September 17,18 2005
Around 6:00 p.m. on 9-16-05, Snorin George, Tony, Harold and Laurie met at the Hidden Valley Metro Park outside Madison ,Ohio for the September OHCRA outing. It was a busy weekend for OHCRA members and it looked like it was only going to be the 4 of us. The Metro Park was very clean and well cared for. There was a nice concrete fire pit and the firewood was even provided . There also was a shelter house for our use. We couldn't find a light switch so we decided that the lights were on a timer. By 11:30 when we went to bed the lights still were not on. But... they did come on around 3:00 a.m., for the rest of the night. George and Tony drove "up the hill" to the Potbelly restaurant for supper and had a wonderful all you can eat fish dinner while Harold and Laurie got the fire going. We spent the rest of the evening swapping stories and relaxing.
We were going to canoe the Grand River and from the looks of the high cliffs across the river from us, it would have been a great trip. Saturday dawned with clouds and the threat of rain. George and Tony went back to Potbellies for breakfast while Harold and Laurie used their jet engine sounding gas stove for their morning grub. Jim called and said he would be there by 8:30. Sure enough in he drove and much to our surprise he had Jody with him. Now we are 6. The river looked low and doubts were shared. After George’s truck was shuttled downstream, Tony scouted the river for over 1/2 mile. No go. Even paddling solo there were too many shallow, get out and walk areas to get through. So the consensus was to cancel the Grand River trip. While standing around trying to decide what to do next, Harold sat in his canoe on Lake Asphalt, George "canoed" on Grass Lake and Jody was left really high and dry. Thanks to Jim for taking George back to get his truck, for the second time now. While we were waiting for those 2 to get back, we were visited by the prettiest Metro Park Ranger this writer has ever seen. Be still my heart.
Since Harold and George are both from this area they knew we could get some paddling action on the Cuyahoga River. So we all decided to go 40 miles south to the Camp Hi Canoe Livery just outside the village of Hiram. The Cuyahoga River is in a different watershed than the Grand and the City of Akron uses the Cuyahoga for its water supply. With regulated dam releases there is always water to canoe. After getting a camping area we all headed upstream at 3:30 p.m. for a 6 mile float back to camp. At the launch spot I could not decide which way the river flowed. In this area the Cuyahoga has very little current. Around 4 to 4.5 miles downstream the river constricts and the flow picks up. We arrived back at camp around 6:00 and started dinner. Jim shuttled George back to his truck for a 3rd time while the rest of us started supper. Jim and Jody headed home and left just the 4 of us for the evening. Harold brought his 10 inch dutch oven for Tony to use for lamb chops in mushroom soup with potatoes, onions, etc. Tony under estimated the cooking time for 16 chops, so everyone ate part of the meal at 7:00 and the lamb chops at 10:00. George turned in while Laurie, Harold and Tony played 3 handed euchre and listened to Harold's theory on surprise poopie. If you want learn more just visit one of our outings.
Sunday started cool and foggy and you could just feel that hint of fall in the air. Nuts were falling off the trees and when they land on metal shelterhouse roofing it makes you stop doing what your doing and want to do something else, right George? George was feeling his age and decided to go home after shuttling the 2 of our remaining Voyageurs vehicles 4.54 miles downstream to the town of Mantua. From Camp Hi to Mantua the current flows at a much faster clip. There also are more signs of development along the banks. Some really nice expensive homes. Other than a few geese, ducks, squirrels and the goose decoy that Tony found, we didn't see any other wildlife. Although we only paddled 10.5 miles in 2 days, we got to see the northeastern part of Ohio and spend some time with each other, sharing a common love of the outdoors and Ohio's Rivers. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves that... A Bad Day Canoeing Beats A Good Day At Work!! Until next month... when again we'll see what's AROUND THE BEND!!
View all pictures of the Grand-Cuyahoga River Trip