Hackensack River Canoe & Kayak Club

paddling for over a third of a century

Round Valley Paddle & Camp
by Dave Miller

Fri-Sun, August 23-25, 2013

What started out to be a HRCKC overnight trip turned into a 3 day / 2-nighter.

12 people braved the mild 60-80 degree weather with light breezes, clear skies, warm lake water and lower humidity. Yes you can lose yourself out on the water on days like that. But with a 16 ft red sign by the campsite it's a little harder to lose yourself! I dug out an old sign from my marketing days. It said "Truckload Sale" in large white letters and we had strung it up in a tree for guidance back to our sites.

I don't know about the others, but Claire and I never once applied bug repellant. (And I had 3-types with me).

In addition to the fantastic weather, other highlights included 2-nights of campfires (Thank you to Debbie Colby for your fire maintenance), and all the others who brought wood, gathered and split wood and baby sat the fire. And Tom, Debbie, Iron Mike and little MARKie. Who's not so little anymore, for hosting the 2 nights of partying at Site #72.

Special thanks to Barbara for her fiddle playing, singing and oh so enjoyable and sometimes foot stomping, hand clappin' cross-cultural musical entertainment! What a treat.

Special thanks to Ted for his finger pickin', guitar strumming, knee slappin', singing melodies which crossed all kinds of time and generational barriers. Hats off to Ted.

How this duo (Who I don't think ever met before and had to lug their instruments) combined their harmonies I'll never know. They helped make this a very special trip. Then we had Monica's flute thrown in, and believe it or not: Iron Mike can strum and fiddle too. WHO KNEW. Wow - what a couple of relaxing evenings.

For those that requested bald eagles be present on next year's trip, please read the below excerpt from Cory's e mail to me earlier today:

Thanks for sharing your camp site with me. I really enjoyed the tranquility of the place and speaking to you and Claire. Since I was up by 5:30am (this is my usual time up) and packed before 7am, I decided to take advantage of the peaceful time on the water. Did not want to wake anyone just to say I’m leaving. I crossed over to the left of the dam where I encountered two immature and one mature bald eagle (a treat for me), also a blue heron. Water a little choppy but uneventful. Total crossing in less than an hour. I personally never understood how without even a conversation with the bird people can say they are mature or not. It's a mystery to me.

Of course we have to mention other surprises like the space shuttle satellite thing that Monica had NASA schedule to cross right by our campsites immediately following our guest speaker Lyn who discussed the origins of the Round Valley Reservoir including questions and answers about the area. Thanks NASA, thanks Lyn!

So not one drop of rain, no bears, no chipmunks or mice to contend with - - - Oh wait: There was ONE incident: An evening invader snuck into Site #73. What a racket he was making, so I'm told. And it was quite baffling until our Site 73 campers finally discovered what all the noise was! A frog had hopped into Phil's cooking pot, which had a spoon in it and continuously tried to hop on out. Failing after multiple attempts. The little guy was released by one of the campers and returned to the wild. Phil, you know you'll be developing warts soon.


> Photos from Monica