Last week I decided to get back out into the water to test a shoulder injury I sustained in January. Gravity left me with a torn rotator cuff and shoulder labrum, and until recently I didn’t think kayaking would even be possible. I’ve been doing physical therapy for a few months now, and facing surgical repair, I decided to give it a try before having surgery. Maybe I could get a few trips in this summer before the surgery and 6 months of rehab happened.
So I visited Quemahoning reservoir in Holsopple, PA. Just a few miles south of Johnstown, Quemahoning is a 900 acre reservoir with a public access area. The name is from the language of the native Delaware tribes, and means something like “a stream issuing from a lick in a pine grove”. There are tent sites, picnic areas, a playground, and cabin rentals. There is also a place to inexpensively rent kayaks, which is what I did. I got an old Pelican, a wide sit-in kayak that reminded me of my first. A veritable tub that’s nearly impossible to tip over. It may not track well, but does the job for a rental.
I planned for an hour’s rental, but ended up doubling that, as the day was beautiful, my shoulder was doing fine, and I was reminded how peaceful paddling out in the middle of a large body of water can be. It was absolutely therapeutic.
There’s some sort of kids’ camp near the public access area, and camp was in session. So the reservoir wasn’t exactly quiet, but there were some quieter places on the other side, and probably farther away. For the vast amount of water, there were no powerboats. They may be more prevalent on weekends, but I can’t say I missed them.
I’m scheduled for surgery a month from now, so I hope to return here for a longer visit to get in more paddle therapy.