Canoeing the Murderkill River
"And The Two Dozen Eggs"
By Philip Renner
Delaware State Park - 1993
We made this trip about ten years ago. Only had a rough draft and never put it in the newsletter. That was when the Club was small and everyone knew each other. Ten people signed up but two people backed out so that left Steve and Karen, Winthrop and myself and the South African couple with twin 5 year old boys.
It was a nice ride down the Parkway in the pouring rain to the Cape May ferry. We were patriotic, we carried three canoes - one red, one white, and one blue. It was just right for memorial Day. It was a stormy ride on the ferry crossing the bay to Delaware however the cabin was dry and warm.
The first day was dull with some drizzle. Next day was real nice. We had made a nice camp. Steve had told me to bring breakfast and lunch for 10 people. In the rations I brought two dozen eggs. Two people backed out and two people were only 5 years old, so I had plenty of eggs.
Now is the time to canoe. We put in at Silver Creek, then paddle to the Murderkill River (I wonder how it got that name). We are passing through a meadow, next we are going through a wooded area.
It is a nice sunny day. We see lots of blooms - wild iris, honey suckle, elder berries, morning glory, etc. After passing a dam and waterfalls, it is time for lunch. We find a nice picnic grounds. Soon we hear a big splash. One of the little boys falls into the river, wet up to his ears. His dad pulls him out. With my extra towel his mother dries him off. I give him my extra flannel shirt (I am a Boy Scout, be prepared). Now the boy is happy again, even got his picture taken with my shirt down to his toes. We put in again for more canoeing. The twins soon fall asleep in the 17' Old Town canoe. They were good company on the whole trip. This is a peaceful river, enjoyed every minute of the trip back to camp.
In the morning at breakfast we eat only four eggs. No one wants any more. They all put in the creek for more canoeing except me. I pack up and hit the road to Maryland and Virginia. I stop at Richmond to see Aunt Sally. Ask her if she wants some eggs. Says, no, I have plenty. So I still have one dozen and 8 eggs. (P.S. She's from NYC.)
I am going west now thru Goochland County. Sounds like German country. Maybe I am lost in Pennsylvania Dutch country. Not a chance - Charlottesville is down the road, Thomas Jefferson built Monticello high on the mountain. It took him 23 years to finish and down the east mountain side is Ash Lawn, the home of James Monroe. I often wonder if they ran congress as they do today, with no efficiency and deep in debt.
Do you know what's the matter with congress? "It is run by college grads. We need high school drop-outs. Men who can count to ten."
West to Charlottesville is Lewis and Clark country. Too bad I didn't get here sooner - they might of taken those eggs with them on the northwest exploration. Going south on Route 29, I'll soon be in Lynchburg - my final destination. Right nearby is Appomattox Courthouse. I tried to give the eggs to General Grant and Lee, but they weren't hungry... It is rich in history around here. Fifteen miles west is Bedford, Virginia. The WWII National "D" Day monument was built there because they lost more men than any town in the USA. It is a fact, I was there myself in June 1944.
In Lynchburg at my sister's house, my sister Frances greets me at the door. She is from Florida. Unknown to me, Kathleen and Clyde are at the Grand Canyon. Along comes my father, still spry at age 92. I am quite happy now. I could use a drink, but it is not possible. My sister runs a "dry" house. It is like the Bible Belt. After 30 years maybe they are southern now?
They have agreed to take the one dozen and eight eggs. Sooo, after 600 miles, I am egg free....
I will never forget this Murderkill River canoe camping trip. I had a wonderful experience. Two days later, I leave for home.
A little question for you?
Did you know - all ducks do not "quack"...
Some whistle and some grunt. (I don't kid you!)