Mad River
September 18, 19, 20, 2009



Clear Water

The cool and clear, spring fed Mad River was the clubs destination for the September outing and as is tradition, the Birch Bark Canoe Livery was our base camp. Harold and Laurie met trip leader Tony and they trekked to the campground, meeting Ted, Jock and Deb while securing the campsite to the right, just across the footbridge. Tents were erected and poor Harold forgot the poles to his A frame Eureka tent. However, with his mental abilities and some rope, the tent was soon standing. Jock and Deb went riding, while the rest went off to town (Urbana) for lunch and found a real nice restaurant called Catfish Jones. Great slabs of catfish at a great price!

They had all intentions of paddling that Friday afternoon but after setting up camp and eating lunch, time was running out. Instead, they drove downstream scoping out exit spots. They settled on the State Route 41 bridge on the northern edge of Springfield. That would give the members a 13 to 13.5 mile paddle from the campground.


Back at camp Lance, then Rick arrived and set up camp as Larry and Sophia pulled in, but they were hoteling it. A small campfire was lit and enjoyed for a short while. September evenings get dark so much quicker than July which forced people to bed earlier than normal. Tony was the last up and even he was in bed by 11:00pm. Paul K pulled in sometime around 1:00am and just slept in the back of his truck, but no one knew it until morning.

Saturday dawned beautifully and we knew it was going to be a wonderful day to paddle. Wil and Gloria joined the group at breakfast time, then gear was unloaded so shuttle vehicles could be placed downstream. The boats were launched at 10:26am and that is when Tony noticed that he didn't have any paddles. Letting someone else unload his gear while eating breakfast should teach him a lesson. Be self-reliant! Borrowing a paddle from Birch Bark, he too was soon on his way in the lower than expected water. Tandem canoers did have to exit a few times but not much. We noticed lots of green water plants in the water and they would slow your progress if paddling through the thicker fields.


At the State Route 36, low head dam, Paul rolled into the water. He said his mind wondered and it just happened. We could see fish swimming away from us in the crystal clear water and fly fisherman were also out enjoying the perfect autumn day. The dreaded "S" curve just south of State Route 55 was very calm this time around. After every flood it transforms into something different. Past trips have had it dangerous and tricky claiming the dry clothes of many. There even was an island in the middle of the stream this year, with weeds growing on it. As we were loading the trailers at the take out, a guy and two ladies were putting in for a float fishing trip. His canoe was so wide, had three seats and cooler space in the seats. Some of us had to admire it but probably would never paddle something like it.

Everyone headed back to camp where Dan who was "under the weather", showed up bringing Saki for the Chinese potluck. The potluck theme was a hit and after reading fortune cookies, we all sat around a roaring fire thanks to Deb and Jocks firewood contribution. The stars were shining brightly as we B S 'ed the evening away. Good friends, good food and fresh Ohio air. What more could you ask for?

Sunday Tony was up early and after rekindling the fire he was off to his next adventure, a Smoky Mountain vacation. Everyone else enjoyed a leisurely Sunday morning in the wilds of Ohio, next to a great, relaxing canoeing stream.

Water Plants

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