JUNE 2009

Saturday-- June 6, 2009
Water Level at Little Falls: 5.0     Water Temperature: 62

The river is at five feet and is rising. The decision has been made to close the ferry for today.

Monday-- June 8, 2009
Water Level at Little Falls: 5.7     Water Temperature: 68

The ferry is closed.

Tuesday-- June 9, 2009
Water Level at Little Falls: 5.0     Water Temperature: 68

The river is still a little high but we are going to open the ferry anyway. The Old timers picnic is today and we didn't want to have to turn those youngsters away. The picnic starts around noon, hopefully the sun will break through by then.

Wednesday-- June 17, 2009
Water Level at Little Falls: 3.8     Water Temperature: 75

Our big brown river is below four feet for the first time in weeks. The ferry is running, of course, but there aren't many visitors to the Island. If you come down now you have to like the cold and the mud, not to mention the rain and the wind. It's becoming really hard to believe that this is June in D.C.

With all this rain we're having there is the danger that the river will rise again. I'll keep you posted about this weekend. Keep your fingers crossed that we can still have the kayaking class on Saturday. 10-12 AM

Thursday-- June 18, 2009
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.8     Water Temperature: 72

We're experiencing some extreme downpours here. We must have had an inch and a half of rain already today! The slough has become a muddy conveyor of all the trash and debris that has washed down from the streets upriver.

It is not looking good for this weekends activities. The Paw Paw gauge is already at 13 feet and it's rising.

Saturday-- June 20, 2009
Water Level at Little Falls: 5.5     Water Temperature: 72

Woke up this morning to find the river at 5.5 feet and rising, so the ferry is closed. The relief caretakers showed up right at 9:00 and I sent them home.

The contractors are here. They had to come down because we failed inspection yesterday. The reason we failed would be funny if it weren't so pitifully stupid. The inspector is making us build a handicap ramp into the mens bathroom?! I mean, I fully support the ADA but this is ridiculous.

Monday-- June 22, 2009
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.6     Water Temperature: 72

It looks like it is going to be a nice week and happily it looks like the river is going to go down and clear up. We may be able to do some fishing and swimming this summer after all.

Happy summer solstice!

Tuesday-- June 23, 2009
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.4     Water Temperature: 72

I like my new eat-in kitchen. Being on the second floor puts me up in the forest canopy where the birds are and the large windows allow for great views. Its great to have my breakfast while watching a king bird catch her breakfast on the wing.

Wednesday-- June 24, 2009
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.3     Water Temperature: 77

The river has been above four feet for all but seven of the last sixty days.

I saw the young eagles taking wing yesterday. They seem big enough to be on their own now, but you can still hear them screeching for their parents to feed them.

We are still waiting to get our final inspections approved, unfortunately our contractor is in Guatemala for the next two weeks.

I moved the paddles out of the outdoor shower but then realized its not working. The contractor didn't bother to reconnect it.

Thursday-- June 25, 2009
Water Level at Little Falls: 4.0     Water Temperature: 77

I just notice that something has been trying to dig in under the house. My guess is that it was a ground hog and it looks like the varmint couldn't get under the house because of the new concrete panels that were installed around the perimeter. I'm happy that the ground hogs might not be able to live under my house anymore. Considering all the adventures that I've had with those ground hogs I'm surprised that we didn't find a labyrinth of tunnels under the house when we excavated it last fall. The workers didn't find any tunnels but I heard that they did find a complete and in-tact skeleton of a large black snake.

One of the pulleys for the safety chains on the ferry has worn out and the chain kept getting hung up on the cable. In order to replace the pulley I had to disconnect the chains an pull them all the way over to the Island side of the river. I then had the scary job of leaning a ladder against a young sycamore and climbing up to reach the overhead cable. The worst part was that I needed two hands to get the old pulley off and get the new one on. It's times like these that make me miss having John Matthews around to stand at the bottom of the ladder and coach me along.

All the rain we had last week allowed me to do something that very few people get to do. I canoed down Seneca Creek. I don't mean Great Seneca(which is a nice paddle),but rather, Little Seneca, a small creek that dumps into Great Seneca right at the bridge for Rt. 28 near Germantown. This creek flows from Clopper lake at Black Hills Regional Park. As it leaves Boyds, this tiny stream, (no wider than my canoe is long), passes through a boulder field producing some unexpected class III rapids. The rest of this 4.5 mile run is fast-moving water passing through farmland and woods. It has many sharp turns past beautiful, hemlock covered rock outcroppings. I did have to get out and carry my boat four times because of giant trees across creek but for the most part I was pleased with the run. It was fun when four deer forded the stream just ahead of me. I had to wait for a late afternoon thunderstorm to pass so I wasn't able to get on the "river" until almost 7:00PM. This meant that I would have to give up on doing the upper section for fear of getting caught out in the dark. I locked my bike up at the parking lot at the Rt. 28 bridge and headed to the put-in. On the way I passed two of the Heritage Montgomery historical sites. On White Ground Road I passed the Boyds Negro School 1896-1936 and on Shaeffer Rd. I passed the model airplane airport in Little Seneca State Park. I unloaded my boat at a nice little parking area on Shaeffer Rd. and did the 1.9 creek miles down to the mouth at Great Seneca. This larger creek was very swollen and I surfed a tiny ledge under the bridge before taking out on the opposite bank. I stashed my canoe in the bushes and biked the four miles back to my van. Later, I found myself loading my canoe in the pink glow of a warm sunset and feeling very happy that I made the effort. My only regret was that I couldn't do the entire run from Boyds. Maybe next time.