Mohican River
March 23, 24, 25, 2007




Mohican Wilderness Campground was the magnetic gathering spot for our March OHCRA outing. Owners Ken and Ann were very hospitable and gave us the run of the campground. There wasn't any running water so that left only pit toilets, which luckily were not under water. And they let us camp for free, while still shaking their heads wondering why we wanted to be there in March. Harold, Laurie and Tony all arrived around 4:00pm on Friday. And what a wet Friday it was. The river was flooded, rain was still falling and the campground was soggy and muddy. We saw our weekend guest, Irv (Ozzy) Oslin walking around the campground. We hollered and he kept looking around, everywhere but in our direction. With those raincoat hoods up, it sure makes the sounds hard to hear.

We erected some tarps and got tents set up then had refreshments. There was a pavilion next to where we decided to camp. A 40 x 80 foot enclosed building with sliding doors on all four sides. We were given permission to use it as it had a campfire ring in the center with a chimney, which did not draw well. We had to dodge picnic tables but there still was room for a fire and for Ted and Connie to set up their freestanding tent when the arrived. While enjoying the fire we saw car lights and up pulls Wil. Seven brave souls ventured out in the damp March weather for canoeing, eating and the B. Close to midnight we turned in, after deciding not to canoe the flooded Mohican the next morning. Saturday morning rain greeted us as everyone convened under the tarp waiting for hot coffee and tea. We had "slept in" as far OHCRA standards were concerned.

Indoor Fire

Since four of the five members that are going to Boundary Waters Canoe Area in June were there, they started trying out dried foods for their trip. Harold had some parboiled rice and dehydrated beans while Tony tried powered eggs with dried vegetables. When Harold's beans were resting in the pot, a gust of wind blew the tarp stakes out of the soggy ground, sending beans flying everywhere. The tarp shelter could not stand the pressure of wind on the side tarps, so off they came. And then later the rain stopped, the wind warmed up and the river started going down. Ozzy says they really control the river with those dams upstream and that we might be able to canoe on Sunday.

The weather improved so much that the next thing we knew the cornhole boards were out and the laughter of great throws and not so great throws could be heard. Around 3:00pm,  much to our surprise, in drives George and Marilyn. They visited for a while but would not stay for the potluck. George handed off many years of OHCRA pictures and slides. Oh the history.

After the Thompson's drove off, the potluck was the focal point. Out came duch ovens full of soup beans with ham, cornbread, fried potatoes and a Ruben sandwich flavored casserole. There were also grilled crab legs, apple pie and peach praline sauce over angel food cake. (Ask Wil for the recipe so we can put it on the camp food page.)


After supper the outdoor fire was stoked higher and we sat under a cloudless sky while the feast digested in our bellies. As darkness descended out came the left, right, center game. When the dust cleared, everyone was out of quarters but that one happy person. Slowly the members drifted through the now foggy night to those warm sleeping bags.

Sunday promised to be a beautiful day for a March 25th so we decided to canoe the 12 miles from the covered bridge on the Clear Fork, downstream to the campground. Ted and Connie had a 5-hour drive home and left early, as did Laurie and Harold, who woke up feeling under the weather. However, Ozzy, Tony and Wil headed upstream to tame the swollen Clear Fork. It was fast and cold but they just launched those canoes and did not look back. They were averaging over 4 mph without paddling and at one rapid the GPS reached 7.8 mph. The 11.8-mile trip took all of 2 hours and 15 minutes to complete. There were lots of waterfowl on the river. So many different species of ducks just passing through on their way north. And of course those nuisance geese that honk so loud when you pass and the shit they leave everywhere, right golfers? There are loads of campgrounds along the banks of the Mohican and summer must be a mad house. But not one other floating device was on the river (except that sunken kayak) when the three paddlers rode the swollen waves. After arriving all too quickly back at Mohican Wilderness, they packed their gear and headed back upstream to retrieve the other vehicles and head for home.

Swollen River

And talking about pit toilets...the men's side of the block outhouse only had one hole and the wood looked like it had been gnawed on for years by woodland critters and the hole was larger than normal. While Wil was using it, Harold went into the women's side (as did all the rest of the members except Wil) and he flipped up one of the "two" toilet seats, which banged the wall. To quote the voice from the other side..."There's toilet seats over there?"!!

The cool, rainy weather doesn't stop OHCRA members from getting together and having fun. And if you're lucky like we were on Sunday, the skies will clear and the temperatures may reach 70. For those not there, you missed a great outing. Please feel free to join us anytime. Just check the event schedule, load your gear and we will see you "Around the Bend"

View All Pictures From the Mohican