Kokosing River
June 2, 3, 4, 5, 2016




Thursday evening Tony, his grandson Addison and one year old Yorkie pup Benny arrived at the Kokosing Valley Campground and sat up the clubs new 10' x 20' canopy. Yes the club now owns a canopy that they can eat under even in thunderstorms. The weather was sunny but very hot and when the two guys finished with the four man job they were really sweating. Soon after trip leader Chuck pulled in. Tents were set and talk of watching the Cleveland Cavilers on a television, somewhere, were had. Chuck's friend Kevin aka "Magoo" joined the 3 and they all headed for Hidden Lakes Golf Course by recommendation. The golf course did not have cable so no basketball there. Up the road in the village of Howard was the Milton Hilton, a local restaurant/bar grill. Lots of TV's and food was had. The Cavilers lost the game big time and it was midnight before the four got back to camp.

Friday morning was beautiful and warm. It was decided to canoe the 9 miles from camp down to the merger with the Mohican River. The Kokosing and Mohican merge to form the Walhonding River. When Tony got in his car to shuttle, the brake pedal went all the way to the floor. There wasn't any brake fluid in the master cylinder. After a side trip to the local Dollar General for fluid it was off for the shuttle. Back at camp the 2 tandem canoes shoved off from the campground launch site at 9:46 am. The group saw 4 eagles or the same one four times, a muskrat, lots of soft shell turtles, squirrels and they heard the sounds of cicadas. It's been 17 years since the last emergence of the cicadas and now they are back in masses. At the Nazarene College in Gambier, a few miles west of camp, their empty shells are piled high around certain trees.

Snowing Cottonwoods

The cottonwood trees were snowing their seeds and just floating softy to the ground like snowflakes. Addison tried fishing but it's so hard to fish from a moving canoe. Chuck and Magoo took the short hike to see the Honey Run waterfalls which were beautiful and at one point the paddlers saw two guys panning for gold with a strange looking machine. The water level was perfect for canoeing and soon the four arrived at the take out.

Back at camp they relaxed, played cards and Addison even went swimming at the campground pool. Later they tried their hands at the golf driving range. The campground has an old gravel pit on the property with a small pond in it. Two old canoes are anchored at distances from the tees and drivers try to hit the canoes. Supper later was hot dogs, baked beans and chips. Wil called and was close to camp when Chuck realized he didn't have the baked beans. Wil stopped at the same Dollar General and provided beans for supper. Magoo had to go home but at dark Lance arrived rounding out the group at five paddlers. The campfire drew everyone around until late into the evening. Around 5:30 in the morning it started to sprinkle.

Kokosing River

As the skies transformed from black to gray, the soft pitter-pater of rain drops soothingly awoken the club members. No one was in a hurry to get moving but weather radar showed promise of drier skies. After a slow breakfast they decided to shuttle up to Big Run road and canoe 9 miles back to camp. Chuck stopped in Gambier and picked up his son Sam for the paddling trip. Once on the water the weather cleared and it was a gorgeous day. No sun to bake fair skin but warm enough to be pleasant. That stretch of the Kokosing has more bends and turns creating a more skilled effect which caused the paddlers to work harder at staying upright. Any lower water levels and you would be striking rocks and higher levels would slam you into the strainers. At the take out kids from rental canoes were swimming and they almost got ran over as the paddlers docked their boats. As Tony was portaging his canoe back to the campsite, his portage yoke broke, from rotted ends, striking him in the head and shoulders. He did survive but there was some cussing involved.

Relaxing at camp was the next line of business in addition to hitting the driving range again. This time Wil participated and he can really hit a golf ball. He also could hit the canoe in the pond showcasing his talent. The others tried but no one could match Wil. Later in the evening they all played music. Sam, Tony and Wil used their cell phones to play songs from You Tube. Using a clay tile with a stove windshield as a backer they amplified the sound and rocked the evening away. The monthly potluck had a sweet, sour and sticky theme with Chuck making chicken wings. Hum, Hum good. Settling around the campfire the crew whittled away the night.

Sunday morning was clear and beautiful. Wil and Lance wanted to paddle so they shuttled themselves upstream 3 miles for a relaxing float back to camp. Only problem was they couldn't find the right access spot and ended up in Gambier. Not wanting to do 10 miles, they just took a visit to Honey Run Falls instead. The rest of the crew packed up and headed for home. The Kokosing is a beautiful, clear running stream that is a pleasure to paddle. The club will be back in a couple years to paddle the Kokosing River once again.


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