The Flood of April 2017

The Flood of April 2017

At Adventure Mendota, we were excited about opening early in April.   As our third year approached, we thought “it’ll be much easier” and it was a good plan — until the rains came.   On Friday afternoon, April 21, it began to rain.   Between that time and Monday, April 24, over 5 inches of rain were measured in the rain gauge.    Monday morning brought unique problems and we  found ourselves going no where.  In both directions, this was the scene:

In the old days when this happened in Mendota,  a number of the men played poker because the Sheriff and his deputies could not get across the river.    I remember that time.

This did not compare to the flood of 1977 or even 2002.  In both of these floods, our swinging bridges were washed out.   The picture below was taken just down the road from Adventure Mendota.   If you kayak with us, this is the first swinging bridge we go under.   Other than the river ford, this bridge is the only way the farm operations at Big Loop Farm can be carried out.    We’re grateful that the swinging bridges were not disturbed this week.

Still, it was dangerously close this weekend as shown in the photo below.  This picture was taken by my neighbor, Jimmy Gill.

We use a USGS gage that is located in Weber City, VA.  The river typically has the same conditions in our location and the Weber City location.   Mike daily checks the temperature, velocity and the depth of the North Fork at this location and compares to our location.  Here’s some information he put together today that you may find interesting:

North Fork of the Holston River in Washington County    

If you have additional information or any pictures you wish to share, please send them to me.   I’ll put them on this blog!

While the river is raging tonight, she’ll be sweetened up in just a few days and back to her mellow, gentle self.   We’ll wade right back in the water and start kayaking!   See you soon!!


Some Big Steps!

Kayak season will be here before you know it, so we’ve been busy at Adventure Mendota. Our kayak trailer is being finished at the Scott County Career & Technical Center in Gate City. When it leaves the welding class, we are hoping she will move over to the body shop for a little “make up” and then she will head over to St. Paul, Virginia to pick up our kayaks. There’s a Twister getting ready to blow into Mendota…are  you ready? (That would be an Old Town Twister Sit On Top Kayak.) I am!


And before we go any further…here’s a little eye candy. When you cross the Nordyke Bridge coming to Adventure Mendota from Bristol, this is what you’ll see to your right. Just a typical view on the North Fork.

Helene's pix Small

Another huge milestone occurred with getting internet down to the shop (“base camp”), house and over to the guest house. We are thanking our lucky stars for the good folks at IGo. If you can see the Mendota Fire Tower, you can get high speed internet in Mendota, Virginia. They helped Mike with a complicated set up of antennae and routers. Does this make any sense to you?

RiverCliff Farms LLC Networks Pix Small

It didn’t to me either but it looked really smart so BOOM, we are feeling brilliant.

Life vests…they arrived yesterday. Kid size and adult size.

Life Vest

We’ve got the Fork Taxi cleaned up, added rims and new tires and had it inspected mechanically. All is good. We’ re getting decals that will say things like “Follow Me and Float the Fork” on the rear door. The sides will have the website and our phone number.

Fork Taxi Cleaned up

Last…our logo. Originally I planned to have someone help me with a logo. Then, I thought I could do my own logo. We are just spending so much money, I got concerned. Then I decided I could do without a logo. Then, I decided that I could not do without a logo. Reality–we needed Logan Hibbitts to do the logo for us. Ta da!! Do you like it?

Adventure Mendota Logo

We’ve also ordered our Intex River Run Tubes and Mike had his first “class” meeting for the Washington County Chamber Entrepreneur Challenge. I’ll be accompanying him going forward, but I could not go Tuesday night. It was my last night with our beloved dog, Luckie, and I wanted to spend that evening with her. In my other blog, I did my tribute to this wonderful animal. She was special, and if you want to read about her, go here. I am filled with sadness because anyone who met Luckie when she was just a little bit younger would know that she would have loved riding up and down the road in the Fork Taxi or doing a quick float on a kayak. Oh how we loved her.

Luckie in the am

Thank you for coming and visiting our River Blog. Each time you visit, it helps us with our search engine optimization, so please come often, and please leave a comment. And finally, thank you for letting me talk about Luckie just one more time.