Bonding Via Tohickon Creek

This weekend is Tohickon Creek release.  It usually happens the third weekend in March, and the first weekend in November.  It is widely considered to be the unofficial start and end of the whitewater season, respectively.

shredder fave

It is also my favorite creek of all-time.  It is fun, challenging, but not panic-inducing, and relatively short (the run itself is 4 miles, but you can make that four miles take all day because it’s a complex river with lots to dissect).   I paddled today in a Shredder, which is like a small raft.  These things are so FUN.  You can blast through just about anything as long as you keep the it straight.  Unfortunately, I did not get to take my canoe out this time.  By the time we were done with our run, it was somewhat late in the day, getting colder, so there weren’t too many takers for a second run.  It’s okay, it was just so nice to be out on the river.

We in the paddling community call this Tohfest, because most of the time it becomes a gigantic party where everyone camps.  This year was a bit subdued, mostly because of the ill forecast of 3-5 inches of snow made for Sunday (which has been downgraded to nothing).    People come from all over, as far as Virginia, to inundate this little town in Pennsylvania.  So, I wouldn’t travel several hours for one day to boat either.  Either way, there were plenty of people there to reconnect to, catch up, and revel in the amazing community that we paddlers have created.  It’s a special bond, because things happen on the water and we are all there to help each other in those instances.  I am grateful to be a part of this community that has given me so much.

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Spring and Revitialization

Spring is about starting anew, and watching everything grow around you.  I used to like fall the best out of the all the seasons, but now it’s spring.  Mainly it’s about revitalizing your mind and spirit, have a brain reset, and wiping off the winter despondency that afflicts many.  There’s more light longer, so you can get outside and play longer (yes I said play).  For me, spring is the best time to do whitewater because of all the snow melt.  My body and mind felt so perfect and clear after finally being able to get back on the water doing what I love.  And pushing myself to the outside my comfort zone, take chances on maneuvers, and revel in the wonder of water, nature, and friends.

Threading the needle on a small drop on the Tohickon Creek in Pipersville, PA. Photograph taken by Kevin O'Neill.

Threading the needle on a small drop on the Tohickon Creek in Pipersville, PA. Photograph taken by Kevin O’Neill.

Spring to me is the brain and body reset, the longer days, and the genuine need for people to feel connected again that makes it such a special time of year of revitalization and vigor.