Wabash River, Indiana
8-14, 15, 16, 2015



CCC sign

Thursday 8-13-15 Jamie and her husband Jeremy (yes she does really have a husband) arrived at Ouabache State Park near Bluffton, Indiana. Sporting a deluxe, big as hell camper (as compared to tents) they sat up camp and relaxed. Jock showed up around 4 followed by Steve, driving Chuck, Murph (short for Murphy) and Tony, pulling in around 8:30 pm. They enjoyed a campfire while catching up on the social scene. It was a very warm and humid evening with mosquitoes dining on the warm blooded campers. In the middle of the night 4 legged visitors, wearing masks, invaded the camping area making off with 2 lbs of Chuck's sausage and all but one hot dog. They left all the beer, while laughing off into the sunrise.

Friday morning was still warm and the feasting mosquitoes hung around. Tom spent the evening at trip leader Lance's house in Fort Wayne but joined the campers early in the morning as Lance had to work. Talk of paddling 7 miles was delayed until Chuck and Tony went geocaching. The park has some nice trails and 4 geocaches were hidden in the park. The Miami Indians occupied this area until the 1820's when the first settlers moved in. By the 1930's the mature trees were removed and the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) had a base camp there building stone shelters and developing a game preserve. By the early 60's the game raising program was phased out and in 1962 the park was designated the Quabache State Recreation Area. Quabache is the French spelling of the word Wabash which in the Indians language means white stones, referencing the limestone streambed on parts of the river. The Indiana park system is really pricey for camping compared to Ohio and even firewood was noticeably higher.


2 kkkayaks and 5 canoes were shuttled to county road 150S for a 7 mile paddle downstream to Lynn Grove. They didn't hit the water until 1:00 pm the latest start ever. The water was nice, the weather better and the comradery the best. There wasn't much wildlife seen but the river had a nice tree lined buffer zone to give the feel of wilderness. After loading gear up it was off to Bluffton for gasoline and ice cream. Arriving back at camp, ole Ted was waiting to greet them. A cooking fire was soon started and individual dinners were cooked. Wil graced the campers with his presence along with 9 year old grandson Sebastian, who loved climbing trees. Lance came in and set up followed close to dark by Liz and Coleen. They lazed around the campfire for a while then people disappeared slowly to their tents. Around 1:20 am a heavy rainstorm with lots of lightening woke folks who lay listening to the rain beat on their tents. Staying dry in a tent with heavy rain falling is a feeling non-camping folks will never understand.

Saturday morning was wet and cool but felt great after those hot humid days. A shuttle was soon organized heading off to Lynn Grove to continue from yesterday's take out. Downtown Bluffton was the destination some 13 miles away. There was a lot more wildlife sightings including a deer with two fawns, an eagle, groundhogs, squirrels, a small fish that jumped into Jocks canoe and vultures. There were many vultures circling where the river forms the western boundary of the park. After looking around there were lots of dead fish in that area, mostly dead carp. There was no explanation as to why. The Bluffton area is home to a large Amish community. There were 4 Amish boys that looked like they camped overnight and were fishing. Their horse and buggy were tied and they seemed to be having fun. There was one point where a short portage was needed around a downed tree and Coleen said it pissed her off. Portaging is a way of life to some but not all! The take out in Bluffton has nice parking and OK river access. After loading up it was back to camp.

Tree Blockage

Cold drinks and changing of clothes was in line then time to think of the pot luck. Again it was a feast with way too much food. Little Sebastian had fun climbing trees and doing what little boys do. Everyone was jealous of his energy level. The park has 1 female and 14 male bison in an enclosure and hiking the trails took a person around their area. The day turned hot and humid and after hiking and paddling the modern showers felt nice to those who partook. Tom had to head for home after the pot luck and Ted left before the potluck. Later the usual campfire was enjoyed until all the wood was consumed.

Sunday no one wanted to paddle but a huge breakfast was cooked and served by Chuck, Liz, Jock and Steve. The club has now become an eating machine with some paddling thrown in. Lots of fun was had by all and the memories of this trip shall last until next month.

CCC Statue

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