Cuyahoga River

September 22,23,24 2006




        We met at the Camp Hi Canoe Livery near Hiram, Ohio on Friday September 22nd. Four o’clock seemed to be the magical gathering time as Tony and his brother John arrived, followed by Harold & Laurie, Ted & Connie and Lance. We had at our disposal a nice shelter house with 8 picnic tables, close to the river, and complete with electric and water. We decided to cook supper as a group so Kielbasa sausage and O’Brian potatoes were fried in the big daddy skillet accompanied by pinto beans and chips with salsa. We also were introduced to new members Dan & Carolyn Bryda. They were not camping with us but staying at a bed and breakfast close by. What a way to rough it!! As darkness descended upon us (and it comes earlier this time of the year), the campfire became the focal point as we caught up on our monthly gossip. In the middle of the night, there was some type of critter thrashing about in the river. Quite a few members heard it and the consensus was a blue heron was fishing.


                    Saturday morning brought two friends of Harold’s (yes he has friends) that were joining us for the day. Steve and his son Mike rented a canoe from Camp Hi and paddled along with us. Dan and Carolyn arrived back 10 minutes before the rather late 10 o’clock shuttle, so they didn’t hear that we were going to do the 13-mile trip instead of the 9.5-mile one. Tony & John was lead shuttle vehicle and while going through the village of Hiram Rapids, they noticed Dan was not behind him. After backtracking and finding them, Dan again started following Tony & John. At the intersection of St RT 44 and 422, Dan again disappeared. Tony & John continued up to ST RT 87 where there is a nice canoe launching spot with parking. After being in contact with the rest of the party by cell phone, it was decided that Tony & John would go find Dan & Carolyn while the rest of the paddlers put in and started canoeing. Dan & Carolyn were found at Eldon Russell Park, the original launching spot. Come to find out, Dan thought we were pulling some kind of club initiation by taking him to the wrong area. Dan & Carolyn put in and paddled out of site before Tony & John even got on the water. Those two were planning on fishing on the way downstream and traveled slow kind of waiting for the rest of the club to catch up. The fish did not cooperate but the weather did. There was a slight mist, which made a raincoat inviting to wear, but by lunchtime, the sun came some and the threat of rain subsided. At the ST RT 422 Bridge, there is a restaurant/tavern named Hunter’s Riverside Tavern.


        Dan & Carolyn stopped and had lunch in the restaurant, finished and left before Tony & John got there. Those guys had two beers from the tavern, along the riverbank while waiting for the rest of the club to catch up. It was a nice grassy area with picnic tables, which made for a nice lunch stop. At lunch there was some complaining about four logjams that had to be portaged around on the upper section and how Tony, who was the one that wanted to paddle the extra miles in the first place, did not have to mess with any portages. We finished the 4.5-hour trip by shooting a nice rapid next to the take out area. After dragging our gear up to camp, Dan & Carolyn said goodbyes. We could not talk them into staying for the potluck even though there was enough food to feed a small army.

                    With a Mexican theme as a guide, the food was served. There was taco soup, enchiladas, Mexican Roll ups, taco salad and nachos, refried beans, cornbread and brownies. We were a little afraid to sit too close to the fire that night.

                    After supper, we played cornhole on Harold’s newly constructed playing fields, complete with an OHCRA logo on the board. With darkness coming on early we lit an electric light, yes electric, and played the traditional left, right, center dice game. For once Laurie or Harold DIDN'T win. Tony came out ahead this trip but, there is still one more trip in this canoeing season and the tide can shift. Who will be the seasonal L,R,C champion? Tune in next month at the Kokosing River outing for these and other results.


                    Sunday morning around 5:00a.m., rain was hitting our tents, but much to our surprise at seven, the sky was clearing. After a breakfast of Mexican leftovers, the camp was struck and plans were made for a six-mile run down to the Mantua City Park. Ted & Connie left for their 5-hour drive home and Laurie stayed back, packing their stuff so Harold could solo canoe. Along with John, Tony and Lance the vehicles were shuttled and we shoved off for a quick 2-hour paddle. The sun was peeking out of the clouds more now but, the wind picked up and made for some hard to steer paddling. Rounding a curve on the river, we saw two boats ahead. Here was Jonathon with his daughter Jessica in his solo canoe and son Joshua in a kayak. Jonathon lives along the river and was unavailable to meet us last night so he started upstream this morning with hopes of seeing us along the way. We talked and paddled slowly until reaching his house, then said so long and raced to the park and the end of another OHCRA canoe outing.


         There were some new faces this trip but we miss the old faces we are used to seeing on OHCRA outings. One more trip for this year.....lets see how many members we can get for the Kokosing!!! Until next month,   See ya around the Bend!!!


View all Pictures of the Cuyahoga River 2006 Trip