Mohican River
April 8, 9, 10, 11, 2010



Charles Mill Dam

Thursday evening Tom, Tony and Wil met at the Charles Mill Dam in Richland County, close to the town of Mifflin. Canoeing 46 miles on the Mohican River, from the dam to its confluence with the Kokosing River, was the objective of the weekends outing. The trio were camping on land owned by the Wayside Inn, a local bar and grill. Owner Jill graciously let them camp along the river where a fire ring and firewood was provided. The campers had dinner and drinks at the Wayside then headed back to camp and started a roaring fire, as it was very cold and windy. After getting to meet local mushroom expert Cletus and having way too much fun, they snuggled into their winter sleeping bags to shield them from the upper 20-degree chill.

Friday morning brought less wind but still cool temperatures. Tom, bless his heart, cooked breakfast of green eggs and pepper bacon for the three OHCRA members. Some of the bacon was crunchy but using the three-second rule, it was still considered clean after hitting the ground. Member Lance soon arrived and the foursome launched into the frigid waters at 9:30am.

It stayed on the cloudy and cool side all day and even bursts of sleet fell from the sky. Tony tried fishing early in the trip but quickly gave up after catching only snags. Some in the water, others in the trees. It can be difficult fishing out of a canoe in 3.5 mph water. The flow of the Mohican was very enjoyable and the water level was prefect. It did drop 6 inches overnight and that was attributed to the closing of the dam gates. Another 6 inches lower and dragging could have occurred in spots. Wildlife was on the move with sightings of an Eagle, deer, beaver, muskrats and hawks. Not to mention the kingfishers bobbing for lunch. On the river the wind wasn't so bad, but stopping for lunch created numb fingers and toes. Paddling hard started the blood flowing again and soon the four canoes completed the 18-mile trip and arrived at the River Run Campground.

Friday evening's campsite was located where the Black Fork of the Mohican joins the Clear Fork . River Run Campground did not open until the next weekend, which gave the club the whole place to themselves. When Lance, Tom, Tony and Wil went ashore, no other members were there. Tony set up his tent, having carried all of his gear with him. The others had to wait an hour and a half until Harold and Laurie arrived, then shuttled everyone back upstream to their waiting vehicles.

Clear Fork Merger

While waiting for a ride, the campground was scoured for firewood. There were many downed limbs from the previous winter storms and pickings were easy. As it was going to be another cold 30-degree night, the fire was sure to feel good. The bathrooms with their flush toilets were not turned on for the summer. Luckily, Harold and Tony figured out how to activate them. After lounging in front of a warm fire and socalizing, bedtime was welcomed.

A rekindled fire was a great addition to the chilly Saturday morning, but the sun was promising to warm us with its streaming rays. Paul and Judy joined the gathering after breakfast and shuttling soon commenced. Getting from the Loudonville area to Brinkhaven was a chore. In the hilly areas around the Mohican, no road goes in a straight line. And wrong turns do not help either. After a 40-minute shuttle, the paddlers got on the water, which included, Paul, Judy, Tom, Tony and Wil. Lance was taking a day off and Harold and Laurie didn't have a canoe. Harold's Jeep was in the shop so no way to haul the boat.

The water was again averaging 3.5 mph and the group made good time, that was until the wind started. On the straight wider stretches of the river, the wind was pushing them back one stroke for every two taken. However, it was warm now with temperatures in the 60's. The Canadian geese were very noisy and vocal. Wil translated their language for his fellow paddlers and it went something like this.."OH, OH, here they come", in reference to the canoeists paddling too close to the geese. After the 16-mile trip, the five went back to camp where Jock and Ron greeted them. A while later John also joined the group. After relaxing a spell, the potluck was started. Everyone enjoyed lots of food as always.


After dinner, everyone was standing around shooting the breeze when something hit Jock on the head. A big white spot was on his hairless noggin. Looking up everyone saw a buzzard flying around. Good thing it wasn't a full fledge discharge or he could have been knocked out. Another campfire was started and the campers/canoers sat around discussing politics and religion and how to better the world. The world still has all the same problems. Maybe next time a solution will be found. Slowly people headed to their tents in high 40 temperatures.

Sunday the grass was heavy with dew and the club members were awaken first by turkeys gobbling, then with those damn geese honking. Unfortunately, Wil had to head for home. Paul and Judy also were not paddling, but they helped greatly in getting vehicles shuttled further downstream. It was another messed up shuttle, which resulted in the club not getting on the water until 11:30am. The latest ever. Harold and Laurie came to wave goodbye to everyone.

Matthew Smith, an Ohio Department of Natural Resources employee joined them for the Sunday paddle. A Scenic Rivers worker, Matt was very knowledgeable about life in and around the river. They saw mussel shells all over the riverbed and many eagles above and even an osprey. There were also leatherback or soft shell turtles, raccoon, muskrats and blue herons. However, no fish were seen as John and Ron can attest to. Having a blessed time on the river that day was Tony, John, Jock, Ron, Mat, Lance and Tom. From Brinkhaven to the Mohicans merger with the Kokosing was a 12-mile float, on the most beautiful day of the outing. The river is much wider in that area but water levels were still good. Summertime may create problems at lower levels.

Walhonding Hills Campground was the destination for the evening, which was only a couple miles from the landing. Matt ran John, Tom and Tony back upstream to their waiting vehicles then Matt headed on for home. Lance headed out for a Sunday evening date while Ron and Jock started setting up camp. The other three soon returned and all ate their individual supper meals with shirt and shoes off. Spring finally arrived. Better late than never. Sitting around the last campfire of the trip, the coolers were emptied of any leftover drinks and memories of the 2010 Mohican OHCRA outing was etched into the members minds. A fine 46-mile trip in all types of conditions, just the way they like it!!

Empty Chairs

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