Hocking River / White Mans Fire
July 20,21,22, 2007



Event Sign

July traditionally has been the month for Jock and Deb's "White Man's Fire", and this July weekend promised to have great weather, no rain (which we really need), warm days and cool nights. The fields next to Jock and Deb's house were mowed for camping and the wood for the great fire was piled high. For those of you who do not know what a "White Man's Fire" is, it is a mega bonfire. The Indians used little fires for their needs but when the white man invaded this territory, they had to waste everything, including firewood. And now you know the rest of the story.

Harold and Laurie made an entrance around 4:00pm on Friday soon followed by Tony, who was geocaching in the Logan area, then Paul Woods. This was the first we have seen Paul this year and as is his custom, he slept in his van. The others set up their tents and Harold erected his tarp, more for shade than for rain. Harold also had a picnic table and it was neat. Made out of one 4 x 8' sheet of 3/4" plywood, it was really sturdy and functional. As soon as the tents were finished, out come the cornhole boards. Harold and Tony are like two little kids in a candy store when playing cornhole. Later, Paul Kerlin arrived, after a full days work and got his area set up. Tony was cooking a leg of lamb for supper and Harold added baked potatoes, all in dutch ovens, while Laurie topped it off with desert of spice cake. What a way to start the weekend.


We saw two-buck deer in the field next to us and bats flew around close to dark. There were no bugs or mosquitoes to bother us and no one saw any ticks. (Thank goodness). Jock invited all of us over to his barn area for a "small" campfire, which we readily agreed to. While getting around, in pulls Wil and Gloria. They quickly set up camp and then we all drove the 300 yards or so through the hayfield to the "small" fire. It was already blazing and had a great bed of coals. We drunk several beverages and socialized until 1:00am, way past some of our bedtimes, but the bright stars in this part of Ohio made it worth staying up.

The night air was cool, 50-55 degrees, but it was great sleeping weather. Saturday morning we all gathered under the tarp for tea and coffee while the sun rose to display another beautiful day. Harold made a Mt. Gilead man breakfast (see recipe in camp food page), while Tony cooked biscuit bread, again all in dutch ovens. Then the day's activities were discussed and a plan of action was implemented. Cornhole again was played until Jock, who slept in the house, and Paul W. came over and shuttled us to the river. We put in the Hocking River north of town and paddled 9.61 miles down to the Logan Falls close to the center of town. Luckily, it rained some the week before or we would have drugged the canoes instead of paddled. Jock, Deb and Paul W. had to ready the site for the fire party so they did not canoe with us.

Hocking River

There are two canoe liveries on the Hocking and rental canoes were out in full force. Tony found a kayak paddle that showed signs of being lost for months, and then Harold found an abandoned kayak. He towed that thing over six miles to return it to its rightful owner and all he got was a thank you. Great job Harold! Tony fished a little and caught three small mouth bass, there were turtles sunning themselves on logs, and signs of beaver were all over. A few ducks were here and there, but thankfully no loud, honking geese. The hocking is a nice river but it does show signs of heavy use with beer cans and other litter along the shore. The annual Hocking River Cleanup, sponsored by one of the canoe liveries, sure makes a difference. We finished the 9.61-mile paddle and while loading our canoes in drive Ted and Connie. They chose to go hiking in the beautiful Hocking Hills and even they reported lots of people enjoying the same activities. It was such a beautiful weekend that all of Ohio must have been enjoying the outdoors.

Everyone went back to camp except Tony and Wil, who had two more geocaches to find. When everyone returned and Ted and Connie had their camp set up, out comes a new refreshing drink. Check the camp food page for the ingredients. More cornhole was played until time to get food around for the fire. Jock said it started at six o'clock exactly and he always likes to be on time, if not early.

White Mans Fire

The fire was lit way before six and flames shot sky high. If not, no one would be able to get close enough to cook brat and hot dogs. A couple hours after being lit, it was still pretty hot. However, Jocks ten-foot long hot dog sticks helped a lot. We as a group did not use our cameras much this trip, so not many pictures exist. Plus we were busy eating and playing too much to shoot "film". There were close to fifty guests at the fire and boy was there a lot of good food. After quick introductions, we got down to eating. When the tables cleared, euchre games, cornhole, and other activities kept everyone entertained. Paul W brought a game where two people each stood on their own board with a rope between them. You had to see who could pull the other person off their board first. It was a good balance game. The city of Logan has one of the last remaining washboard companies in the world and Deb knew some of the employees, who brought washboards and played music with them. Unfortunately, the guitar player did not show so that entertainment did not last long. As it grew darker into the evening, the local folks slowly left until only the OHCRA members were left sitting around the fire. Members Jim and Jody were at the feast but had to head home. It was good seeing both of them for the first time this year.

After the late night fire on Friday, we did not last as long around the Saturday night fire. Slowly we drifted away from the fire to our tents to dream about the breakfast Deb promised us, cooked up at the house at nine in the morning.

Sunday morning was cool and damp. Another great sleeping night for mid July. Wil and Gloria had to be at home early so they were on the road around 7:00am. The rest of us sipped hot drinks until 8:45am when we headed over the field to a wonderful breakfast of eggs, pancakes, sausage, coffee and orange juice. After touring their house, (to use the bathroom), we all loaded into two vehicles and drove to town for a private tour of the Hocking County Historical Society. The Logan area is very rich in pioneer history. Jock and Deb are both volunteers for the historical society and we think that's great. All historical societies need more volunteers to keep them going.

Day After

A couple hours later, we were back at camp and the tents started coming down. The last items to be loaded before everyone left

Cornhole boards!!

Next month we visit the Rocky Fork/ Paint Creek area and plan on attending the Tecumseh drama. Please join us!

View All Pictures From the Hocking River / White Mans Fire