Maryland Outdoor Club
Fri, Jul 16 2004 - Canoeing/Camping Wknd (Pocomoke River) (View Original Event Details)

Event Organizer(s): Colin Babb
Participants:Colin Babb, Jeff Schneider, Katry Harris, jennifer Price, Eric Bjurstrom, Lewis Nordan, Emilio Ungerfeld, Mark Reynolds, Kate Copanic, Ania Milo, Tracy Monson, Mark Lundin

Write Up:
This was the MOC's first visit to Pocomoke River State Park, a lovely area on the Eastern Shore with lots of great boating opportunities and one of the northernmost cypress swamps in the United States. Fortunately, no one was accosted by any banjo-playing locals as we went canoeing.

It was a long carpool all the way from Annapolis out to the park, the better part of two and a half hours and change, but everyone arrived as a group and exactly according to directions (Mapquest actually was accurate for once). Three other people came later, also without hitches, and one person actually had to come the next morning. We even survived a late visit from a park ranger the first night, who made it clear that the next visit by his buddy would be more strict (we apparently had our tents in the wrong spots; we rearranged everything later). One person even got the special pleasure of true literal car camping by sleeping in the back of Katry's Honda Element (by Sunday morning we all wished we could have been in the same spot).

Coffee inexplicably was left out of the food that was brought along, so a new supply of instant coffee was secured from the camp store. Breakfast was prepared and consumed (the bagels were so popular that we also ran out of cream cheese; by the end of breakfast, we had a list of various things that we just couldn't survive without for a future trip to the store'we were soooo roughing it), and we all went down to the dock, which was a ten-minute walk from our campsites. We took a few minutes to determine the number and kinds of watercraft we wanted, since the park rents both canoes and kayaks. We finally settled on four canoes and three kayaks; Mark L. brought his own kayak along. One canoe, with Lew, Eric, and Emilio, was quickly designated as a fishing vessel since both Eric and Lew had brought fishing gear along (or, more correctly, just Lew- since Eric manufactured his own rod from a stick with some twine attached to it). Emilio weathered the hours of quiet contemplation on the river with consummate patience.

Our water journey began with a trip down a side creek of the river, which took us into a truly swampy part of the park, complete with herons, bugs, cypress trees, lily pads, and low- lying bridges. We turned around once the waterway became just a tad bit too constricted for us to paddle through (and after Katry and Jeff got tired of running their canoe onto sunken trees). We headed back toward the river and then had lunch in our boats.

Once out on the main channel of the river, it was much easier to paddle around and enjoy the water. Most folks tried getting out and going for a swim. Getting out proved the easy part (in all but one case); getting back in proved the hard part. Lew, Eric, and Emilio disappeared for a while into the trees along the river to search for more fruitful fishing grounds (this strategy proved to be a winner, as they managed to catch quite a few small fish though I'm not sure that Bassmasters will be filming their next episode here). Emilio decided that watching fish being caught was not the way he wanted to spend the afternoon, and so he headed off for an extended swim where he proved his long-distance swimming stamina.

After nice afternoon of pleasant sunny weather and a lazy time on the river, we all eventually congregated back at the dock. We snatched up the vitals we needed at the camp store, and headed back to the campsites to prepare the evening's feast of hotdogs, hamburgers, beans, and of course fish. The most interesting part of the evening was Eric's jogging journey from the fish preparing area where Lew was, to a water faucet, and then back to the campfire for salting. He did this for each fish they had caught. (I don't recall, though, that any of the fish were actually eaten, but perhaps I'm wrong') Everyone h

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