Location: Lake Redman, York County, PA
Adventurers: Topher, c2g, Mike McCrea
Outfitting: Hobie Adventure, Wavewalk, Solo Plus, Nova Craft Prospector 16 (solo-ized)
Yes, that tinky-winky wee Lake Redman. If youve ever driven I-83 between Baltimore and York youve passed over the narrows. Ive driven over it thousands of times; all of 20 minutes from my home, but never wet a boat there.
Pity I waited so long; its a nice enough little lake and the closest flatwater that doesnt require a permit. The ideal location for c2g and Topher to get back on that horse after wusafter pusafter quitting on a Susquehanna trip halfway between Duncannon and Marysville and calling for BMO to come fetch them.
Putting in at the boat landing off Hess Farm Rd we paddled north and rounded the corner to spot a gathering of folks running a small flotilla of radio control sailboats around a buoy-marked course. Friends of Tophers of course. Isnt everyone? I envision there someday being people in 12-step programs, meeting on Thursday evenings in church basements, introducing themselves by standing and saying Hi, Im so-and-so, and Im a friend of Tophers.
Curving wide so as to not intrude on the course we swung around the point into a freshening breeze. A good opportunity to sprint a bit in the Hobie.
Pumping the Mirage drive and paddling at the same time can easily put on an impressive sprint; Id love to see what a conditioned biker/paddler could do with the Hobie Adventure in an anything-goes race like Wye Island. Id also like to try that boat with a wing paddle for a higher angle stroke. And, what the heck, I guess I oughta try the dagger board and sail accessories I bet that hull would fly.
Rounded the corner as the dam came into sight I paused to wait for my laggard companions to catch up in the wind, watching them closely as they approached for any signs of trembling trepidation or fear puckered orifices. So far, so good.
We muckled in a small cove just before the dam for a leg stretcher and first boat swap. But, before the boat exchange Topher stunted the W in his inimitable way; one-legged Captain Morgan style gunwale leans and standing astride the extreme ends of the twin hulls until he achieved the inevitable Class B step out.
First swap; Topher into the Hobie, Ill take the W, Dave wants to keep his Prospector, having wrapped up the custom soloization just a few hours before.
The W is different from any hull Ive paddled before; the secondary stability is astounding well have to try flipping it some warm day, but I believe itll take some effort. Different enough that it will take some time, patience and experimentation to learn just how to paddle it in different positions and what it can do.
One outfitting item that would be useful in the W is a partial cockpit cover of some kind, if only to provide an easily accessible work surface in front of the paddler, something with some pockets or pouches for easily accessible gear storage. Or a full sized 2-piece cover so that the entire cockpit opening could be enclosed during transport.
Back to the landing in a brief but hard rain shower and a quick change into some warm, dry clothes and raingear (wet and chilled youre not paddling in the Carolinas anymore Mike) and then off again for the south end of the lake.
Passing beneath I-83, around the bend the road noise from the inter-State quickly diminished and, as we cruised beneath the Hess Farm Rd bridge, we saw another put in, a picnic area and parking lot (no boat ramp) that would be a fine alternative for hand carried boat launches. Continuing up the narrowing and shallowing arm of the lake toward the tributary streams Inner Creek and the East Branch Codorus Creek we halted at a curious No Boating sign planted in the middle of the arm.
I dont think they meant us, but the exploration of the East Branch will have to wait for another day, as we turned about and headed for another muckle near the picnic area put in.
An unsuccessful attempt at waterlogged grackle resuscitation, another boat swap c2g into the Hobie and I into his Prospector Solo and we headed back north to the boat ramp to wrap the day.
A previously unpaddled lake close to home (not to mention the adjacent Lake Williams, yet to be explored), intriguing new boats to put through their paces and re-emboldened companions completing an entire trip without quitting the field in trembling terror.
Not a bad day.
More pictures available at Webshots
None at the launch described in the directions. A boat launch off Hess Farm Rd, on the far side of the lake, has restrooms and other services.
Exit #10 off I-83 in Pennsylvania, just south of York. West on North Lake Rd to end. Turn left onto Iron Stone Hill Rd to 1st left onto Hess Farm Rd. Take the first right onto Sparton Farm Rd to the picnic/hand launch area on the left.