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Morgan and the gang out for a great day on the water. No boat? No problem!

Read about Heritage Cove Resort on another blog and thought I would check it out with the extended family for our weekend getaway. It’s a great location right at the mouth of the Raystown Branch of the Juniata River with more than a mile of no-wake zone perfect for paddling without dodging the water skiers and motorboats out on Raystown Lake. We got some great shots of herons and ducks and even saw some eagles soaring over the water. Mom wanted to stay in a comfortable cabin, but there’s also a campground for tents and RVs. Nice folks. Great spot.


84 In ‘10

Celebrating the 4th, Alleghenies-style.

Just got back from a weekend running the rapids in Stonycreek Canyon with C.H. 15 rapids in 4 miles makes for a fast and interesting run. C.H. had to pull off a wet exit on Beast, but other than that, we had a pretty easy time of it. Big water always makes for great times. We also paddled the Quemahoning and Wilmore Reservoir. Didn’t make it to Hinckston Run, but that’s for another trip. Speaking of other trips, we’re starting to talk about plans to do the 84-mile Kiski-Conemaugh River Water Trail end-to-end. Let me know if you want in on it.

Paddlers Wanted

The Juniata River Sojourn is a great way to help keep the waters we paddle alive.

Last week Tina, Morgan and I spent a couple days paddling in the Juniata River Sojourn (June 12-19) and had a ball learning about the history of the area, watershed science, art, culture and river conservation projects. If you’re interested in joining us next year, let me know and we’ll get out the info.

Time To Get All Artsy

The Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts brings out the best. This guy was great.

Tina and I love a good arts festival and the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts in State College is one of our favorites for fine arts and crafts, and great musical performances. We’ve made it a regular stop every July and introduced lots of friends to all there is to see and do. The setting is great, people are friendly and the atmosphere is laid back. This year’s festival is July 8-11th.

Weekend Warriors

Anyone up for renting a houseboat and kayaks at Seven Points Marina for a weekend trip?

Spent the weekend with Scoot and Egghead paddling some of our favorite spots in The Alleghenies. We hit Trough Creek – which is a good time after a heavy rain and ended up making basecamp at site 29. From there we hit Whipple Dam State Park and Greenwood Furnace. Then a big day on Raystown Lake where we paddled and fished for small mouth. Didn’t catch much, but had a great time cruising the big lake. Lots of folks do this one by houseboat – could be fun with Tina and Morgan.

Just introduced the Big E to kayaking in The Alleghenies and I think he’s going to become a regular. We rented a boat at Tussey Mountain Outfitters and made his first launch at Sayers Dam in Bald Eagle State Park. We spent the day cruising the shoreline and watching Osprey fish. We also hit Black Moshannon – which is another great paddling experience through the lily pads. Lots of great wildlife too. If you know Big E, you know he isn’t exactly a camper, so we stayed in State College, which is a great town for places to eat. Something he likes most of all. Besides great paddling, this place is a haven for flyfishermen and we saw plenty of them heading for nearby Spring Creek. I’m going to have to try that someday. Another hobby. Tina will be thrilled.

Cool Float

Touring America’s only all-water cavern.

We usually like to do our own paddling, but today we let the tour guides do the work on a trip through Penn’s Cave. After the one-hour float through “America’s only all-water cavern & wildlife park”, we checked out the mountain lions, wolves, deer, elk, bison and Texas Longhorn calves in the wildlife park.

Took Morgan and Tina for a paddle on the Juniata River and ended up in an episode of Wild Kingdom. We loaded up with fishing gear, cameras and lunch and put in at victory Park, where we watched river otters playing along the bank.Tina got some great shots of egrets, great blue herons and a turtle family, but her best was near Mifflintown where huge eagle nests fill the trees and a pair of eagles put on a show for her camera. Morgan and I just paddled along and did some bass fishing. Morgan = 6. Dad = 2. We had a shore lunch at Muskrat Springs picnic area and ended at the Walker Access Area, where a livery service got us back to our car in Lewistown. Another great day on the water.

Time To Ron-dez-vous

Just heard the Stonycreek Rendezvous is set for May 14-16. Great time checking out paddlers from all over the east hitting the rapids at Stonycreek Canyon. Plus there’s lots of live music and gear vendors. Who’s in?

Moonlight Paddle

Tiger Lily

The bright orange blossoms of the Tiger Lily add color to the banks of the Juniata.

I read a book once by Dennis McIlnay called Juniata River of Sorrows. It’s a collection of stories about Indian attacks, frontiersmen, mysteries and tragedies along Pennsylvania’s Juniata River. But for me, this river has been nothing but a good time. And being on the water in early summer is my favorite — the banks blast into color with blooming Mountain Laurel (the state flower) and Tiger Lily. Today I took a trip with Chooch and Fat Jack and put in along the Lower Trail — a rails-to-trail bike path busy with bikers out enjoying the warm weather and sunshine. After the take out, we dropped in at nearby Canoe Creek State Park for a paddle that lasted long after sunset — just us and the moon left on the water paddling to the sound of a distant owl.