We’re Getting Ready!

We’re Getting Ready!

Wow!  Memorial Day has come and went. We were closed due to rain. We’re going to start kayaking with unbrellas!     However, over the past few months, we’ve been busy with other stuff…

First thing, Adventure Mendota now operates with a commercial septic tank system which will allow us to grow and/or expand into other businesses.   We can handle a whole lot of poop!!

We now have two bathrooms.  Some people have diamonds and pearls but I’m most proud of our bathrooms and our Generac generator!   Seriously.   A travel writer visited not long ago; and in his article, he talked about how clean the bathroom was.  Apparently, this is important!

During the winter, Mike and I went to the A-OK auction and bought three rusty lawn chairs.  We had meant to have them sandblasted so they’d be shiny, new, but then…we just spray painted them.   I couldn’t see spending that much money when a can of spray paint is $2.    I love how they turned out.

And our rockers were falling apart. We’ve reconditioned them hoping they will give us a few more years of rockin’ and a rollin’.   Church bench got a new coat of poly as well.  See, you just thought we laid around and slept all winter, didn’t ya?

We are excited to offer Fetching Apparel hats this year.   Hats are expensive unless you buy in a large quantity, and we do not sell a great number of them.  Instead, we opted to have Derek and Rebecca Pepin put their Fetching Apparel hats in Adventure Mendota.   While we not not receive income from these sales,  we wanted to support their small business plus the 40% that they donate with every purchase made.   Animal welfare is important to Mike and me, and we’re pleased to help the cause.

I do not know what small business owners with limited budgets did before the chalkboard craze.   I use it for all of my signage.    Here’s some examples…

River Shoes at Adventure Mendota

And another…

I like the way Mike hung my H2O sign..it’s hanging from the rafters.

It’s hard to display tees.   I’ve looked on Pinterest and other places, but I can’t find something that works for us.   This is the best I can come up with.

Buy a Tee Shirt at Adventure Mendota

Below is our first attempt at displaying the tees.

Guests keep asking for stickers.  We purchased just a few of these.  They sell for $2 each or 2/$3.00.

And while we do not have the Mayfield Ice Cream freezer back this year, we will have Mayfield vanilla and chocolate ice cream cups for sale.  I purchase these in a smaller quantity so I do not have to worry about ice cream MELT DOWNs during our numerous power outages in Mendota.   Dr. Correll came out a few weeks ago and was missing his ice cream.  We cannot disappoint Dr. Correll so we decided to bring ice cream back in a modified fashion!

We are looking forward to having pictures on the river.  We are looking forward to seeing you.    XOXO Eva

Spring is Coming!

While just a few days ago, Washington County, Virginia schools were closed for snowy, icy roads, spring is coming.   I know this to be true because something else arrived this morning.  It’s kind of blurry but it’s not a mirage!  It’s real!

Three more tandem kayaks arrived.   While we are a Jackson outfitter and we have Jackson tandems, we needed a few other tandems that have the flexibility of seating a “little one” in the center when that situation arrives.  These fit that need.   This gives us six tandems to have on hand.

But our primary business is Jackson single kayaks.  We are ordering about a dozen more in a few weeks.  Right now, we’ve got them stacked here and there..

We’ll have them cleaned and polished up in a few weeks.  Ready to get back rockin’ and rollin’ down the North Fork.

Can’t wait to see you!




Why Jackson Kayaks?

Why Jackson Kayaks?

A lot of thought went into our decision to be a Jackson outfitter.    Some of the decisions were emotional–Jackson is a family-owned business.  They are a little bigger than Adventure Mendota (okay lots!), but still, we like to support any family business.   Some were logistical as well as emotional–we try to support local businesses, and, admittedly, Jackson isn’t exactly a  hop, skip and a jump away, but the company is a Tennessee business.  While we are located in Virginia, we are very close to the Tennessee border and about one third of our guests are Tennesseans.   Also, we can pick up the kayaks ourselves and save shipping charges.

At first look, before all of the above, however, we were simply blown away by the perfect fit for our Class I river.   Here’s a little video made by Jackson.

We feel more secure putting you in the river with our Jacksons vs. a less-expensive kayak.  One hole in a kayak can ruin your whole day.   


Road Scholars

Road Scholars

Have you ever heard of the Road Scholar program?    Until Adventure Mendota I had not (hangs head in shame).  It’s a program for adults interested in learning and/or doing new things, seeing new places, and meeting new people!   Here’s their link:  https://www.roadscholar.org/

We have been privileged to have three Road Scholar groups visit Adventure Mendota during the 2016 season.

I put my new video making skills to work to show you!

Ready! Action! Cut!

Ready! Action! Cut!

Recently we have had several professional photograhers visit Adventure Mendota.   Unfortunately, I don’t have the results because they were doing the work at the bequest of someone else.   One group is making a documentary for BVU’s Explorer series about the North Fork of the Holston in Mendota.   Adventure Mendota will be included.  The other was a tourism photographer, Mr. Sam Dean.    We’ll benefit from their work, so we’re grateful.

And then there is me.  I have started to view myself as a mini  movie producer after creating these very, very amateur videos.  They are so fun.   These are the activities that make me love having this small, family business where I can do these things and give them to our guests.

Cub Scout Pack 160

Cub Scout Pack 160

We meet the nicest people.   Cub Scout Pack 160 came out in 2015 and returned on August 6, 2016.

Pack 160 Launch Time at Adventure Mendota

Pack 160 Launch Time at Adventure Mendota

Here’s another view point.  I keep thinking NASCAR, but these little “engines” are far cuter.  These little folks paddled five river miles with minimal help from their parents and Adventure Mendota staff.

Cub Scout 7

Are you thinking what we’re thinking?  Cute as a button!
Pack 160

A Favorite Moment

What is there not to love about this photograph?   With so much violence in the world, this picture speaks to me.  What are they looking for?  What are they seeing?  What are we seeing?   I choose love.  

Good picture

There is evil in the world.  There is unkindness.  Sometimes we are the ones who are unkind and sometimes we are the ones that are mistreated.    There is also wonder and beauty and kindness.

I choose love.  


Upriver Route

Upriver Route

During our first year we were asked by quite a few folks who owned their own kayaks, “can you get me on the river where I can fish?”     If you were one of these people, why don’t you try our five-mile upriver route?    About 13 did over Memorial Day 2016, including these four lovely ladies.

customwer owned

We were a little worried about dropping them off knowing they had five river miles to paddle.  When we said “are you sure?”  They looked at us like we had grown a third eye, helped unload their kayaks and paddled off.   Girl power.  Why did we even question it?

Details…we need a minimum of two kayaks on a run such as this.  We charge $15 per kayak.   We keep the price low because we are going to ask you to help our driver in loading and unloading your kayak.   You can kayak back to your car, safety hanging out with us back at the shop, and all that we ask is that you arrive by 6 pm so that we can close up and go home and get some rest.  You’ll be tired, too, so it works for all of us.

It doesn’t work for other watercraft such as canoes or a flat-bottomed boat since our kayak trailer is…well…a kayak trailer.  If you want help with one of these, give us a call and we’ll talk through the best way to help you out, just keeping in mind that we can’t make a trip for only one watercraft at $15.   We always try our best to get you on the water, but sometimes it just does not work for other types of watercraft.

You still will need to sign a waiver and have appropriate footwear.   Hope to see you soon on the upriver route.


Getting Ready!

We are opening Saturday, May 7, weather and river conditions permitting. We’ve been getting ready for you. First of all, Mike put up this great kayak barn quilt square. I love it.  It only took him one full year to get it up after he painted it!!   (Seriously!)  In his defense, it was buried under a stack of innertubes and kayaks.

Kayak Quilt Square

When folks came out last year, they got off the river starving and asked us about food. We are adding Mayfield ice cream so we’ll have something to hold you over until you get back to civilization to town.  We operate out of Mike’s shop.  We call it base camp to be fancy, but it’s really just a shop.   At one time we played Rook there quite often and while waiting, we worked jigsaw puzzles.   I’ve got all these puzzles so I’m “decorating” with them.  See the two above the ice cream cooler?

Ice Cream R

We’ve been washing PFDs.  We put them away clean but we thought you’d like them to smell nice and fresh so we rinsed each one in vinegar and water following by a wash in Gain detergent.   Like our hillbilly clothesline?   Ya gotta  use what you have.  .

Vests R

Speaking of using what  you have.   Do you like the way we’re displaying our tees?    This is an old Canada Dry crate from the bottling plant that used to be in Weber City.   Today, it has been scrubbed and lives at Adventure Mendota with the important job of keeping up with our size small tees!

Crate of Tees

I hope you like them.   Please buy these t-shirts.  I beg of you…I will never fit into a small.   They are blue with the Adventure Mendota logo.  I’m still working on the other sizes.

Tees 2016

And last Tuesday, we had a call at 5:30 am when it was still dark and the moon was out.  I thought someone had died!   However, it was good news.  The caller said, “This is Jessie with Jackson Kayaks…I’m in Hiltons, Virginia.”  Mike and I looked at each other and said “Holy Cow!  The Rivis (Rivieras) are here!”   See the stack of yellow Jackson Riviera kayaks.  They were made in the last two weeks at the Jackson plant in Tennessee.   There are many reasons we selected Jackson as the kayak for Adventure Mendota.  There are many cheaper kayaks.  However, based on the type of kayak (sit on top), our river (mellow), and the durability and quality that other outfitters told us about….PLUS they are located in Tennessee–that sealed the deal.  We live in Southwest Virginia but many of our guests come from Tennessee.


More to come in a few days!    It’ll look like this around here shortly.  I can’t wait!


Hopefully, Mike and I will see you in person in a few weeks.  Until then, may God bless you and those you love!