Sunday, July 2, 2017

Certain of One Thing

I paddled out of Riley's Lock with Tall Tom today. I was running two GPS's - my Apple Watch and my venerable Garmin, the former of which is proving to be unreliable on the water and the latter of which is long known to give unreliable distance readings. Here's the tally of the distance of our paddle:

1. The Apple Watch went completely dark at some point during the trip. I was able to reboot it when we got back. At the end of the trip it read 2.1 miles.

2. When synched to Strava online the data from the watch still read 2.1 miles, but when I exported a .gpx file and then re-imported it (conceptually this should yield an identical result), Strava indicated a distance of 4.2 miles - but it still had only part of the track.

3. The Garmin's display read 8.74 miles.

4. I connected the Garmin to the computer, downloaded the track to Garmin Mapsource, exported a .gpx and then imported it into Strava. That showed the whole track, and read 8.3 miles. This is close to what Tom's GPS read, and I believe it is correct.

One thing I know for certain, it was a beautiful day for a paddle.

At the entrance to Seneca Creek (Riley's Lock)

I arrived early. I usually get a slow start in the morning, eating breakfast , reading the paper, stretching and such until I realize I should have left five minutes ago at which point I rush around getting ready. Since my planned departure time always contains sufficient slack I almost always still arrive on time, but even with lots of lead time I always wind up stressing myself out getting out the door. I have vowed to change that and today I left home with plenty of time - I actually arrived before Tom, who is usually early.

I unloaded my kayak, disturbing two buzzards who had been snacking on a catfish carcass by the boat ramp. As I got geared up a whole gaggle of cyclists drove in, apparently meeting for a group road ride. Have I mentioned that cyclists bug me? [See Note 1] They all had their super-expensive road bikes and of course were duded up in little cycling outfits. Worst of all, these guys were about my age but still had way too much of a "bro" attitude, ragging on each other and exuding way too much machismo. I resisted the urge to whack them with my paddle, for which I deserve some sort of medal.

Next, Mike A., Randi, Rob St.L., and Heather (kayakers) rolled in. They were there to do some sort of rough water training and were headed downriver - towards the falls (it's been nice knowing you!).

Tom and I headed upriver. As already mentioned, we covered a little over eight miles (I think), my longest paddle since my return to the water. Our trip included a stop to scope out one of the campsites along the C&O Canal. The campsites are labelled "Hiker / Biker" sites and are clearly intended for users of the C&O towpath (hikers and bikers, that is), but we wanted to see whether they could be accessed from the water. This one was - assuming one doesn't mind scrambling up the poison ivy-covered bank.

Note 1: Actually, just about everyone bugs me.

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