Little Miami River
August 11,12,13, 2006
The August OHCRA paddle started with a scheduled trip to watch the outdoor drama Blue Jacket. Harold & Laurie met Connie and Ted at Blue Jacket and watched a wonderful drama about a supposedly white boy kidnapped by the Indians that grew up to become a chief of the Shawnee Indians. After the play, Ted & Connie drove home, while Harold & Laurie drove north to John Bryan State Park, where they were camping, http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/parks/parks/jhnbryan.htm and met Tony, who was all settled in with a campfire and 5 raccoons looking for handouts. John Bryan abuts to Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve, which is toward the headwaters of the Little Miami River http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/dnap/location/clifton.html. The park and preserve are beautiful and there are miles of hiking and bicycling trails.
Friday morning, Tony went geocaching while Harold & Laurie saw the gorge then headed south to Fort Ancient, http://www.ohiohistory.org/places/ftancien/ eventually meeting back up with Tony at Morgan’s Campground, along the shores of the Little Miami River. After setting up camp, they all left to meet Connie and Ted for a quick trip to the Argosy Casino across the border in Indiana. Only Laurie came back a winner, as she usually does. Back at camp, they were greeted by Larry & Sophia, Deb & Jock, Lance and Paul K. While eating supper, in drives Wil & Gloria and we are now 12 strong. As is tradition, we sat around the campfire socializing until way too late into the evening.
Saturday promised to be a great canoeing day and during breakfast in pulls Jonathan Z. with his kids Joshua & Jessica. The 15 of us started our 13-mile paddle upstream at the town of Corwin. The water level looked decent but there were some shallow areas as the tandem paddlers soon found out. We had the river to ourselves for the first few miles, and then the canoe rentals came into sight. Many people were out canoeing and riding bikes on the bike trail that parallels the river. With temperatures in the 80’s, sunshine and low humidity, who wouldn’t want to be outside?
Connie’s brother Tim, his daughter Chelsea, her boyfriend Dan and Connie’s friend Mari Beth, wanted to canoe with us this weekend, so Ted dropped off 2 canoes at the 5 mile point and we canoed down, met them, then canoed the rest of the way together. We had 12 canoes and 20 paddlers. What a site we were, weaving in and out and through all those rental canoes. There were lots of inexperienced folks, bouncing off the riverbanks and running into each other, jumping off tree limbs and swinging on ropes, to drop into the water.
Larry pulled a shoulder muscle half way down and could only paddle on his left side while Deb was also nursing a sore shoulder. However, being the champions they are, they made it the whole way.
Arriving back at camp, we grabbed cold drinks and played cornhole. Some of our members are pretty good at this new and fast growing sport. "Boyfriend Dan" as he will forever be referred to, wasn’t too bad for a newbie. Ted made the set we play with and everyone keeps trying to talk him into making more. We will see what happens. Harold termed a new word for Tony (or anybody) playing cornhole……Cornholious- i.e. a person that plays cornhole!!
As the afternoon turned into evening, preparations started for the potluck. Another wonderful feast was cooked up. Pork Loin, sauerkraut, corn on the cob, green beans, baked potatoes, macaroni salad, Italian sausage, garden fresh tomatoes, shrimp cocktail, hot pepper jelly, mango salsa, canoe shaped chocolate chip cookies, pie and cake. Now that cake was special for August 12th is Laurie’s birthday. A piece of cake with one candle was handed to her while we all sang happy birthday. If you want to know her age, then you will have come canoe with us and ask her yourself!!
After the clean up from that wonderful meal, some of the members rolled the left-right-center dice. When the quarters cleared, guess who came out ahead? Yep, Laurie and Harold. Why do we continue to let them sit side by side?
As darkness encroached, we slowly drifted off to our tents. Plans had been made to awaken at 2:00a.m. for a 2 mile paddle with the moon. Being ¼ pasted the full stage it really gave off lots of light. Half of our group (the other half stayed in bed) shuttled upstream and were on the water around 3:00a.m. The air was still and misty as we glided in the deserted water where hours earlier there were hundreds of canoes. The ¾ moon gave more than enough light to safely maneuver thru the rapids. There was way too much light to see a meteor shower that supposedly was going on, but our eyes alternated between the river and the sky anyways. By 4:30a.m., we were sitting around the burnt out fire ring drinking bloody marys and beer. Then back to bed, until time to get the "big daddy" skillet out for pancakes and sausage links. Ted, Connie and Jock served as our chefs for that great breakfast. And a great breakfast it was.
Slowly, members packed up and disappeared until the campsite was empty. So ends the August trip and a great time was had by all. It was decided for next months Cuyahoga trip, to have a Mexican theme for the potluck. Let’s see just how creative everyone can get. Until next month…
See ya around the bend
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