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More Than Just Paddling
August 8, 2011 - Julia Campana
Most people view summer as a time for vacation and relaxation, but not Rick Hendrich. “Summer is definitely my busiest time of year,” Hendrich, the owner of Rock River and Trail Outfitters in Lock Haven, explains. People come from Troy, Williamsport, Lancaster and far beyond to experience his recreational retreats. In the winter, he is the sole operator of a guide service, but he has some help during his busiest time of the year. One of his weekly events has one more session this summer, Tuesday night Paddle-Teasers. Everyone meets at the Lockport Boat Launch for a four-mile kayaking trip down the West Branch of the Susquehanna River, followed by a complimentary “appe-teasers” at a local eatery. This past Tuesday, Hendrich chose The Old Corner, corner of Church and Grove Streets, for delicious all-you-can-eat nachos and wings. The guide service shuttles everyone to the Black Bridge near Farrandsville, where the trip begins and the kayakers paddle back to the Lockport Boat Launch. All the while, paddlers get to know one another and see everything from the beautiful mountains to the fish in the crystal clear water of the Susquehanna. “It’s nice, peaceful, lots of friends that we see along the way. It’s easy,” Hendrich says. Anyone is welcomed to participate - from newcomers to experienced paddlers. If you happen to be a beginner, Rick explains the technique and what to expect before the trip starts. Along the way, there are a few obstacles, such as mild rapids and jutted out rocks to avoid. But the scenery is something to behold. There may be a blue heron or other wildlife along the way. Of course, there friendly boaters, as well. The appe-teasers and good company are an enjoyable end to an adventurous evening. In choosing where his programs will be held, Hendrich explains, “It’s wherever the water levels take us, usually to Bald Eagle Creek if the river isn’t high enough.” His various kayaking excursions sometimes take place on different parts of the Susquehanna River. River Rock and Trail hosts all types of outdoor events, from biking the entire length of Rails to Trails in Pine Creek to a kayaking trip especially for women. “Everybody enjoys our trips. We pay close attention to detail to see what goes well. We don’t always get it right but we always have fun,” Hendrich says.The trips do not only focus on the activity at hand, there is an overwhelming feeling of camaraderie. Two of Hendrich’s friends, Jamie Traxler and Dave Rodgers, explain that some of the regular participants all meet up at various launches and kayak to the free, Sunday night Lock Haven Summer Concerts on the water at the ampitheature off Water Street. To River Rock and Trail, it’s more than just paddling. Hendrich can be reached by phone at 570-748-1818, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. His retail store is located at 57 Bellefonte Ave. in downtown Lock Haven.
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The guide service shuttle taking the paddlers to the launch spot!