Sandusky River
May 8, 9, 10, 2015



Heck Bridge Sign

Trip leader Steve secured camping at the Heck's Bridge Scenic River access which is located east of McCutchenville. Making two trips from home, he brought a pot-a-pot, picnic table, fire ring and base, weed whacker and canoe trailer. This is the second year in a row that the ODNR has granted us permission to camp there. Meeting on Thursday evening was Chuck, Coleen, Steve, Tom and Tony. The weather was very hot for May being in the 90's and sunny. The mosquitoes were coming out and enjoying the nice weather also. A mesmerizing campfire was built and the crew relaxed until tent time.

Friday morning was perfect for canoeing. They wanted to put in on Tymochtee Creek and paddle a mile or so to the Sandusky but couldn't find a good access point. County road 16 bridge on the Sandusky was chosen but there was a steep drop from the bridge to the water. Working as an assembly line, canoes and gear was passed from person to person until everything was ready to load and launch. Poor Coleen stepped into her canoe and rolled right out the oppsite side. At least it was a warm day. It was 3/4 of a mile upstream, in a strong current, to the mouth of Tymochtee Creek. Chuck and Tony decided to try and made it. They reached the creek, and then started to paddle up the creek only to find a major logjam around the first bend. Meeting the other paddlers on the way back, they all headed downstream, canoeing a total of 12.6 miles back to camp. Along the way they saw 3 eagles, squirrels, groundhogs, muskrat, hawks, geese and buzzards. Lots of buzzards and 2 eagle nests. For May, the river was on the low side and muddy.

Sandusky River

Lunch was had at the Plank restaurant in McCutchenville while back at camp, members Opossum Butch and John Davidson came for a visit. Stories of days gone back were shared. Coleen had other engagements and left for home. Wil arrived just before dark and sat up camp, then joined the fun. Another campfire kept mosquitoes at bay and the location of the river area was so very quiet and peaceful that it felt like another world.

In the Saturday early morning light, song birds serenated the campers with the occasional turkey chiming in. It was warm but cloudy with rain forecast for the afternoon. The goal for the day was canoeing from camp downstream to Tiffin. New member Jim Steel joined the group around launch time and after shuttling a vehicle to the Bel Mar Bar they shoved off on the mighty Sandusky. The 9:00 am launch was the earliest in quite a while. They saw 3 more eagles and 2 nests and a Baltimore Oriole. Tony tried fishing, missing 3 strikes and netting one small catfish. Tom had better luck without a pole. A 6 inch smallmouth bass jumped into his canoe. Close to Tiffin the Sandusky is like paddling a lake. Not much current flows due to a low head dam in town. Luckily the lite breeze blowing was to their backs. The Bel Mar Bar has a nice boat ramp and since it is the last ramp before the dam it made a fine choice for stopping. The owner was having a golf outing that day and invited all of us for lunch. And the air conditioning felt great also. It was still very warm for May.

Chuck Riding Toy

After food and a couple drinks they drove back to camp where Steve, Tom and Wil cleaned up and headed off to church. Chuck and Tony went hiking in the Collier State Preserve which was just caddy corner from camp while Jim held the fort down. Around 5:00pm it started to rain for almost 2 hours. Not hard but enough to mess with the potluck. Just after the monthly potluck in drives Ralph Billows, his son Dennis and friend Sue. Everyone talked and talked and ate while spending time around the campfire.

Sunday people slowly rose with song birds again singing praise to spring. Since it was Mother's Day, Chuck and Tony headed for home while the others went upstream to the county road 35 bridge for a 6.5 mile float back to camp. Camping at Heck's Bridge is primitive but Steve made it comfortable for the OHCRA members. Until next month, keep looking "Around the Bend."

The Group of Campers

View All Pictures From the Sandusky