As I boarded the ferry, I had the feeling I was back in camp and there were no counselors. It was just me and the other campers. I liked that feeling. No one directed us, or checked us off a list or even greeted us. Like kids, I just asked some fellow campers, "What do we do? Where are the canoes? Where are the paddles and life vests?"
|Sherry Pettie and Ann Lucy glide in the shade along the canal.|
With paddles chosen and life vests on, we picked out canoe and Dave greeted us with a counselor's reassurance (maybe an assistant counselor, helpful but still one of us). Soon we had all managed to get our boats into the river, out of the river, and into the canal. And we were on our way.
|Paddlers dine chez Lock 8.|
With yellow, red and blue life vests, various colored shirts and hats, and one yellow and one turquoise kayak, we were a colorful mix, winding our way along the murky water surrounded by a tunnel of green foliage.
|Jane and Bill Hill relax near the Virginia shore.|
Now to the river, our next challenge. Navigating through stinging nettles, poison ivy and mud (while admiring the wild bergamot flowering profusely) we all made it safely into the Potomac.
The sun was hot, but the breeze and the water soothed us. We all took on the challenge of the mini-rapids with Dave's wise guidance and enjoyed our drift down-river towards the Island, dangling our feet in the water to cool our steamy bodies. Timeless.
As we passed by the swimming floats, we could tangibly feel the pleasure of a cool dip in the Potomac. I had been waiting for this dip for many years. And after making our way around the island, to the boat dock, getting all the boats out and cleaned off, equipment properly stowed, we were free to jump in.
|Sherry Pettie helps Jane Winer swim against the current.|
But it turns out the adventures for the day weren't quite over. As Sherry and I wallowed on the float, we heard a small, sweet voice beside us, ever so politely, asking for help. Jane had jumped in with a full set of clothes on, including blue jeans, a long- sleeved shirt AND shoes. She was making her way out to a rock when she realized she was beginning to be overwhelmed by the heavy wet fabrics surrounding her. Sherry jumped to the rescue and led her back to safety.
Tamar, Jane, Dave, Marc and I then made our way back to the ferry. Sherry stayed out on the float, taking full advantage of her day on the Island. What a treat!
Dot Procter and Marc Bergeron live within walking distance of the Island. They look forward to moving up on the waiting list.