Island to Island 2012: Taking a new course down our Nation's River

Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - 6:03pm

Undeterred by the hardships that they endured during last year’s Island to Island trip, Whit Overstreet, Communications Manager for Potomac Riverkeeper, and Joe Hage, Caretaker for the Sycamore Island Club, set off yet again on a paddling odyssey down the Potomac. The goal of this year’s Island to Island trip was to highlight the work and impact of Potomac Riverkeeper along the river, to promote recreational use of the great resource in the backyard of our Nation’s capital, to share the sights and sounds of the lower Potomac with the hope of inspiring others to get out and explore their river, and lastly to bring in some grassroots-style fundraising to support the mission of Potomac Riverkeeper.

To read the trip blog and see pictures from the journey, visit the webpage.

There were a few planned differences between last year’s pilot run and this year’s excursion. First, a new destination: this year the two paddled all of the way to where the Potomac meets the Chesapeake Bay at Smith Point, Virginia before crossing the mouth of the Potomac at the river’s widest point to reach Point Lookout, Maryland. Second, a new distance goal: 165 miles following an unconventional route along the Virginia shoreline once below the Nice Memorial 301 Bridge. Third, working with nature: by picking an optimal week of the month, Joe and Whit were able to paddle with the tides in their favor.

The trip would not have been possible without the help of many supporters and sponsors. Though by no means exhaustive, the following parties contributed to the success of Island to Island 2012: Mike Aronoff of CKAPCO Sunrise on the Potomacdonated paddling technique and safety lessons as well as lending a boat for the trip; Jefferson Glassie, President of Jefferson Islands Club, sponsored the trip and organized the celebratory event at the trip’s conclusion; Peter Bross, Potomac Riverkeeper board member, was a major sponsor of the trip; Alice Ferguson Foundation gave permission for the two to stay on the property of Hard Bargain Farm; Virginia DCR staff at Westmoreland and Caledon State Parks provided advice and accommodations above and beyond expectations; the proprietors of Fletcher’s Boat House, Coles Point Marina, Coan River Marina, and Smith Point Marina were generous in the hospitality they extended to the two paddlers. Thank you to all of the others who helped to make Island to Island 2012 a success.