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19th Annual Sojourn-- 2007

Thank you to our Super Sojourn Sponsors!

We couldn't have done it without you.


        Hear Walt & Jim at 



Contributing photographers:  Laurie Andrews, Ron Boyer, Norm Brandt, George Conner, Jo Ellen Litz, Dave Ravegum, & John Slotterback.

Press Coverage:

19th Annual Swatara Sojourn—2007

The trek through the first segment showed no mercy on our volunteers.  Canoe after canoe tipped, but no one quit.  Everyone pitched in to help a fellow sojourner.  You guys are fantastic!

We floated past Union Canal locks, and DCNR and SCWA’s lunch site in Swatara State Park at Bordner cabin and Acrygg's falls was awesome.  We used our new picnic tables, told the story of the woodshop teacher who built the cabin, and took some photos.

Three iron bridges later (Appalachian Trail, Inwood, and Lickdale), we could see the Lickdale Campgrounds.  The broasted chicken at Lickdale Campgrounds sure tasted good.  And the ice cream cones were refreshing.  Then, before turning in for the night, we sat back and listened to the Down To Earth Band.  We heard the Sweet Arrow Lake Serenade and the Swattie Song along with other conservation themed songs.  Nice job guys (and Denise.)

Sunday morning, just before Route 72, around Frog's Hollow, sitting on wires spanning the creek, we saw a bald eagle perching above the riffles.  He appeared to be looking for fish.  He took off downstream, but that was awesome too.  We also saw a handful of red-tailed hawks along the way.  Birders in the flotilla said that they recorded 67 different species of birds over the two-day period.  Denise is providing information for a bird atlas.  It didn't fly, and we were surprised to see a dead 300-pound bear too.

Someone asked how to find the lava deposits.  From the start at Weidle’s gym, cross the Swatara, and look for Herr’s feed-mill on the south side of the road.  Alongside the mill is an abandoned railroad bed.  Walk back the bed until you see the bridge.  You really have to know for what you are looking.  The last time I visited, the lava was covered with moss on the right bank. 

By the way, John Slotterbach found five $20 bills inside a baggie that was inside a white grocery bag under a coffee can filled with water--right next to a barrel on the shore.  He picked up the barrel first, and the coffee can was almost an after-thought.  Congratulations, John!  You're a hard worker, and a lot of people were happy that you found Scott Ihn's (at ACEs) reward.  And thank you Scott for adding a boost of incentive for the paddlers.  By the way, the grounds were immaculate.  There was a roaring fire, hot chocolate, and restrooms.  This was a great rest stop!

At the Fish and Boat Commission and SCWA Waterworks lunch stop, we arrived to the bagpipe and drum of Thistle and Barley.  Everyone seemed to enjoy the Celtic bagpipes and Heidi's description of her pipes.

At the reported deepest spot on the Swattie, Blue Rock outcrop was its usual magnificent self with violets, bleeding hearts, and other flowers thriving on a bed of limestone towering over the Swatara.

Our shore support did an A+ job too: 

  1. Laurie, my daughter, headed up registration, took pictures, steadied canoes for easier exits...;
  2. Jack hauled four trailer loads of tires, totaling 192, the most we’ve ever collected in one year, to Kettering's (we picked up the last load Monday morning), and Brian should receive a special award.  Not only did he take the tires on Monday, he came out over the weekend to unload both Saturday and Sunday's hauls.  Some were truck tires, and some tires were mounted on rims.  At a minimum of $3 per tire, this one small businessman donated over $576 worth of services to the cause.  Do I need to suggest where you should buy your next set of tires?  Kettering’s is located at 16th and Cumberland Streets in Lebanon.  Let him know how much we appreciate his participation. 
  3. Weidle Sanitation provided four two-cubic yard dumpsters (With the trash that wouldn't fit into the dumpsters, Sojourners pulled at least 9 cubic yards of trash from the Swatara), and the
  4. Greater Lebanon Refuse Authority will accept the collected trash;
  5. Tom, Norm, and Dick shuttled people with the van; and the
  6. Food teams of Dick and June, Betty and George, Ann and Dave made sure we had nourishment.  Steph Harmon and Reilly, her daughter, pitched in at Jonestown too.

The whole while, we stayed hydrated with drinks provided by American Water Company, Bass Pro, Twin Grove Park, White’s Gym in Jonestown and others.  Please revisit all of our superb sponsors.  We couldn't make this trip affordable without their generous support, especially the PA Organization of Watersheds and Rivers.

Thank you everyone for another successful year, and God bless!

Thank you for once again organizing a great trip.
I have done my best to let all my friends know what they missed.
And after nursing sore knees for two days, I vow to never again forget my kneeling pad....
Tom Rathbun
Thanks for another great canoe trip!  
Ron Boyer


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