First Historic Run of the Glow Stick Armada
Mike Betts

Twas destined to be a CCC first of epic proportions, this event was! The unimaginable, the reckless, the throw caution to the wind, the abandonment of all that is right and proper, the daring fine line between courage and insanity. What on Earth could this possibly be you ask? Why it was all of the fore-mentioned and then some depending upon the view of the reader.
Although the concept for this trip has been discussed for the last year or so by Sir Don and myself, the event was finally implemented and organized by one of our very own PPG's…..( Paddle Puff Girlz…..our most lovely ladies of the watery world we all so crave also referred to in this report as Pretty Paddle Girlz….yes I'm suckin' up for this years Tohickon Party early! ) Laura and her crew.
The event was the first ( as far as I know ) ever moonlight white water paddle down the Codorus. 13 peeps answered the call of this adventure, all I am certain wishing to go down in history as members of the first ever so daring gang of outrageously brave paddle souls. We MMM's had to watch each other's backs on this trip…we were outnumbered by the beautiful league of PPGs this night. I speak for all when I attempt to convey how lucky we guys are not only to be surrounded by such beauty as our beloved PPG's possess, but to simply be tolerated and allowed to participate! We had all paddled earlier in the day, some on the Good Friday Muddy trip, and some who had just finished their first Codorus run, still in wet paddling gear, ready to jump right back in without the advantage of being able to see!
The 7:30 p.m. meeting time saw everyone starting to prepare, not only in proper paddle dress, but also adorning ourselves, each other and boats with multicolored glow sticks. These were applied in an attempt to be able to locate each other in the dark. I can only imagine what passing traffic must have thought was going on! By the time all was ready and shuttle was set, it was about 8:30 and just a tad of moon actually showing. It was to become very cloudy very quickly, and we could not judge yet just how much visibility we might be blessed with. Light pollution from the water treatment plant was with us the first 1\4 mile or so. So in we launched, one by one. It was evident right away that this would be paddling by the seat of one's pants as we are used to reacting to a great deal of visual stimulus normally.
We had a nice medium level of 550 CFS or about 1.3 feet on the bridge gauge. Enough to cover a lot of rocks, but not too pushy. Visibility was 25-30 feet I would guess and after about 30 yards, I could no longer see the glow sticks on fellow paddlers, so we stayed pretty close as a group. The cloud cover did produce a slight luminescence, so it was not pitch black. Paddling was a surreal experience, definitely thrilling, kept you on your game. More concentration than usual, but something most seemed to adapt to before we hit Lead Shot, Upper and Lower D. Sitting in an eddy watching a single file line of neon type lights coming through a rapid was of those "Wish this were on film" moments. Don…aka…"Sir Night"dubbed by our Queen Bekki at the Super Supper Social took on the role of surrogate "Papa duck" in Frank's absence on this run leading all the ducklings on the main lines. Pat was ever watchful; I could tell his eyes were peeled for any signs of trouble. Shelby was…now get this…..BORED, so I led her on a few unconventional lines. All in all, it was a very unique outing; one I'm sure none of us will forget and will absolutely repeat….hopefully with actual moonlight next time.
One last note of interest, after paddling as I was dropping Brenton off at his car, a police cruiser pulled up to inquire if everything was ok. Very friendly officer, when I told him of our adventure, he gave me a thumbs up and grinned. Almost had a look on his face of "Well why didn't you call me…I'de have gone"! Keep in mind that locals using rt. 24 are used to seeing vehicles pulled off the side of the road at the put-in at any given time…during daylight hours of course. Someone had seen all the vehicles, it was dark, and after all who would ever boat at night…it aint natural! They had called 911 thinking someone was lost on the creek and we were perhaps conducting a search. DANG! Our stealth cover was blown, but not until the mission was completed!
Recon Team:

Laura Zeafla……………………Recon team commander and vision quest inspirer
Ingrid Friberg…………………..Micro Maniac! Don't let that pretty smile fool ya!
Bekki Foster……………………I knew she was smiling, even in the dark
Evy Stauffer……………………Treat her right…she holds the purse strings
Channon Koty………………….She says my new boat "sucks"
Shelby Stine……………………..the "young gun" on the river, less evil than last year…I think!
Maria Stine……………………..Proud Mom of our "young gun"
Don Fiesta……………………...Papa Duck
Mike Betts……………………...Happy to be there with my friends!
Pat Montagne…………………..The watchful Eye
Brenton Petrillo………………...Had the best light + was his 3rd trip of the day
Bill Despeaux…………………..Brought the lizard of course
Dave Whitmer………………….an original Caballero, piece of cake for this dude

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