It was another wicked-wet-weekend, but five stalwart OHCRA members braved the storms to trial the NEW Maumee River Water Trail. But... I hear you say, the trip was supposed to be on the Tiffin River! Well, since the Tiffin was 4 feet above flood stage, and they were camped on the bank of the just-created Maumee River Water Trail, it would have been a shame NOT to paddle a portion of the Maumee.
Camp was set up at the newly refurbished Independence Dam State park on Thursday evening and a few rounds of cards rounded out the night. On Friday, trip leader Tom, accompanied by Harold and Tony, scouted the Tiffin River to Evansport and confirmed that it was indeed too much in flood to safely paddle. Because the wind was blowing such a gale that whitecaps were forming on the Maumee River, they were unable to paddle that river also. They resigned themselves to lunch and spirits at Barney's Bar and Grill in Evansport.
Friday was overcast, with strong winds in the morning and afternoon showers to welcome Jilinda and Ron. The trees in the campground had arranged themselves in an inconvenient manner that poor Tom was stuck in a downpour without a tarp to shelter under. It's hard to cook your venison when the skillet keeps filling with rain-water! Eventually the rain stopped and they managed to have dinner, followed by a campfire, more cards, and camaraderie - until the rain started again!
Saturday morning was a little brighter and after a good breakfast, they decided that they could paddle the Maumee from the Independence Dam to Napoleon - about 10.5 miles. They set a new club record for late starts by getting on the water at 11:30, but they managed to get to Meyerholtz Park by 1:30. The river was really moving!
They saw a few Canada geese, song birds and an eagle or two and lots of driftwood that had been swept up on the banks. Other critters were still recovering from the storms. At the take-out they got all 5 canoes (ask Tony why he brought TWO boats) lashed onto the trailer and dashed for camp as the sky's turned black. Within 15 minutes of their arrival, there was a tremendous CRACK of thunder. That settled it! - everyone dashed to break camp before the rain hit. Tony and Harold escaped, Tom got drenched again and Jilinda and Ron waited for the storm to pass. No pot-luck dinner this trip, but at least they got out on the water.
Everyone is looking forward to dryer days and the Kokosing River trip in June.