Some thoughts on the first paddle itself

Having shown off the boat, I wanted to jot down a few thoughts on our first paddle in PEACE OF THE PUZZLE. We had been doing a bit of sailing on the Potomac nearer to DC, and paddling in this creek, Kane’s Creek, was such a pleasure. It was clean! Kane’s Creek emerges from a national wildlife refuge and is thus relatively pristine, given its proximity to developed areas. The water was fairly clear and full of life. My kids were dangling the feet and hands in it – a true pleasure of childhood boating – and we had no concerns.

Not so, just downriver from DC. Off Alexandria, we run into a decent amount of C-R-A-P (we saw the figurative kind, but apparently after a good rain…) in the water and on the shore. There, my wife and I couldn’t pull the kids’ appendages inboard fast enough. I know we have made a great deal of progress, but we need to do more to make sure our urban riverscapes are treasures for boating of all kinds, not just the “nice view, but, dear god, don’t flip it” kind.

Of course, I prefer the quiet of a creek like Kane’s anyway. There are many little “islands” of aquatic plants to weave around, low bluffs, and just a bit of foliage (its been so hot here…). There is a good trip report for this paddle on

By the way, thanks to our friends at American Rivers for suggesting we all focus on the joys of clean rivers on this day and others. October 15th is Blog Action Day for the environment. Please join me in helping out.

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