August 17, 2014.
After working around it so much, we decided to go boating on the North Fork of the South Branch of the Potomac River around Big Bend Campground. Our original goal was to make it from Big Bend to Petersburg- but the water was way, way too low to do that at this point. Instead, we opted to float down to Big Bend and see what we could do with the water we had. We decided to put the boat in just below the low water bridge (so as to avoid the dreaded Landslide rapid.) And almost immediately, we hit a rapid and lost the cooler that was attached to the back of the raft with our lunches in it (no worries- everything stayed secure in the cooler and didn’t even get wet!). As we continued our trek, we realized that we may be in trouble. We had to get out and drag the boat around 4 times within the first quarter of a mile.
It had rained that week, so we had hoped that it would be up just enough to let us take the trip….but no such luck. After passing the bait store along the road, we reached a very shallow section of river that was a lot longer than we wanted to drag the boat through. Instead, we paddled back to the area in front of the store, which was one of the deeper areas, and decided to swim instead.
A ton of large fish reside at the bottom of this deep swimming hole. We decided it would be an opportune time to take lunch here. It was an odd experience eating taco salad and mini pumpkin cheesecakes while floating in the river. It clouded up and looked like a storm was about to hit around the time that we finished eating lunch in the river, so we decided to call it a day & hike back to get the car and head home, giving up on our hopes for completing the loop.