Tuesday, August 14, 2007

In the chaos that is Gettysburg during the Summer...

...I managed to spend two of the most relaxing hours today that I have ever spent anywhere. I took the kayak out. Went off of Pumping Station Rd., and put in Marsh Creek, near the Sach's Mill covered bridge. I knew I wouldn't be able to paddle too far upstream, because like every other body of water in the area, including the major rivers, Marsh Creek is at an extremely low water level.

I paddled for about 15 minutes, and got maybe a mile or so upstream before it got too shallow. Then, I turned around and drifted with the very slow current. I was amazed at how quiet it was. The only noises I heard were birds and other wildlife. Only about 2 cars passed by the whole time along the road that runs by Marsh Creek. The banks of the creek on both sides; the trees; the setting sun. It was heavenly! I floated back down for over half an hour. Then, I turned around and paddled back upstream again.

This time, I went exploring. There were several areas where there were small islands in the creek, and I managed to paddle around the backside of them. I saw a Great Blue Heron, one of the country's most endangered bird species, a red fox, a beaver, and a few muskrats, as well as numerous species of birds (I'd love to have the time and the patience to study birds so that I could know which types I was seeing.).

I got back to the shallows this time in about a half hour, and turned around and floated back downstream again. This time I stretched it out to about 45 minutes. Again, it was unbelievably peaceful. I highly recommend a few hours or even a day spent like this to anyone. You'll not regret it!

My only regret was that I didn't take my camera along. I will next time, though. We're actually supposed to get a good bit of rain in the next week, so maybe the water levels will go up, and I can go further upstream next time. I'd like to be able to make it at least to Rte. 30 some time.
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