Buckeye Lake Pub Paddle
July 18, 19, 20, 2008



The Shirt

16 years ago, members of the Ohio Historical Canoe Route Association paddled a homemade, 27-foot, voyageur canoe around Buckeye Lake. Ted even has the shirt to prove it. Ted, Connie and Paul were on that maiden voyage as the members paddled from tavern to bar to club and acquired signatures on the shirt. Fast forward to 2008 as members Ted, Connie, Paul, Harold, Laurie, Judy, Donovan and Tony reenact the "Pub Paddle."

It started on Thursday with Tony securing a campsite at the KOA on the north side of Buckeye Lake. The staff was very helpful and there were even flush toilets and showers. It was a little pricey for the cheap, I mean frugal campers, but they did splurge and enjoyed all the amenities the KOA had to offer.

Friday afternoon Donovan arrived with Harold and Laurie a close second. In the evening, Ted and Connie graced us with their presence, as did Jonathon and his girl friend Laurie and his two children, Jessica and Joshua. We enjoyed a small campfire and stayed up late as we were starting late on Saturday morning.

Paul and Judy were towing the 27-foot voyageur canoe from up north and they pulled in to the campground around 11:00am on Saturday. They were quickly surrounded by KOA employees that were just dying to see the big boat. After the crowd dispersed, they set up their tents and everyone got down to the business of planning the day's trip.

The Canoe

Jonathon and his family went out on their own as they were paddling short trips around the area and since Judy and Donovan are new members, they needed to go through the OHCRA initiation. The running of the Gauntlet. They got off easy though and afterwards the crew loaded up their equipment and headed the 1/2 mile to an ODNR boat ramp. Again all heads turned as people saw the "canoe", especially when it was in the ramp next to those powerful speedboats. Off the OHCRA members paddled to their first destination, PaPa Boos. They "docked" the canoe and walked to the patio. The other customers seemed to be in shock at watching people paddle the lake instead of wasting fuel to feel the wind in their face while speeding across the lake.

After a quick drink, off again to the next tavern, Capt'n Woody's. There was a live afternoon band to listen to while enjoying another adult beverage and they just had to have a shot of tequila, the unofficial liquor of the club. They left Woody's and continued the southeasterly paddle towards the end of the lake and The Port Lounge. Another wonderful outdoor patio with cold drinks served for all. That place also had great food, so The Port also became the lunch stop. Harold and Tony tried playing cornhole but eating interrupted the game and it never seemed to continue.

Deciding to leave that place and walk across the street to the VFW club, Harold, Laurie and Tony started that direction. They waited outside for the rest of the members, but no one showed up. Walking back across the street, they found everyone. When leaving the Port patio, they walked past the main door of the Port and went in thinking it was a different bar. It did not matter as another round of drinks was had in addition to another shot.

Beyond that place was The Bush Tavern. They paddled in a canal to The Bush, docked the canoe and visited the fourth business on the trip. The one thing being noticed was everyplace they went, the same people always showed up after them. Apparently, other power boat people were making the same type of Pub Paddle as OHCRA. A couple more beverages and off again.

Having Fun

Heading back into the lake, the Big Canoe hugged the southern shoreline, as the Copper Penny was the next destination. As the canoe glided up to the dock, the other customers clapped and cheered for the paddlers. It was later in the day now and that place really seemed to be hopping. Or were the paddlers just thinking so? After more beverages they settled in and had dinner of pizza and socialized while listening to more music in the evening air.

It was now dark on a warm, summer, evening as the paddlers reentered their voyageur canoe. As the bar patrons cheered them on, the OHCRA members paddled off into the night. A few of the eight wanted to continue to one more place close to the boat ramp but the others wisely said no and the canoe was pulled from the water. The total mileage paddled was around nine miles in roughly 8 hours. Not too bad considering...

Arriving back at camp, a campfire was started and everyone settled in and relaxed while gazing into the flames. Some of the light weights went to bed soon after, while the heavy weights, well they just starred into the flames a little longer.

Sunday morning dawned bright!! The KOA showers were utilized to refreshen the spirits of the paddlers and after breakfast, camp was struck. Slowly everyone headed for home. It was a different type of OHCRA outing and one that hasn't been repeated for 16 years. As a club, OHCRA is very diversified and open to new adventures. Let's see what else we can come up with as a club. Until next month......


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