Thursday, April 16, 2015

Why Not Paddle on One of the Sojourn's Mid-Week Days?

Photo by Ted Danforth, 2014 Sojourn
It's happened again. Only hours after we opened up registration for individual days on the annual Schuylkill River Sojourn the first three days of the seven-day guided canoe/kayak tour (June 6-12) are sold out. Sure, everybody wants to paddle on the weekend. But, to keep things safe we allow only about 100 boats per day. That means we wind up turning people away on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, while Tuesday through Friday fill up more slowly--or sometimes don't fill up at all.

If you are one of those who hesitated a bit too long to get on the sojourn's weekend days, don't despair! Tuesday through Friday offer plenty of fun paddling opportunities. Here's a day-by-day guide to the sojourn's mid-week days. All have openings so you can sign up for one or all four! As always the sojourn will begin in Schuylkill Haven and end at Philadelphia's Boathouse Row with participants paddling 14-18 miles per day. The program theme is Schuylkill Canal: Legacy & Landmarks.

 Tuesday June 9. (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.  It's an easy paddle featuring beautiful scenery and, often, interesting wildlife. Last year a bald eagle was spotted along this section (see photo on left).  Another reason to consider Tuesday? Great programming! The lunch stop is at Historic Morlatton Village, a beautiful and historic setting where we'll have a presentation on the Irish & the Schuylkill Canal.  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 a special Battle of the Bands program with multiple area bands in celebration of Pottstown's Bicentennial.
paddling day, featuring  beautiful scenery and interesting wildlife.

Wednesday June 10. (17.8 miles: Pottstown to Mont Clare Lock 60) One of the major highlights of the week-long sojourn happens on this day. Sojourners end the day by "locking through" the restored Lock 60 on the former Schuylkill Canal (see photo on left). This year, with the program theme focused on the canal, it's worth doing Wednesday for that alone. But, there's also some nice scenery and an enjoyable lunch setting  at Victory Park, in Royersford, where the Borough officials welcome sojourners with a delicious cake.  In the evening, paddlers can camp out near the canal, eat spaghetti dinner at nearby St. Micheal's Pavilion, and listen to author Charlie Adams talk about pirates that once plagued the Schuylkill Canal.

Thursday June 11. (14 miles: Mont Clare to West Conshohocken) This is a great day to paddle for several reasons. The river features a nice mix of scenery through this area. Paddlers begin the day in the canal and make their way into the river and through some wooded areas. The sojourn lunch will be at Valley Forge National Historic Park.  Later in the day sojourners encounter some interesting bridges and urban settings. At dinner, in West Conshohocken, they'll learn about the fascinating history of the Manayunk Canal.

Friday June 12 (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 surrounded by some amazing antique boats. You'll also hear a presentation on Invisible River, a performance art that celebrates the Schuylkill River.  The final takeout is Lloyd Hall on Boathouse Row. 

1 comment:

  1. So while it's true that the people make an event (and the people definitely made any event!) reception halls in Atlanta definitely adds a different dimension to it. Went there for an evening event and I was really impressed.