This is a long story. The rules for this quest are that I have to count the state from where I launch. No launching in Illinois, paddling over to Michigan and calling it two states.
In July 2011 I visited my amazing cousins, Charlotte and Jennifer, in DC and talked them into paddling No. 4 with me. We did a sunrise paddle on the Potomac River, with the sun reflecting off the monuments. It was epic, but before I owned a GoPro, so you'll just have to trust me. We launched from Columbia Island Marina in Arlington for this paddle, so I counted it as Virginia. But I never felt good about it, because it really was a Washington, DC paddle.
So, when I went to the Blue Ridge Parkway (see No. 17) I made my friends make a detour (including a visit to Mt. Rogers Outfitters for some ideas of where to go). Jeremy Lehmann and I repaddled Virginia while DG Strong sat on the banks of South Holston Lake and contemplated my mental illness.