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

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!!


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.