100 Trips Count!
Hey everyone! We’re reformatting the 100 trips blog, in large part because we’ve ran so many trips it’s been hard to keep up! Scroll down to check out the counts of how many trips we’ve run, and we’ll continue to feature some highlights from the amazing trips our alumni across the country have gone on, as well as some of the extended trips Ledyardites have gone on these past breaks!
Current Trips Count: 71
Current Trips Count (Including Roll Sessions): 90
Most Recent Trip: Gail River, VT
Connecticut (Flatwater): 16
Roll Sessions: 12
Grafton Pond: 3
Mascoma (River): 2
Mascoma (Lake): 1
EB Pemi: 1
Green (VT): 1
Post Pond: 1
Madawaska Kanu Centre (Trip #4)
Nahanni River, Northwest Territories (Trip #39)
Everglades 1 (Trip #67)
Ecuador (Trip #68)
Rio Marañon, Peru (Trip #69)
Everglades 2 (Trip #70)
Specific Alumni Trips:
Green/Gates of Lodore (Trip #5)
Rogue River, OR (Trip #1)
Nestaocano River, Quebec (Trip #29)
Lower Salmon, ID (Trip #23)
Grand Canyon (Trip #17)
Check out this trip report courtesy of Hannah Rubin ‘20, John Brady ‘19, Kaijing Janice Chen ‘19, David Vonderheide ‘21, Sophia Linkas ‘21, Thanh Nguyen ‘21, Ben Brody ‘22, and Cooper Tuckerman ‘22!
Link to the report here!
Trip #29: Nestaocano River, Quebec
Check out this trip report courtesy of Rory Gawler '05, Nic Garcia '07, Anne Raymond '06, Pat Martha '05, Sarah Carson '09, Pete Gadomski '08, Russel Tepper, and Gillian Wyman!
Link to report here!
Trip #17: Grand Canyon
This trip report comes courtesy of Vicki Allen '07.
In May, Alexa Speilhagen '07 brought me on board as a swamper on a trip she was guiding for AzRA.
It turned into a May-uary trip, will hail and cold rain several times a day at the usually hot bottom of the Grand Canyon. But our trip participants, 25 women many over the age of 50 and most with some but not a lot of outdoor experience, were troopers. They used their ground cloth tarps as water proofing devices to keep themselves warm from the rapids splashing. We danced a lot of hokey pokey! And our costumery, in both Ledyard and Georgie White tradition, was on point and full of leopard prints.
Trip #23: Lower Salmon, ID
This trip report comes courtesy of Jamie Shandro '98:
I’d like to take a moment to appreciate the enduring role Ledyard plays in our lives. Friendships forged as geeky 18-22 year olds wearing stinky polypropylene while paddling kayaks down bouncy rivers are ones that have endured and deepened over the years. For the past five years a group of ’95-‘99s have gathered each summer for a multi-day river trip, now with rafts and a slightly more upscale gear, to introduce our offspring to the joys of rivers and spend time camping together under beautiful stars on sandy beaches. We eagerly anticipate these trips, planning meals with an elaborate spreadsheet, jockeying for cooler space for food vs. cold beverages, excited for a week of being unplugged and together in the beauty of western rivers.
For 2019 our chosen river was the lower Salmon River in the gemstone state of Idaho, a trip we have enjoyed once before. The group included families from Seattle, Portland, Ashland, State College PA, and rural Maine, and you can imagine the travel logistics involved to get all 21 of us to the river with enough gear for 6 nights of camping. The 11 kids (outnumbering the adults by one!) ranged in age from 6 to 13 years old.
Our family drove up to the put-in campsite around 5pm with Bohemian Rhapsody blaring out of open windows, to find our friends unloading piles of river gear. As soon as we got out of the car we found out that there were plans afoot to do an easy little evening float to warm up (paddling) and cool down (from the blazing hot Idaho desert sun). As we were rifling through the gear bags to find life jackets and bathing suits, Carter Wray ’97 (the trip logistics leader guru) told me I was needed. I assumed someone had a first aid need (I’m an ER doctor, so you can guess what my job is on these trips), and came right over.
Everyone was gathered around the boats, and Carter started talking. He mentioned my adventures in breast cancer treatment this past year, and then I started wondering where this was going. He then talked about how everyone wanted to do something for me, and then they presented me with a beautiful bright green inflatable double kayak (“double ducky”) with the word Cohaeremus printed in bold pink lettering on the side. River friends both on the trip and those not able to make it this year had gotten together to surprise me with this boat, as an external manifestation of all of their love and support. Cohaeremus, as you fellow Ledyardites know, means “We stick together” in Latin. An exceptionally apt motto for the place that helped forge two decades of enduring friendships.
I’m rarely rendered speechless, but this was one of those moments. I was also a little glad to have had my sunglasses on at this precise moment. My niece and I took the Cohaeremus on her maiden voyage that evening, and the trusty boat came with us for the next week of infinite stars, wildlife spotting, cliff jumping, and whitewater with friends. We had nearly perfect weather, fun water (warm for swimming and white for playing), and amazing campsite karma with huge beaches for volleyball and a return to the magical confluence with the Snake River. We had kid-only boats run all of the rapids- one hardshell and multiple IK-2s. The next generation also started pushing the oars, in addition to fully manning dish crew and getting into the expedition mentality, which was super rewarding to all of the parents.
On the trip were Carter ’97, Wendy (nee Gruenberg) ‘92, Winston, & Ansel Wray; Roland Bridges (son of Andrew Bridges ’92 & Maury Wray ’92); Mark ‘94, Julia & Asa Berry; Tina Rutar ‘98; Martin, Claudia & Anika Stadtmueller ; Lara (nee Burgel) ’96, Chris ‘97, Stephen, & Elizabeth Fowler; my husband Hans Kieserman ’97, our daughters Nina, & Margot, and our niece Ellie Shandro. Others who contributed to the gift of the Cohaeremus, but could not join us this year were Todd “Small boy” Parment ’95, Justin ’95 & Heather (nee Charles) Wells ’98, Colter ’96 & Annie (nee McKee) Leys ’96, Darryl Knudsen ’96, Laura Tam ’97, Mary Hollendoner ’98, Josh Mooney ’98 & Kristi Kimball ’96.
To the power of friendship and time on the water. Cohaeremus.
Trip #4: Madawaska Kanu Centre
This summer, Alana McClements '22 and Clara Goldberger '22 got Ledyard funding to head up to Ontario for a five-day clinic at the Madawaska Kanu Centre. Here's what Alana had to say:
After driving the 7 hours from Hanover, stopping at Chipotle, and witnessing possibly the longest and most beautiful sunset of all time, Clara and I rolled up to MKC at about 11:30 on the Sunday before our course started. We set up the tent and met a nice man named Greg and looked at the stars.
Some notable moments:
The first 3 days we paddled on the Madawaska practicing ferrys, S turns, eddy catching and rolling. There were lots of bugs but we improved a lot! Our instructor was this rad gal who lives in her van and ski patrols in the winter. The other 2 gals in our group were Dominique (French Canadian kayaking QUEEN) and Marcy, this badass mom! Then there was Phil, the only dude in our group. He wore a dry suit every day (It was like 80 degrees) and had a go pro on his helmet and the best Canadian accent of all time but he swam about every 10 minutes.
On day 2 I was failing at surfing at Claudia’s rock. While rolling up my paddle got stuck between 2 rocks on the bottom and trapped underwater (I still rolled up, HAH). But then Kaylee, our instructor, had to go fish it out and the tip was very bent so I paddled with a duct taped paddle the rest of the trip. (Sorry I took a leader paddle, Michael said it was ok on Green Key Friday so I assumed it was fine).
Days 4 and 5 we paddled the Ottawa which was INSANE! It was crazy big water and at the first rapid (Phils hole) we got to see the keeners on Beatdown Thursdays (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9qecW8jT44). It was such a sweet day with beautiful weather and some pretty spooky class 3+ rapids. The last rapid, Lower No Name, was especially sick, but there was tons of carnage because Ryan (the other instructor ;)) led a terrible line and we all got wrecked.
Some other tidbits:
Yefri Figueroa '21, Coby Gibson '21, Noel Siegert '21, Evan Christo '21, Andrew Binder '21, Brady McAllister '21, Graham Sisson '21, Gretta Pickett '21, Elliot Ng '21, and Katie Moody '21 went kayaking at Hartlands on the morning of July 4th.
Here's the trip report courtesy of Noel: While some of us were not particularly thrilled to be waking up at 9am to go paddling after a Wednesday night, any "grogginess" was soon washed away when Graham Sisson brought us freeze pops and multiple paddlers wore jean shorts in lieu of bathing suits to pay homage to America's birthday. There was plenty of singing and dancing, beautiful 85-degree weather, first rolls, first surfs, first swims, and first kayaking trips. A stop by Dunkin' donuts was necessary on the way back to refuel before a long day of July 4th festivities.
Check out some of the media below! It's unclear if anyone actually got in the river, but plenty of fun was had!
20 Ledyardites turned out for an amazing sunset flatwater paddle led by David Vonderheide '21, Michelle Wang '21, Emma Doherty '21, Elliot Ng '21 (who was leading his first Ledyard trip!), and Janice Kai Chen '19. Check out Janice's awesome photos below (featuring Janice in a kayak she made in the woodshop)!
Trip #1: Rogue River, OR
Trip Report courtesy of Dan Reicher:
Posts are authored by members of each individual trip and archived by our club secretary, Kirby.