I just wanted to thank the Club and all of it's members for yet another great year on Sycamore Island. Being the caretaker of such an awesome Club is a joy and a privilege and I really appreciate my position as the one to take care of the Island.
Weather wise, it's been superb, and I can't remember a year with so many mild days.
All of this nice weather and low water have made for a rather busy year. It has been fun seeing all of the old regular members and getting to know some of the new members, not to mention all the cute little kids.
The river has been nice and low as well, for the most part anyway. We did have one big flood back in May and I rushed back to the Island from my vacation in time to witness my second highest flood since moving here over 12 years ago. Actually, it was the second highest flood since 1996.
We are continuing to improve the Club and this year's workfests were very productive. We even have a new, state-of-the-art rope swing!
The annual dance was a big hit and I think it was a great way to get the Islanders together.
One of the best things about being here on the Island is that it has allowed me to become an advocate for the river and this past year was the best yet. Since moving here to the Island one of my missions has been to raise awareness about the Potomac River.
Over the past few years I have worked with various conservation groups and embarked on long river journeys in an attempt to make people realize what a great resource the river is and also to show that it is constantly under threat.
This past year was no exception and we had our most successful river sojourn yet. Mary Kearney (best girlfriend ever) and I reached out to the C&O Canal Trust and they were thrilled to have us glog about our trip and to promote the C&O Canal National Historic Park. (canalbycanoe.com) I think that our float trip from Cumberland to Georgetown was a great way to get people to start thinking and talking about the river.
The most exciting event to happen this year was the filming of a new documentary about my work here as caretaker and my work as a river advocate. Towpath Joe, coming soon to a theater near you. http://vimeo.com/93913162
Thank you again for this opportunity, Mary and I plan to do many more river trips and we hope you will all join us in our attempt to preserve the Potomac River. I feel proud to be the personification of the mission of The Sycamore Island Canoe Club. DEDICATED TO THE PRESERVATION AND ENJOYMENT OF THE POTOMAC RIVER.