20th Annual Delaware River Sojourn

I returned Saturday evening from seven wonderful days on the 20th annual Delaware River Sojourn, a refreshing and exciting trip with the largest group ever, which once again included my life partner, Kim.  We began with a couple of days paddling one of my favorite stretches of the River from Shohola Rapids to Matamoras.   It includes some of the best rapids, beautiful scenery and an increasing number of Bald Eagles.

The third day included the Delaware Water Gap, five bears sited, I think the most ever on the Sojourn, and an eagle with a fish.  A mother bear and two cubs came out near the eagle and the mother took the fish the eagle had caught, seeming not to bother much about the large group of canoes and kayaks in the middle of the River watching her. Shelley DePaul, Chief of the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania, led us thorough the Gap, blessing each of us with smoke and cedar, singing and praying in the Lenape language, reminding us that the River is sacred to the Lenape people.

The fourth day included the waves of Foul Rift, a stretch not done on the Sojourn since the first one.  Even with many novices among the 95 participants that day, we came through with no injuries and only a few people taking an unexpected swim.  This year we were blessed with beautiful weather every day and only one storm at night.

The Delaware River is a treasure, about two hundred miles of undamed beauty above Trenton.  Each time I paddle I am caught up in the magic of slow living, taking the time to observe, enjoy and experience the sacred wonders surrounding me, such a contrast to the life most people see as normal. In the tidal section of the River where we paddled from Neshaminy State Park to Bristol and returned, the contrast was evident. Speed boats and jet skis whizzed past us at top speed creating large waves with their  drivers lost in the fast and destructive world powered by oil, likely totally unaware of their impact.  River tugs floated past us going toward Trenton.  Our presence on the River represented a meeting of two worlds.

The images below are a small selection of the images that will be placed on my web site later with those of eight previous sojourns.

Crowded Shohola Rapids

Damon caught a fish

Bald Eagles at Nest with Two Juveniles

Coming Through Staircase Rapids

 Dan Easily Does Butler’s Rift

Mother Bear with Fish

Approaching the Delaware Water Gap

 Mitzi Going Through Foul Rift

 Paddling Below Martin’s Creek Power Plant

 Waiting to Start at Riegelsville

 Dawn at Neshaminy Looking Toward Philadelphia

 Approaching Bristol

Jane and Dave

 River Tug and Jet SKi


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