On July 11th, we had our first ever Employee Paddle Night. Kevin O’Shea from Country Ski and Sports in Montoursville, PA helped us put the event together by providing Kayaks, SUPs, Paddles, PFDs and most importantly, his expertise.
We showed up at Montoursville’s Greevey Boat Launch after work and quickly devoured some food before hitting the water. Everyone was eager to get in the water and start paddling. The evening’s entertainment was the opportunity to watch me try out a SUP board for the first time and get soaked multiple times in the process.
After everyone got in or on their boats, we paddled as a group upstream around a large island in the Susquehanna River while enjoying the sunset. This particular area of the river is especially interesting because of the history that the river has as a major waterway for floating enormous quantities of White Pine logs to lumber mills 20 miles downstream around the turn of the century. Some of the bridge abutments and sunken log-cribs are still visible when you’re paddling in the area. It is incredible to realize that millions of logs were floated down this river, only a little over a hundred years ago. Then it is equally amazing to realize that our mountains, which are completely covered with trees, were nearly bare during the same era.
I was quickly outpaced by the faster kayaks as we paddled around the island. I eventually chose to bushwhack my way across the island rather than paddle around it. Eventually we all rejoined the group and the desire to swim quickly overcame the desire to paddle, as most paddlers abandoned their boats to try out the SUP or to simply swim in the river while enjoying the current.
After paddling for a few miles on the river, we hung out around the dock for a while, while Chuck, Jake and Robb attempted to knock me off the SUP with their cannonballs (not successful!). Eventually almost everyone tried the SUP board before we finally packed up the boats and headed home.
\For a number of our employees, it was the first time in a kayak. They were amazed at how easy and intuitive paddling is, and with only a few simple instructions, they were able to keep up with the group. Everyone is looking forward to doing this again and again, and those that couldn’t come are already inquiring about a future trip. I can’t wait to try out some narrower and shorter SUP boards so I can keep up with the group.
Much thanks goes to Country Ski and Sport in Montoursville and especially to Kevin O’Shea for their help in making this event (and hopefully future paddle nights) happen!
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