My beloved is always looking for a new river to paddle. I tend to be a still-water kind of gal myself, but I’m game for a river paddle when I’m in experienced company. We grew up near the Delaware River, yet neither of us can remember ever being in a boat on the Delaware back then. Living in New England, we are familiar with lakes and rivers here, and my husband has also paddled in Canada and Upstate New York, but we somehow missed the Delaware.
I was looking up some river trips online last year, and came across the Delaware River Sojourn. This is an annual event covering a different selection of points along the river each year, and including a guided paddle with lots of educational opportunities along the way. It seemed like a perfect way to start getting acquainted with this river.
So… we signed on and packed up our almost 13-year old grandson for a wonderful adventure. We were only able to participate for part of the week, but every moment had something to hold our interest, and we had a wonderful time. There were paddlers from every age group, and the staff, planners, and safety team were remarkable.
Throughout the days and at mealtimes, we learned about the natural history of the various parts of the river and the Native Americans (the Lenape) who lived there. At night, we camped in State parks, and got to know one another a little. There were a number of other people our age – retired or close to retirement.
The morning mist at one campsite was almost ethereal.
We also saw all kinds of wildlife, from spiders and millipedes to rabbits, skunks, ducks, geese, egrets and eagles. Even some 1/2 inch long American toads!
We stopped for regular breaks, and once to explore an island in the river. We also encountered some small rapids – the last at Trenton Falls where the river drops a bit and the tidal section starts.
On our last day, a rainstorm followed just behind us as we paddled to our take-out destination – the clouds were amazing.
We had a wonderful time, and although we thought we’d worn our grandson out, he asked if we could do it again this year! Applications will be available soon, and we’re looking at the planned days to see what we can do to oblige him.
Maybe we’ll see you there!