The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Clinch river kayaking

anna in kayak

Today was a great day to kayak down the Clinch river.


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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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... supercute!
Comment by W.E. Junkie Mon Jun 21 17:24:19 2010
Did you rent the kayaks or do you own them. Also is the Clinch river close to you?
Comment by zimmy Mon Jun 21 17:47:54 2010

W.E. Junkie --- Aw, thanks. :-)

Zimmy --- We're almost next door to the Clinch, so Mark sprang for a couple of used kayaks on Craigslist this spring. Our section of the Clinch is just our speed --- a few small rapids, but nothing too scary. We saw nearly a dozen great blue herons!

Comment by anna Mon Jun 21 20:52:28 2010
I'm way overdue for a canoe or kayak trip... As for the Blue Herons, they're probably running from the oil down here. :(
Comment by Shannon Tue Jun 22 15:41:01 2010
I find kayaking an exciting idea. Can you give us a little more information. Do you have someone waiting for you down stream, or do you paddle back up stream. What size and type are they, why didn't you buy just one with two seats, any hints or tips for someone like me who wants to buy one or two for occasional recreational use.
Comment by zimmy Tue Jun 22 22:22:20 2010

Shannon --- it seems to be hard to make time for kayak trips, but once I get on the river I always wonder why I waited so long! Make time!

Zimmy --- if you've never canoed before, you might want to try out a canoe on a lake first. Canoes tend to have two (or more) seats, so they're much easier to paddle with a partner, but they have the benefit of being extremely stable. Definitely the way to go for the raw beginner!

Kayaks are a bit less stable (although the canoe-like ones, like the blue one I was using, seem pretty darn sturdy and reliable to me.) They seat only one person, and they ride high in the water, so you can go down rivers even when rocks are pretty close beneath you.

Since we live so close to the river, we park a car at the lower end, then use another car to get to the upper end. Alternatively, if you know there's a pay phone (or cell signal) at the lower end, you could arrange for someone to come pick you up when you call. You certainly don't want to try paddling back upstream!!!!

Mark has been trying out the more sporty types of kayaks, like Creek Boats and Play Boats. So far, I like the roomier, easier to navigate ones that look like a traditional canoe or kayak.

Comment by anna Wed Jun 23 08:09:20 2010

Hello, My name is Abbey Ness and I am a graduate student at the University of Virginia. I am working with a group of citizens in the Clinch River Valley on a project called the Clinch River Valley Initiative. You can read more about us at We are currently creating a document to summarize our past successes and plan for the future. We would like to include a picture of a woman kayaking from this page of your website in this document, if possible. Please let us know if you give your permission for us to use this picture. If so, please let us know the photographer's name so we can give him or her credit for the photo. Thank you so much!

Abbey Ness

Comment by Abbey Fri Jul 13 14:03:05 2012
Abbey --- You're very welcome to use the photo. Please credit it to Mark Hamilton, Good luck with your project!
Comment by anna Fri Jul 13 16:14:34 2012
What a neat website you have!! My 7 year old daughter is in a local 4H program and she has to create a poster of the process of hatching an egg. Although we did hatch our own eggs successfully we only videotaped the miracle and only took a couple pics. Her 4H leader wants her to do the poster for our local county fair and we were scrambling for more pics when I came across your website. Could we please have permission to use several of your egg hatching pictures? Thanks so much for your time and happy farming!
Comment by Jessica Dzurek Wed Jul 25 16:11:23 2012
Jessica --- You're very welcome to use our photos as long as you credit them to Permaculture Chicken: Incubation Handbook (my ebook about hatching chicks, which is what they came out of). If you need higher resolution versions to make them easier to print, just email Good luck at the fair!
Comment by anna Wed Jul 25 16:22:30 2012

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