Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Reasons to Sign Up for the Schuylkill River Sojourn's Mid-Week Days

Photo by Dan Creighton
Every year it happens. The first few days of our annual week-long Schuylkill River Sojourn fill up as soon as registration opens, but registrations trickle in more slowly for the other days. The reason for this is simple: the first two days happen on the weekend.  And Monday, which also fills up quickly, includes an area of rapids that many paddlers enjoy. But, with only about 100 boats allowed on the water per day (for safety reasons) not everyone who wants to participate on those days can get in. However, Tuesday through Friday of the annual sojourn all offer great paddling opportunities and they are much easier to get into. Here are few reasons to sign up for days other than Saturday, Sunday and Monday for this year's 15th Annual Schuylkill River Sojourn, which takes place from June 1-7. As always the sojourn will begin in Schuylkill Haven and end at Philadelphia's Boathouse Row with participants paddling 14-18 miles per day, and choosing all or part of the trip. The program theme is A Civil War Odyssey.

 Tuesday June 4. (13.9 miles: Gibraltar to Pottstown)
If you have never done the sojourn before, and want to test out a day, this is the day to try. This is a somewhat shorter paddling day, with only 13.9 miles of paddling and a lot of beautiful scenery. Despite passing near some urban areas, when you're on the river you truly feel like you are in the wilderness. Paddlers in this area have reported seeing bald eagles and other interesting wildlife, including the swan pictured on the left. Another reason to consider Tuesday? We have great programming planned. The lunch stop at Historic Morlatton Village includes great food in a beautiful and historic setting. Schuylkill River Heritage Area Executive Director Kurt Zwikl will provide an interesting program on Abraham Lincoln's connection to the Schuylkill River Region. And the evening stop, at Riverfront Park in Pottstown, includes arguably the best dinner on the trip, catered by Bause Catering. The evening program will feature an entertaining and educational performance on Civil War buglers by History Alive's Rich Pawling.

Sojourners come through Lock 60
Wednesday June 5. (17.8 miles: Pottstown to Mont Clare Lock 60) Paddlers again encounter pleasant scenery and one of the highlights of the weeklong sojourn: they end at the restored Lock 60 on the former Schuylkill Canal. Lock 60 is the only operating lock remaining of the canal, and one of the only canal sections still watered. Sojourners end the day by "locking through" the lock (see photo on left) so they not only get to experience a bit of history, but some interesting paddling, as well. Wednesday's lunch setting is also enjoyable, at Victory Park, in Royersford, where the speaker will talk about the Griffin Gun, which was produced in Phoenixville and used by the Union Army during the Civil War. In the evening, paddlers can camp out near the canal, eat spaghetti dinner at nearby St. Micheal's Pavilion, and learn about the Underground Railroad in the region from presenter Chris Densmore, curator of Friend's Historical Library at Swarthmore College.

Thursday June 6. (14 miles: Mont Clare to West Conshohocken) This is a great day to paddle for several reasons. For one thing, it contains a nice mix of scenery. Paddlers begin the day in the canal and make their way into the river and through some wooded areas, then make a rest stop at Valley Forge National Historic Park. Later in the day they encounter some interesting bridges and urban settings. From a programming perspective, this is "General's Day" where both programs focus on Civil War generals. Lunch is at Upper Merion Boathouse, where Bruck Hocking, President of the W.S. Hancock Society will talk about Norristown native General Hancock. At dinner, in West Conshohocken, Professor Andy Waskie will give a living history performance of Gen. George Meade. Both presentations promise to be entertaining.

Friday June 7 (16 miles: West Conshohocken to Philadelphia). This may be the final day, but it's also one of the best days of the sojourn! Sojourners love having the opportunity to paddle with the Philadelphia skyline as their backdrop and alongside the iconic Boathouse Row. If you need another reason to paddle on Friday, lunch is at the historic Philadelphia Canoe Club, where you eat surrounding by some amazing antique boats. The final takeout is Lloyd Hall on Boathouse Row, but before that the sojourners always organize for everyone's favorite sojourn photo, the Sojourn Salute (see photo above).

Click here to register for any of the above days.

No comments:

Post a Comment