Mad River
July 18, 19, 20, 2014




Enon Beach Campground in Enon, Ohio was the base camp for the weekend and when Tony arrived on Friday morning the place was quite. That is as quite as it can get when you are nestled between State Route 4 and Interstate 70. Trip leaders Ted and Connie pulled in soon after and tents and tarps went up. The two guys headed out to scout starting and stop points along the paddling route. When they got back Jock and Tom were setting up. Liz, then Harold and Laurie all arrived and camp got comfortable. Everyone was hungry and Tony wanted to visit the Yellow Springs Brewery, so off the crew went for pizza and craft beer in Yellow springs. That was, after getting Tony's keys out of his locked vehicle. Thanks Ted! When they made it back to camp Liz erected a tent for Coleen who arrived after dark. Games were played and the campfire blazed with member Steve and his wife dropping by for a visit and donating some wood. It wasn't long before a light rain fell. And fall it did for most of the afternoon and evening.

Saturday morning was damp and water droplets fell off the leaves of the trees, but the rain had stopped. The overcast sky kept the temperatures on the cool side which was great for paddling. The club decided to launch from the bridge on Enon road just in front of the campground. The only drawback was carrying the 8 canoes and one kkkayak down the steep, rocky slope to the water. Johnathan and his son Josh joined the paddlers and it was nice to see how much Josh had grown since his younger paddling days. The water was swift at the put in spot with only one canoe departing at a time. A shuttle vehicle was transported downstream to Huffman Lake, a distance of 13.6 miles, where a person can paddle from the river into the lake. A real nice parking area was available.

Launching Canoes

The Mad River really is mad between Springfield and Dayton. Poor Josh capsized his kkkayak 3 times in the swift curvy river. At one point a forked tree was in the water facing upstream. The current pulled Josh into the tree forcing him out of the kkkayak and one of the main limbs went into the cockpit of the kkkayak. The force of the water made freeing that poor boat very difficult. Further downstream Tom got stuck on a rock in a shallow area with his home built cedar strip canoe, right in the middle of the boat. Afraid that the force of the water would snap the wooden vessel in half, he bailed out and gear started drifting quickly downstream. Not to be out done, Ted went over in another challenging spot scraping his knee and losing his glasses. On Josh's 3 swim he lost a kkkayak paddle. It turned out to be an expensive day for some.

They saw lots of wildlife such as a mink, ducks, geese, blue herons, squirrels, signs of beaver, even a potbelly pig. The pig was a pet of one of the neighbors in the campground. Tony nicked named it Bacon. At one point in the trip there is a concrete bridge used by a stone quarry with the river flowing through culverts. You must portage around the bridge as it is a very dangerous area and could pin a paddler against the concrete causing death. Obey the sign that says to portage. After reaching the shuttle vehicles everyone seemed tired and off to camp they went, thankful that the sun stayed behind clouds the whole trip. Later in the afternoon it did finally show its self.

Truck Dam

Back at camp everyone relaxed in the shade and shot the breeze until potluck time. As always there was an abundance of food and everyone sat around with stuffed bellies. Non-paddling friends Kevin and Pam came out and visited for a while. The guys played poker shuffling quarters back and forth while others enjoyed a campfire. The night air was beautiful and slowly people drifted away to their tents.

Sunday morning was foggy and the air was still. As the fog burned off, it promised to be a great day so a 7-8 mile trip was planned. They shuttled to where St. Rt. 41 crosses the river, on the west side of Springfield. Mad River Canoe Livery has an acess there but wasn't open when the shuttle vehicles arrived, so canoes and gear were lifted over a fence to reach the river. As soon as the last ones were over, here they came and unlocked the gates. The river didn't seem as Mad upstream as the day before but it was still moving fast enough to be fun. At the 7 mile point is the canoe livery and for $5.00 per canoe you could take out there. Only Jodie, Liz and Tom choose that option. The other tight wad, cheapo people, paddled another mile further and took out at the previous days put in. They just had to carry the craft up the rocky hill. Camp was dismantled soon after paddling with everyone parting ways. It was a great weekend with 13 members coming out and enjoying paddling and socializing. Until next month.....

Dewy Spider Web

View All Pictures From the Mad