learning that it would be raining on Sunday. Having spent half of this journey in the rain, I preferred my last day on the river to get wet only by the river and not by clouds.

The last stretch of the Shenandoah and on the Potomac River have some great rapids. One of the most challenging rapids - known as Bull Falls - is one of the first on the Shenandoah you encounter. We made it through with waves crashing over us and filling the canoe, but we kept going. Right at the end, a final wave took the canoe and rolled it over. As we floated out of the rapids, we get to a point where we can stand up. We pulled the canoe on to a rock and rolled it on its side to empty out the water. It was a great ride even with the canoe flipping and I would like to try that again at another time.

We countinue on down and go through other big rapids and take on lots of water with needed bailing afterwards to avoid swamping. The Shenandoah meets the Potomac and with some more rapids, crashing waves, bailing water, we finally reach our take out at the Potomac Wayside.

It has been a great journey and I have had the unique privilege to see the Shenandoah River and Valley. I hope that we can work together as citizens, businesses, local, state, and federal governments to clean up our rivers, valleys and have responsible development as we plan for the future. We need to protect and preserve this beautiful place called Shenandoah.


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