Tuscarawas River
July 17, 18, 19, 2009



Tuscarawas River

OHCRA's July canoe outing took place on the historic Tuscarawas River near the village of Bolivar. There is so much history in this part of Ohio that a person could spend an entire week and still not see all the area offers.

Our camp was nestled between the Tuscarawas River and interstate 77 at the NTR Canoe Livery. The owners were club members years ago and daughter Stacy treated us like royalty. Jock and Deb settled into camp early on Friday afternoon and then headed off to do the tourist thing. Tony followed and then trip leaders Harold and Laurie drove in with everything packed in their vehicle, including the kitchen sink. A co-worker of Laurie's, Deb, joined us for Friday night and after she arrived the four went to get some food at a local pub. As they were leaving the campground, a huge storm blew through. After returning to make sure camp was secured; they waited out the short storm while eating. That took care of the bad weather for the rest of the weekend, leaving in its wake a beautiful two days for relaxing and having fun.

As the day whittled on, Tom pulled in with his cedar strip canoe and Paul K soon showed up. Part of the reason for canoeing that selected section of the Tuscarawas was to be close to the Schoenbrunn Amphitheatre. The theatre, in New Philadelphia, hosted the outdoor drama, Trumpet in the Land on Saturday and the White Savage show on Friday. Harold and Laurie, Jock, both Debs, Paul K, and Tony enjoyed the Friday evening show. Arriving back at camp they found Ted, Connie, Judy and Rick sitting around a nice fire with Tom. After very little small talk due to the late hour, everyone turned in for the night.


We were up early and enjoying the cool morning with cola, coffee, tea, and working on shuttling plans when Larry and Sophia graced us with their presence. The launch ramp for the trip was at the Craig Pittman Memorial Park. There is a dedicated launch area but the water level had dropped so much in the three weeks since Harold and Laurie scouted it, that we actually drove the vehicles onto the gravel bar to reach the river. Some how Jock acquired a flat tire on his canoe trailer. Luckily, that was all the tire problems from three vehicles.

We shoveled off into the shallow but steadily moving current, to start our 12.5-mile trip downstream. The water had a brown to copper tone color to it, making it very difficult to see obstacles located just under the surface. We were pleasantly surprised to not have to exit the canoes for shallow areas as much as we anticipated. We saw lots of muskrat and beaver activity and many holes dug into the banks. Saw lots other woodland critters also, but no eagles. Lunch was on a long gravel bar and the 13 of us paddlers just soaked up the leisure time. With an average of 3.2 MPH, the trip wasn't very back breaking. That wasn't until the last 1/2 to 3/4 mile, where the river was straightened to accommodate I77. That stretch was straight into a stiff head wind, but after rounding the next curve, we were back at camp.

Group Picture

Laurie's sister-in-law, Sindia, was the camp greeter when we drug our bodies back for cold drinks and to let our swollen muscles rest. After getting the upstream vehicles back and relaxing a while, it was soon time for the potluck. The trip leaders provided Sloppy Joes and other related food items soon followed. As always, there was food everywhere. After eating, Larry took a group picture and he and Sophia said their goodbyes and headed home. Most of the other folks got ready to head back south to watch the "Trumpet in the Land" drama.

Sunday we awoke to the sound of sausage frying as Harold was getting the dutch ovens hot and cooking a Mountain Man Breakfast for the whole camp. It was very tasty and we applauded Harold's dedication to keeping the troops happy. After breakfast Ted and Connie started their four hour drive home as did Jock and Deb while Paul, Judy and Rick rode bicycles north on the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail from Bolivar to Massillon and back, 30 miles. Harold, Laurie and Tony rode the towpath south to Fort Laurens then into Zoar Village and back.

It was a wonderful weekend filled with an upper body work out canoeing then a lower body workout bicycling. That's just what we needed after all the food, drink and mental bonding we had. We'll see everyone next month when we again see what's "Around The Bend".

Donkey is Dead.jpg

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