Hackensack River Canoe &
Moonlight Over Monksville Reservoir
by Betty Wiest
Sunday, August 6, 2017
The clouds in the evening sky were varied but plentiful, and when the moon came over the dam we were excited by the initial breakthrough. By the time we were able to glimpse a section or two of the moon, we were well into the paddle. At some time during the evening we actually saw the full moon...it was only disappointing not to see it in the apricot color of July's excursion. Still, we were fortunate to catch it all!
We had a number of HRCKC members participate: Lori B., Neal L. and Guest, Ted C., Sid D., Lainie McD and Guest, Teri R. and Guest, Bela D., Robert ?; and informally George and Christine M. from REI. (where I work part time)...Ken and Guest, Dennis, Brian, Christopher.
The water was calm, the night air sweet and light. A group of paddlers were already prepared for launch and grouped up while a number of us were getting ready to launch. I always like to take a picture of the group but that was not accomplished (a friend had a camera for me to use.) It was clear from the get go that the paddlers already in the water were gathering and paddled away from the concrete launch. By the time we entered the water at 7:30 p.m., that group was a distance away. We were headed in a different direction that hugged the shoreline. This created a problem for me as trip coordinator when one group takes off on a nighttime paddle. The reservoir is a large body of water with active fisherman in motorboats. With the night sky quickly coming upon us. I was concerned since we had separated. Once you sign up for a paddle, sign the waiver, it is incumbent upon the participant to follow the coordinator. Those of us in my group paddled to a place where we could see smoke from a campfire....indeed there was quite a loud conversation going on. We leisurely paddled to the island surrounded by dead stumps and then rafted up for some treats. We were joined by a few REI people followed by a phone call from some other latecomers, also REI staff.
Everyone had a headlamp, strobe light, flashlight, or in my case flower party lights around the bow of my boat. It was a delightful night.
I encourage paddlers to read "Guidelines for Trip Participants" posted on our website.
Sorry there are no photos.....too many things going on and forgot my camera.