As We Enter August

As We Enter August

Hello!  It’s August 7, and Adventure Mendota is closed today due to rain — much needed rain that we are so grateful for.   Like farmers, people who work in outdoor recreation are very mindful of the weather.  While we have not had drought this year in Southwest Virginia, July was dry.    In fact, Adventure Mendota has rarely been closed since late May due to rain.

We welcomed this rain because the river was getting low.  Guests don’t mind “rockin’ and a rollin” a little bit on their kayak trip, but when the North Fork gets too low, we have to close.   This rain will give the river a much-needed lift for the next week.   Likewise, Mike and I and the staff are enjoying this day of rest and rain.   We’re recharging our batteries.

A potential guest called and asked about tomorrow (Tuesday) since we were closed today.  “Would we be open?”   I could not tell her.  We follow data provided by the USGS and the appearance of the river as well.  I’ll know tomorrow when she calls back.  The North Fork will tell us when she is ready to receive guests.  Then, we’ll get back to doing this…

Our 15-year old granddaughter was here about six weeks ago.  She’s interested in marketing so I asked her to look through some photos and tell me which ones we should use to share our experience with others.  She selected the one above as well as the following two.

Here’s the third one she chose.  The owner of those feet got a kick out of seeing them here and there was we work our way through social media.  She messaged me and said “I know those feet!”

Three weeks ago, we had our grandson working with us for a week.  We enjoyed that as well.  It’s fun to have family involved here and there.  He and our neighbor’s son, Matt, spent the week working on the river. They may come back in 2018.  Matt has worked a bit since then as well.

On Saturday, we had a busy day putting about 90 kayaks into the water.  These five pictured below, along with Matt, worked their tails off.  Some of these are family as well.    The girls (left and right) are cousins,   Rebecca and Caroline, and they have arrived the first week of August for the past three years to lend a hand.  Rebecca is an incoming freshman at Clemson and Caroline is a junior at New Covenant School in Anderson, SC.   I love these girls.  They work hard all day and then they head up to the house and fix dinner for us.   The boys (left to right) include our special nephew, Neth, who is a rising junior at James Madison University; Isaac, who is a rising sophmore at Mountain Empire; and Will, a rising sophomore at Northeast State.    I love them, too, but they are more likely to eat our dinner vs. fixing our dinner.   How Isaac’s family affords to feed him is a mystery.

So if you’ve visited here, you’ve seen some of these young folks. They are a large part of the reason that Adventure Mendota exists today.  Mike and I wanted to give some of these “good kids” we know an opportunity to make a little money. We pay them reasonably well, allow them to keep any tip money that comes in, and provide them with a way to earn money without driving into town.  The boys work on the river all day and fish all night.

I’m very proud of this small business that has also allowed me to work and live in my community. It’s something that I wish for every Mendota resident who is not of retirement age.   It’s a fun place to be.  When is the last time you’ve had a traffic jam that involved this?

Only in Mendota.



We are often asked “how big of a group can you handle?”

To date, our largest single group has been just over 50 guests.   It took a little coordination but was fun, and they stayed over and picnicked with us.

It helps to have plenty of watercraft.   We have a few.

We cannot accommodate every group.   Once in a while we are asked to include a group that wishes to take “a few beers along with them”.   Since we are alcohol free, we decline this business.   While we are not prudes, this does not align with our values or the experience we are seeking for guests interested in a family atmosphere.   Alcohol, the river and hot sunshine do not mix well.   We appreciate guests  understanding this decision.