Hocking River
June 26, 27, 28, 2009



The Tree

The Hocking River from the ST RT 664 Bridge in Logan, Ohio, downstream as far as we wanted to paddle, was the club's scheduled June trip. We met at Jock and Debs on Friday and camped beside their barn. Showing for the weekend was Tony, Ted, Tom, Lance, Harold and Laurie, Paul Wood, Paul Kerlin, Judy, Donavan and his son Joseph, Wil and Ron. Deb made tacos for all who arrived early and we munched until all we could do was sit in lawn chairs and chat. Ron brought a new hammock and wanted to field test it. The only supports to use were a dead elm tree and the canoe trailer. Ron tied the hammock to both and laid down, only to see the 18 inch x 15-20 foot tree coming at him. The tree hit a cross brace on the trailer then came to rest on Ron. We moved the tree, found Ron with serious injuries and called 911. The Hocking County EMS were very professional and helpful and soon had Ron in the squad and off to the hospital parking lot where Life Flight was waiting to fly him to Columbus. We found out the next day that he will be ok but the healing will take months. Ron was planning on tandem canoeing with Jock but since kkkayaking is his preferred method of water travel, we think he was trying to get out of it. From the whole club, "We wish you a speedy and full recovery Ron"!!

After all that activity and with darkness closing in, the campfire was lit. We got even with that damn tree by burning as much of it as we could. We soon retired to our sleeping quarters as Jock had a 9:00am SHARP, shuttle scheduled for the morning. Around three am, Jocks dog started barking and barked the rest of the night. There were some tired eyed campers emerging from their beds at sun up.

Falls Mill

The canoes and gear were loaded and the shuttled departed at 9:01am for Falls Mill. We had a portage of 100 yards or so to a launch area at the base of the falls and after getting vehicles back to Jocks, we shoved off into the Hocking River at 10:15am. The water level was perfect and the bright, sunny day was hot. What more could a paddler ask for?

We had four Old Town canoes, two Wenonah, one Mohawk, one old Forster canoe and a beautiful homemade cedar strip canoe. Rounding out the boats was Judy's kkkayak, a Coleman made by Pelican and 12 people, all enjoying a river that flowed around 3.8 miles per hour. For the whole days paddling, we averaged four mph. We did not have problems on most of the small rapids but Tom did get the first scratches on his cedar strip and Harold and Laurie capsized after hanging up on a rock on a different set of rapids.

Sandbar Camp

This was an over night canoe/camping trip and there wasn't any designated campsite in mind. So we just paddled and were care free all day. While passing through the village of Nelsonville thoughts turned to acquiring a cold drink. After all, it was a hot, humid, summer day. We had already put 17.5 miles behind us when up ahead we saw a VFW club siting right on the rivers edge. However, the only VFW member in our group was Jock and he had left his card at home. There were two ladies sitting on the patio and they offered to have us in as their guests. Thank you Kelly! Cold drinks sure hit the spot.

After the break, we started back downstream, but at four o'clock in the afternoon, everyone was starting to wear down. We paddled another 4.5 miles and found a real large sandbar that could accommodate ten tents. Everyone set up their shelters, grabbed some chow and plopped down to rest. This was the first time in recent memory that there was not an OHCRA potluck on a Saturday evening. 22 miles was the longest the members have paddled in one day in a few years and everyone was well worn out. After some small talk we all headed to bed with the sounds of the Hocking River flowing by.

Awaking in the morning found us enshrouded in fog, which intensified our "wilderness"experience. The sun quickly burned the fog off and we resumed our journey downstream, at the unheard of time of 7:55am. We only planned another five miles and were at a take out before 10:00. There wasn't a designated access spot so we fought through mud and poison ivy to get all the equipment up a hill and to the road where Paul Wood was meeting us. After a couple shuttles, everyone and their gear was back at Jock and Debs where we said our goodbyes until next month.

Group Picture

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