Greenville Creek
April 11, 12, 13, 2014



Greenville Creek

OHCRA paddled the Greenville Creek in 2004, 05, 06 and 2007. After a seven year absence it was time to return. That Friday morning started with light rain but it promised to clear by day's end with temperatures in the 60's. Trip leader Wil arrived at the Prairie Ridge Meadow, Darke County Park, just before 10:00 am, followed soon by Tony. The two were concerned about where to set up tents due to soggy ground. Wil chose a spot between the still closed for the winter restrooms and the Indian Peace House. Tony too found a spot but quickly realized he forgot to pack his tent. Sleeping in a vehicle can be really comfortable when you are small enough to fit.

Since neither member had seen the Garst Museum, which was located directly across the street, they headed over to check out the past life of Darke County residents. There was information from county folk about the civil war, WWI, WWII, Vietnam and Desert Storm and even Scouting. Next was the Native American display with hordes of artifacts especially the arrow heads. The Greenville Treaty room was well documented and Annie Oakley and Lowell Thomas had their own rooms. Lots of antiques were seen as well and there is also The Darke County Genealogical Library. By the time they finished the museum the sun was shining outside, so off canoeing they went. Wil secured permission to park a vehicle on private property just upstream of Coletown which gave them a six mile paddle downstream to camp. The elevated river was flowing nicely and the only slow down was log jams. Two they could duck under, the other 3-4 had to be pulled over or portaged. The day was so warm that long sleeve shirts soon came off. Perfect weather but still very cold water.

The wildlife was also enjoying the spring day. Blue Herons were nesting and painted turtles were sunning. The locals must really love deer hunting as deer stands were everywhere but no deer were seen that day. The take out is 1/8 mile from camp, in the Greenville City Park, which abuts the Prairie Ridge Meadow. Tony portaged his canoe while Wil drug his small kkkayak through the grass to camp.

Heron Rookery

Since it was still daylight, they walked around the Greenville City Park, Geocaching. After finding three or four caches and not finding two, it was to Captain D's restaurant for fish. No ground campfires are permitted at the county park so a half barrel on legs served well for a nice Indian campfire. The wood burnt hot and fast and soon it was bedtime for two folks used to rising early. The star filled sky with the 3/4 moon guided the way to sleeping bags.

Saturday morning member Tom pulled in at 6:30 am. Tony and Wil were still snoozing in the chilly, morning air. As the sun rose over the horizon they stirred with cups of coffee and tea. Talk of shuttling and the oncoming beautiful day soon had the three on the water. Putting on the Greenville at camp and paddling to St Rt 721 near a gravel pit, gave them a 15 mile trip. Greenville Creek is pretty much a seasonal creek and April is the best time to paddle it. The water was cloudy from being high but still moving along around 3.5 mph. With the mid 70 degree day animals were all over the shoreline. Geese, ducks, turtles, groundhogs, squirrels, hawks and even an owl showed their presence. There was even a mink seen swimming across the river. A female deer was lying along shore and just crouched lower without running from them. They surmised that she may have been fawning or just finished and did not want to leave the fawn. A squirrel ran up a tree limb and jumped to another tree to cross the creek. As it started to run down the second limb it just dropped off the limb, falling around 20 feet, landing very hard on the ground and then took off running. It must have been in fear of its life at seeing three strange beings floating toward it. There were more logjams and they leapfrogged with two kkkayaks and a canoe of younger folks, helping each other get through. The two young guys in the Coleman canoe capsized three times in the cold water but they did not give up ship. The saying of the day was, "one dam, two jams" in reference to the dam at Bears Mill and the two mandatory portages around logjams.

Log Jam

Gloria called Wil looking for the park as she was joining the group for the evening. On the phone as she was approaching camp she could see someone sitting in a lawn chair. No need to be scared as it was none other than Lance who drove down to visit and spend the night. The potluck theme was Asian and Wil and Gloria made chicken stir fry. There was also white rice, tia?? noodles and bbq pork to round out the dishes. As always everyone ate way too much before settling into lawn chairs in front of another warming campfire. It was very windy throughout the day but finally calmed enough to keep the flames in the fire barrel. As the world's problems were being solved one by one the chairs emptied until no bodies were left.

Sunday morning was the warmest so far and the partly cloudy sky kept the dew off the grass. Morning drinks were chugged as Wil and Gloria made a breakfast of bacon and eggs with biscuits. Oh how the club has turned into an eating machine. Tom took off to church services with Tony heading home and the rest slowly packing up. It was a fine weekend of paddling, portaging, eating and visiting with great people. Until next month...

UPDATE - - - The Tuesday after this beautiful trip we received two inches of snow in north central Ohio. If you do not like the weather in Ohio, just wait a few minutes!!


View Pictures From Greenville Creek


View Pictures From the Garst Museum