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April 26, 2005

We arrived in Bethesda, Maryland
on a 90 degree sunny Wednesday afternoon. Bethesda is the first town upstream
of the DC/Maryland line and right on the water. Go far enough upstream
and the next town is Potomac, which holds Great Falls Park, Maryland as
its prize possession. From 1984-1997 I chose Bethesda as my home. Most
of the time I was in a neighborhood called Brookmont, because that neighborhood
was the only one that was on the river side of the major road there, MacArthur
Blvd. River front meant, pick up your kayak and walk down to the Feeder
Canal, where a permanent slalom course is set, and go out the bottom of
the feeder canal into the river and you hit Little Falls which ends at
Chain Bridge in DC. Carry over 100 yards of trail, put-in on the Chesapeake/Ohio
(C+O) Canal and paddle home, cool. Yes, DC is one of a kind for kayakers,
which explains why there are so many there. I know lots of people in DC
and also have lots of family here, mostly cousins, and an aunt and uncle.
On this trip, I am teaching a WKF instructor clinic for Valley Mill, which
is my favorite school in DC. I am also doing a demo and then one day of
clinics that are open to the public. Tomorrow at the demo, we’ll
be hucking ourselves off of the Valley Mill Boat Ramp into their own private
pond. Nick plans on spending all day trying the double air screw. Dane
is also committed to this feat.

We just finished a great clinic with some terrific
instructors. Koji, Jim and Monique (
), James (see really cool photos of Stephen Wright, those are his), Colin
Kemp, Martin, Dane, Nick, and Emily were all taking the class and doing
a terrific job. Today we had a guinea pig who had never been in a kayak.
I got to demonstrate the you can roll in 15 minutes program (he did in
5 or 6), the EJ’s Strokes and Concepts program (very cool, he did
great) and then hit the river and run Mather Gorge at 4 feet (big waves
at Rocky and big eddylines at S-Turn).

We all went to Potomac Pizza after class, which ended
at 8pm and I got to know everybody better. Jim and Monique have two kids,
ages 20 and 15. You would be impressed and never guess. They are both
in great shape, paddle almost daily, and have great careers and will make
terrific instructors. We talked about raising kids, etc. Fun stuff for
a parent.

Well, it is 11pm and Kristine is finishing her magazine,
so I am out of here.

EJ 🙂