Bob Maxey headed this well-attended (15 head) sunny trip down the Needles, Whitehorse, and the Heron Rookery, taking advantage of the new CCA/BRV deal with River Runners to use the Bakerton put-in without charge. This for me was the first outing (with fully vaccinated participants) totally free of covid restrictions. It felt wonderful.
We had a swim just below Dam No. 3, but otherwise the trip was uneventful. We met at Guide House restaurant (ex Cindy Dees) at 10:30 and soon set shuttle at Weverton. At Bakerton we left CCA cards, stickers, and Rosters in our windows for the non-evident staff, and launched. This was a minimal level [Ettinger's zero is 500 cfs at Hankok - two days' flow upstream] for eeling through the rapids above the Lunch Rock, and playing in them below. Curious how the same amount of flow stacks up so differently as the gradient slows in these bottom rapids.
Thereafter, with the Shenandoah's lesser flow [Millville: 1,350] we proceded down a benign Whitehorse to the Heron Island, where I, at least, discerned 9 nests and but one adult Great Blue up in the treetops. The goslings must have grown up and been out foraging. Out at Israel Creek, noting very few of the usual stinging nettles, then dragged & carried back to our cars.
River proceedings ended around 3:30 - with all pronouncing it a capital day. The culinary part of the day was to culminate at the Bavarian Inn at Shepherdstown, but we had to scrub, as we were off the river too soon.
Our 15 were: Bob, Barb, Ernie K, Paul M, Mike K, Mark B, Bruce Ch, Gary & Ginny Q, Larry L, Lisa W, Wayne McD, Lou Campagna, Chris Oberlin, and Alf.