Little Beaver Creek
April 18, 19, 20, 2008



Low Water

Trip leaders Harold and Laurie arrived at the Little Beaver early on Friday as Harold wanted to paddle a stretch of the river to see what the conditions were like. He reported lower than wished for water levels but still enough to paddle in. Especially for the solo canoer's. Tandem paddlers may find some rocky areas as later experienced.

Jock and Deb came out towing with them Ron Mills who we have not seen since last spring. Paul and Judy arrived as did Ted, but without Connie. Camp was set up with Judy sporting a brand new tent and a new E Z Up tarp system. Was she trying to out do Harold who also was using a new L L Bean tent and an E Z Up canopy system with side flaps? With the firewood ban around Ohio, firewood could not be brought into the county, but good ole Jock had a truckload of milled oak wood that provided good hot coals for all our fire needs. Friday's relaxing campfire was fun and as the evening was turning towards midnight in pulls Wil.

Saturday promised good paddling weather, with sun and warmth in the morning. Tony finally arrived, late, with his brother John and the whole crew headed for the launching spot. We put in at the park office on Echo Dell Road for a 13.5-mile paddle down to the Ohio River. Access to the river was great in both the launching and exiting spots. While unloading boats, in drives a man with an older Grumman aluminum on top of his vehicle. It was none other than Tim Baldauf, a member we have not seen in the last 5 or 6 years.

Lanuch Spot

Off we went at the unheard hour of 11:00am. Everyone was having fun dodging rocks and maneuvering around in the 3 to 4 mile an hour current when Harold and Laurie got hung up on a rock. Their canoe turned sideways and started taking on water. As it slowly rolled into the stream, Laurie put her hand down to support herself. After standing up wet, in the water, Laurie's pinky finger on her right hand was in a permanent hitchhiking position. We were just minutes from the group camping area, which is next to the river, and as luck would have it, we ran into a ranger. He took Harold and Laurie back to camp where they drove to the nearest ER to get that broken finger set. Talk about a real trooper. Laurie will always have the respect of everyone on this trip, as she is one tuff lady. Wil said something about having a "disjointed" trip this weekend.

We saw lots of wildlife, mink, deer, squirrel, lots of geese and ducks and other water birds. Big redheaded woodpeckers also call this area home. Nothing like waking up to a woodpecker finding breakfast. Arriving at the take out, canoes were pulled out and loaded on the canoe trailer except Judy's, Tim's and Tony's. They could see the Ohio River and the West Virginia shore, so off they went to touch their paddles on foreign soil. It was the first any of them had paddled on the Ohio. Tim had a prior commitment and departed from the take out, but not until promising to canoe with us again in the near future.

Driving in back at camp we saw two people standing in our camp. Here was George and Marilyn Thompson who drove down to visit with us. They would not stay for the potluck but it sure was nice seeing them again. Harold and Laurie returned from their long stay at ER and Laurie was sporting a clean white splintered bandage on that poor finger. Any good pain pills?

George & Marilyn

We started the now famous (in our eyes) feast, which could have fed an army. Laurie made her Ruben casserole and there was chili, brats, deer meat, herbed carrots, potato cakes, cookies, etc, etc.

After eating out comes the cornhole boards and around dark the left-right-center game was played. As a group we may have been the loudest we have ever been as we laughed and enjoyed the night. A little drizzle fell, just enough to make the ground muddy in spots and to have that nasty drip on the neck from the edge of the tarps, but not bad weather at all for April.

Sunday brought some folks out of their tents very slowly but the day again looked inviting for canoeing. Tony made a mountain man breakfast in a dutch oven while plans were hatched for canoeing the upstream section. We shuttled up to the village of Elkton where there is a very nice access point, and paddled back down to the park office, a total of 9 miles. Not as many rock gardens as the day before and the current flowed gracefully along.

After the quick paddle everyone started to pack up camp except Harold, Tony and John who were staying an extra night. Later Harold and Tony played eight cornhole games with Harold taking seven of those eight. He won by placing all four bags in the hole on one turn, not once but twice. It's almost unheard of to do it at all let alone twice in the same day.

Canal Lock

Another great OHCRA weekend of paddling, eating and socializing with good people, good weather and the great Ohio outdoors is now history. Join us next month as we again paddle "Around the Bent".

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