We have plenty of RiverPalooza paddles left this summer, so we took a look at the feedback from the Kick Off weekend. Then we carefully cherry picked the ones that made us look good. Just kidding. Comments were positive, so apparently a handful of river advocates can put an event together without any major mishaps. Well, the wind did blow a speaker over…. but no harm was done.
“The people were lovely, the rafting trip exciting/majestic, and the after party band/location were spot on!”
– RiverPalooza Participant
“Very well-organized event that highlighted the need for preserving the quality of our rivers.”
– RiverPalooza Participant
On our drive up to Harpers Ferry, staff talked shop and event details. Topics ranged from our suit against the EPA to the likelihood of Governor Hogan opposing the pipeline. Questions bounced around the car. “How can we recruit more volunteers?” “Did we bring enough clipboards?” Then, out of the corner of our eyes, the morning light shimmered on the river and across the mountains. The car went silent. No-one said anything, but the scene was a powerful reminder of the work we do and the importance of sharing the beauty of our rivers through our events.
We pulled into Harper’s Ferry Adventure Center and set up quickly, eager to be on the water. The morning flew by as we signed in participants and matched them to tubes, rafts and kayaks. Soon enough, we were all gently tubing our way through the mountains or splashing our way through white water. Smiles, looks of concentration or expressions of deep relaxation lit up faces as we navigated our way downstream. Our trips ended by a majestic waterfall where children laughed in the mist. Once the boats and tubes were packed onto the buses, we started heading back to Harper’s Ferry Adventure Center for the after party. When we arrived, lines were forming around the BBQ as The Barefoot Movement set up for their performance. The voice of singer-songwriter Noah Wall captured everyone’s attention as her lyrics soared over the mountaintop, justifying Rolling Stone’s description of her band as “the future of Tennessee bluegrass.” The evening came to a close with a glorious sunset carrying the red light through the treetops. Some started to pack up, others stayed behind as fire hula-hoops lit up the night. Lucky ones camped that night by the river, with the Antietam Creek paddle to look forward to in the morning.
We often ask ourselves, what are the best ways to protect our rivers? Providing people with the time and space to connect is among them. Please spread the word about our upcoming RiverPalooza paddles and sign up for one today!