State 29 of 50: Delaware – Broad River

Windy day and falling leaves
Date Paddled: November 16, 2017
Nearest City: Milton
Put-In: Milton City Park
Take-Out: Route 1 – old highway bridge
Duration: 4 hours
River Miles: ~7.5
Shuttle: car shuttle – 8 miles with Anita and John
Weather: sunny 58 and windy
Difficulty: quickwater, tide favorable
Cfs: tidal

At first, Delaware looks like a piece of cake for finding good paddling. There are a number of swampy areas that extend well inland, with tidal marshes in green parkland. Furthering my research, I discovered that Delaware seems to be the hunter’s paradise, each one of those red areas along the coast are filled with deer and duck blinds that are constructed by the state to promote their economy.

deUnfortunately for us, we were in Delaware at the height of the hunting season. So we moved onto plan B. I found the Broad River which seemed  just the ticket, with little or no rapids and tidal assist. Since my major surgery two months earlier, I had only paddled locally and was a bit apprehensive of this longer paddle followed by more paddling the next day.

Since I needed a bit of pampering, we decided to stay at an Airbnb with Anita and John at The Missing Link Hideaway near Rehoboth Beach. They were great hosts and even gave us a shuttle the next day from the Town Park in Milton. Thank you!DSCN7613We quickly kayaked away from civilization and heading down the, ah hum, broad river…DSCN6879We happened to be putting in at the right time to go with the slack and out-going tide. Even more importantly, for most of the paddle the wind was behind us, making for a pleasant pace. We enjoyed spotting a number of basking turtles as well as seeing the largest collection of turkey vultures (25 or so) hunting in the areas vacated by the outgoing tide.DSCN6901As we neared the ocean, the wind picked up and the magic happened –  floating leaves and abstract patterns. This is a good example of the surprising and spontaneous meditations one is treated to while kayaking. A major reason we’re so hooked on it!
The last part of the paddle was very different with marsh grasses and open, exposed, windy areas. This time the wind was against us and the last mile was a challenge. DSCN7641I was glad to get back to Vinny, our trusty RV, waiting to whisk us away to our next paddle in Maryland.


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