Brian Phillips, President, ShickshinnyForward
We felt the quiet solitude of paddling a remote river in the backlands of Alaska, but we were right here in our own backyard becoming one with the Susquehanna River.
This past Saturday, Oct 27th, from 9am until 2pm, ShickshinnyForward was partner in sponsoring a Susquehanna River Kayak event and Susquehanna Warrior Trail walk, run & bike day. This event was free and promoted for adventurers to come out and enjoy the fall recreation and tourism options around the greater Shickshinny area. Dave Buck, owner of Endless Mountain Outfitters, provided kayaks for those who needed them and was an excellent guide, trainer and safety resource. We had a group of 16 kayaks, one canoe and a wire haired Hungarian bird dog on the adventure! Paddlers came from Shickshinny, Berwick, Mountaintop and as far away as Wyalusing and Sugar Run for this fall sojourn.
Nobody got wet and the temperature was a balmy 65… perfect for a fall paddle with a few novices along for the trip. The water was chilly and green topped with fallen leaves. We saw fifteen instances of bald eagles circling close by, swooping in to grab a duck out of the river for dinner (it escaped) and even paddling right up to find two eagles hidden perched in a tree just 20 yards away. To be clear, they were not crows; white heads and white tails flashed when they took off. They were joined by a few herons along the way. They were likely the same pairs of eagles; and they made their presence known. At the half way point we took a break for snacks. Throughout the day our paddling group, along with the many fishermen along the way were jockeying for position and comaradarie on the 7.5 miles of river trail.
Dale Freudenberger, Anthricite Region Coordinator of the Delaware, Lehigh and Wyoming Valley Herritage Corridor also came out to welcome the group to shore in Shickshinny. Recently in cooperation with the Susquehanna Greenways Shickshinny was designated as an official Rivertown and river trail.
We expect to do it again next year, but we’ll try to do it two weeks earlier to experience the peak in changing fall foliage.