Mad River
August 17, 18, 19, 2012



Wading the Stream

Trip leader Ted decided to start the August outing on Thursday evening instead of Friday evening. Tony met him at the Birch Bark Canoe Livery northwest of the town Of Urbana. The primitive campground is reasonably priced at $4.00 a night, you just need to carry your own water and love using port-a-pots. Harold and Laurie arrived just before dark and set up camp also. A nice small campfire was welcomed as the record setting heat wave had finally broke and cooler temperatures drifted down from the north. The 2012 state wide draught was still in effect as the Mad River was on the low side. Rain was forecast for the evening but none fell, that was until daybreak as the four were working on breakfast. A few sprinkles dampened the grass, but soon it was over and the cloudy sky kept the air cooler which was very welcoming.

Ted and Tony had planned to scout the Greenville Creek for the October outing along with Harold and Laurie who joined the one hour ride. The Greenville Creek was way too low for paddling at both the put in and take out. If there isn't much rain before October, that trip will have to be moved. Lunch was taken at Tailgaters, a sports bar, which had some mighty good wings. Then it was back to camp were Tom and Jock had joined the campers. While gone, a church group set up their camp, right on top of the OHCRA members. When asked why they were so close when there were lots of others areas further away, they replied; "we didn't want to carry our stuff too far."

Steve & Erica

New member Steve graced us with his presence along with his 12 year old daughter Erica. Wil pulled in happy as always, then Connie who had to work and finally Lance who was traveling between one apartment in southeast Ohio and another in Fort Wayne Indiana. After everyone got settled in they had "Friday Night at the movies." Harold brought his laptop and played the movie Black Robe. It's about a Christian Missionary trying to convert the Indians in the late 1600's. There are lots of canoeing and great scenery in the film. Word of caution, there are a couple of strong "R" scenes. After the show it was tent time for most.

Saturday morning was on the cool side for Ohioans used to 95 degree temps. The campfire felt great while standing around making plans for the shuttle. The paddlers were heading downstream 14.25 miles and taking out where ST RT 41 crosses the river, on the north end of Springfield. The river was low but passable and flowing 2.5 mph. Steve and Erica paddled great for first timers and even being tandem they didn't have to get out much due to low water. The water was so clear you could see bottom the whole way.

On the shuttle back to camp, poor Ted got pulled over in the village of Tremont City by the local police. 38 in a 25 cost $180.00. The cop should have just put a gun to his head and robbed him!! Same difference isn't it? Since they were passing an ice cream stand, they all stopped and enjoyed a refreshing treat.

Low, Clear, Water

Ted and Connie were cooking a turkey for the potluck. They used a propane fueled turkey fryer that did not use oil. Everyone was amazed as the turkey came out very moist and tender. As always the potluck had enough to feed an army, baked potatoes, corn cake, bread, peach cobbler, muffins, green beans, etc. The rest of the day was for relaxing and playing games. At some point in the evening there was even singing?? The campfire was great as always then the feel of heads on pillows signaled the end of the day.

Everyone kind of slept in Sunday morning with the first person clearing their tent around 7:15am. Breakfast was had, with Steve cooking lots of bacon to share. He has earned a permanent spot in the club but, everyone will always be looking for bacon now. Steve, Erica, Tony and Wil bummed a shuttle from Ted and paddled the 5 mile upstream stretch back to camp. Water was even lower up that way but still passable. The cool morning air, with the cold spring fed river and shade trees lining the banks, was very invigorating.

The camp was dismantled as the members headed their separate directions until next month. Birch Bark Canoe treated OHCRA fine as always and the weather was great. Join the club next month as they paddle the upper Little Miami River.

Paddling Away

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