TRIP COORDINATORS STREAM SHEETS – Introduction 19 July 2021
The trip descriptions in this collection are intended for trip coordinators organizing a paddling trip to a particular destination. They donot tell how to run the river - for that we have guidebooks, American Whitewater online, and particularly, other knowledgeable paddlers who have already done the stream. Co-leading with a more experienced coordinator is highly recommended. We welcome new trip coordinators and want to help you set up a variety of trips that are safe and enjoyable.
These stream sheets, unlike the usual form of stream description, tell how, having chosen a creek or river, a trip coordinator should budget the group's time, including on the road both to and from the stream. They also show whether to meet at the put-in, take-out, or also a point nearer Washington to consolidate boats and drivers, where the public toilets are, what is canoe zero, etc. They suggest a "Plan B" in case the target stream is blocked, too high, or too low. GPS coordinates are sprinkled about to show the way.
Trip coordinators should be familiar with the wealth of coordinator and river information on the CCA’s Website. These are: American Whitewater's State Rivers Lists, the USGS Stream Gaging System, the CCA Stream-Finder, Ron Knipling’s 68 Whitewater Rivers Ranked in Difficulty, the NWS Weather Forecasts, the River Level Forecast, and Ron Canter's set of stream maps. Don’t overlook prior trip reports (use the search function – top right with light-bulb).
Also indispensable are the paddling guidebooks – particularly Steve Ettinger’s Paddling within Two Hours of Washington (2013) and Ed Gertler’s Maryland and Delaware Canoe Trails (1996, 2002, 2021). Out of print, though thoroughly useful are three books on Virginia streams: Ed Grove’s Classic Virginia Rivers (1992), Roger Corbett’s Virginia Whitewater (2000), and Matacia and Cecil’s The Shenandoah River; An Illustrated Canoe Log (1974) and (including Maryland) Corbett and Matacia’s three volumes of Blue Ridge Voyages, now sadly out of print.
Maps of many of these streams appeared in Ron Canter’s 1978 and 1985 Nearby Paddling Streams, which he let us place on the CCA website: see the Documents tab.
Equally, coordinators should know the basics of trip coordinating – also on the CCA website under the Trips tab. See the Trip Guidelines, American Whitewater Safety Code, Charlie Duffy's Trip Leader Presentation. You should never need coordinate a trip on a stream where no one in the party has ventured, though it is not unknown (See the stream sheet on the North Anna).
CCA Trip Guidelines https://canoecruisers.clubexpress.com/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=394800&module_id=223946
Another presentation, more focused on the weather and the stream levels, can be found in the first part of the CCA’s online Stream-Finder. Its accumulated errors need to be fixed as soon as covid restrictions allow meeting in a private residence, which is where the database resides.
Membership in the CCA – is not required for paddlers to participate in our trips, although we hope that after coming out with us several times, they may join. Bring CCA calling cards to the river to pass the word on chance encounters, and keep CCA tri-fold recruitment sheets in your car to hand out to prospects. Since the covid, most new CCA members are being recruited on the river – a younger and more active crowd that are the Club’s future.
Trash Collection – During or after trips, participants should try and pick up small river detritus. Coordinators should bring a larger trash bag to haul it back home to their recycle or trash pick-up.
Announcing Trips – Other trip coordinators will help you post your prospective trips on the Club Calendar – a very easy process. More difficult is sending out a Call to the River – the APB telling paddlers that your trip is going out. Ask another coordinator to help you do this complicated process the first time. There are “How to” directions for doing many of these on the Members part of the CCA website. Once you have a trip announcement posted, don’t forget to “tend” it – changing it if your meeting time or place changes – and esp if you have to CANCEL your trip.
Trip Reports – Please post a brief TR after returning from your adventure, which should help the next group heading out to that stream. While anyone can read the TRs, to post a trip you must be a CCA member. And that is the easiest function on the website. Trip participants, water level (gauge) in cfs – or feet are essential parts of a TR. Mishaps and hazards encountered are helpful. Later trip coordinators planning an outing can easily pull up the relevant TRs by using the “Search” button on the upper right corner of the Trip Reports screen. Since affording the paddling community a large variety of safe and well-run trips is the Club’s primary activity, we keep records of our trips to assure that we are maintaining tempo. TRs are key to that effort.
The current Stream Sheets, which now number 22, are:
Accotink Fall Line, Antietam (2 secs), Cacapon, Cedar, Gettysburg Rock Creek, Goose, Hughes, Kellys Ford, Little Patuxent, Mather Gorge, Needles North Anna, Passage, Patapsco, Patapsco So. Br., Potomac North Branch (Westernport to Black Oak Landing), Seneca, Staircase, Thornton, Violettes Lock Loops (Patowmack/GW Canal and Seneca Breaks)
Currently planned are: (12)
Bloomington, Brocks Gap/Cootes Store (No Fork Shenandoah), Cabin John Creek, Catoctin MD, Catoctin VA, Hopeville Canyon, James, Marsh/Middle, Moorfield Canyon, Potomac North Branch (Cruiser Section), Rappa-Fred, Sideling Hill Creek, Smokehole.
Canoe Cruisers Assn.