May 13,14,15 2005
We met at the Fort Jennings City Park. A real nice, huge Park with ball diamonds, a basketball court, tennis courts, and a playground, complete with pirate ship, a rental hall and 4 shelter-houses. One of which had a fireplace in it that we claimed for the weekend. The river runs along the edge of the Park and a footbridge connects the Park with the village on the opposite bank.
Paul W. and Tony put a large tarp on the west side of the building just as a storm blew through. The tarp made a nice wind break for the cooler weather we had. Along with Paul W. and Tony, Jock and Debbie and Paul K. were there.
Will and Gloria Braun who live in the area and scouted the trip for us, showed up to chat. Being hungry, the Braun's escorted us to the OutPost Restaurant where most of us had the all you can eat walleye dinner.
Unfortunately, Will had to work Saturday and couldn’t canoe with us. Jeff and Linda Arthur also showed up around dark just to visit, as they couldn’t canoe Saturday either. As we were relaxing and talking, the local police would cruise through, numerous times. Finally Officer Charles C. Howe Jr. stopped and spent time chatting with us. There was a party in the rental hall and Officer Howe said it’s a pretty boring beat with only us and the party to content with. We told him we were expecting another couple so if he saw a vehicle with a canoe on top to let them know where we were. A while later here comes Harold and Laura, with a police escort. Slowly everyone retired to his or her sleeping areas, the last around 1:00a.m. The music from the party serenaded us to sleep.
Jim Wolfe arrived in the morning and Denise, a friend of Debbie’s also came out. Even with the nasty weather we had a great turn out of OHCRA members.
We shoveled off around 9:a.m. for the 17.3 mile paddle, downstream from the Park to Cascade Park just outside of Cloverdale. As you can see in some of the pictures, it did drizzle-rain all day. AS we were unloading equipment back at camp, the sun came out, for the rest of the day. Figure that!! Maybe to help dry our stuff??
The Auglaize has lots of old trash dumps along the banks. And old cars too. Early 1960’s and without motors. We came to the conclusion that it was their way of stream bank erosion control. The river felt secluded and nature was very vocal with lots birds. Jock and Tony fished a little with Tony catching 6 smallmouth bass and Jock pulling in a couple. The Auglaize has a rocky bottom and the water was clear, but also shallow in spots. A nice spring paddling river but we would hesitate to try it in the summer and fall.
Jeff and Linda and daughter Tracy came back for the potluck as did Will. As always there was enough food to feed an army. After paddling all day then stuffing your belly you would think a nap would be next. But Will had arranged for Regina Schimmoeller, a former mayor of Ft. Jennings, to give a presentation of the history of the Fort. It was fascinating. Colonel Jennings built the supply fort for the war of 1812, but it was abandoned in 1814. The whole area was a swamp so the soldiers would sleep on their horses, which stood ankle deep in mud. Imagine the mosquitoes! The first settlers arrived in 1825 and in 1830 a big flood wiped out everything. Lots of Indian relics have been found in the area and are displayed in a special building in town. The rest of the evening was spent in front of a warm, roaring fire.
Sunday morning dawned clear and cool. Tony, Paul K., Harold, Laura, and Will, who got Sunday off, received a shuttle upstream from Paul W. for a smooth, lazy paddle float 5.96 miles back to the Park.
Jock brought a half case of PenRose, ready to eat hot sausages, in vinegar and made in Minn. to give away. Except for the one sample jar that was opened and trashed, Jock returned home Saturday evening with the rest of the case.
So ends the 2nd OHCRA canoeing trip of the 2005 season. 5 more await those willing to get out of the house and see what’s "Around the Bend".
View all Pictures of the Auglaize River Trip