Submitted by Ruth and Rhonda.
The weekend started on Thursday with Rhonda, Laura, Ron, Jilinda and Ruth setting up camp. The weather was glorious with highs in the '80s, lows in the 50s and low humidity. Ron, Jilinda, and Ruth chose partially shaded spots, newcomer, Laura, set up in the trees and Rhonda selected a sunny spot with a gorgeous view of the lake. Later in the evening, Brad pulled in with a pop-up camper. He had a separate site reserved away from the OHCRA group and got to enjoy the company of his neighbors. Good thing he had a bike because he was far away.
One site was reserved for the community shelter and fire circle and one level site saved for Tony and the teardrop. We're glad that you brought the camper Tony so we can visit with Alice and the three Yorkies (Muffy, Benny, and Tootsie). Speaking of dogs, we were also joined by Will and Gloria's pup, Teddy and Coleen's dog, Murphy! It was dog days at Christmas in July. Steve and Chuck pulled in with a load of firewood, dropped off the OHCRA shelter and left Steve's trailer and boats.
Tom joined us Friday morning, so the group loaded kkkayaks and canoes and headed for the Black Fork of the Mohican River just below the Charles Mill dam. The river was out of banks and running pretty fast. It was determined that it was better to paddle flatwater than risk trouble downstream. The group (Ruth, Rhonda, Laura, Tom, Brad, Ron, and Jilinda) put in at the Charles Mill public boat ramp on Rt. 430. There was still high water covering about a third of the parking area. Off we went north, under the Rt 30 bridge and up into the river. Ron and Jilinda led the way in their tandem canoe, Ruth paddled Coleen's Mad River Serenade, Laura and Brad and Rhonda paddled kkkayaks and Tom was in his homemade wooden canoe.
Everyone else arrived on Friday: Lance, Jaime, Chuck and Kerri, and her son, Justin, Tony and Alice, Coleen and Steve, Wil and Gloria and grandson Sebastian, Mike and Judy, Harold and Laurie, Ted and Connie, Mary and Eric. Brad's wife joined us Saturday evening.
Friday afternoon and evening saw a variety of activities, Farkle, Corn Hole and Poker. Rhonda passed around the words to the TOAST poem and we all surprised Wil with our group rendition. Mifflin Inn was the spot for Friday dinner as Ruth, Rhonda, Ron, Jilinda, Laura and Brad enjoyed burgers, perch and Stroh's beer. I'm pretty sure that the End Zone Bar saw a few folks from our group too.
On Saturday Wil and Lance scouted the north end of the Black Fork from Rt. 71 to Charles Mill Lake. They rounded up a group of paddlers (Lance, Sebastian, Wil, Laura, Keri, Chuck, Justin, Rhonda, Mike, and Judy) later in the afternoon and launched from the intersection of Crider Rd. and Rt. 603, paddled south on the Black Fork, under the Rt. 430 bridge and through Charles Mill Lake. The wind had picked up to 15 - 20 mph so paddling got a little bit tough. Half the group paddled to the campsites and the others aborted a little sooner. Lookout Laura! The wind picked up the OHCRA shelter and sent it flying just missing our newest camper, Laura.
By Saturday night the wind laid down and Jamie, Ron, Jilinda, Ruth, Sebastian, Coleen, Steve and Coleen's dog, Murphy enjoyed a sunset paddle around the camping peninsula. The sunset across the lake was stunning. Ruth was happy this trip because she got to try out a few different canoes: Tony's red boat, Mary's Wee Lassie, and Coleen's Mad River Serenade.
Saturday evening began with the group setting up the Christmas in July Potluck in the Campground picnic shelter rather that the OHCRA shelter. There were ample tables and electricity to charge those blasted phones. Oh boy, you should have seen the food! There were tacos, salads, Christmas cookies and desserts.
After dinner, Rhonda thanked everyone for coming and gave the rules for the White Elephant Gift Game. The stars for the show was a giant cooler in the shape of a bobber, a camp mess kit that Steve got and Sebastian stole from him. Justin was happy to receive insect repellant. There were water bottles, lanyards, jigsaw puzzles and many more items up for grabs.
There was a community breakfast on Sunday morning. Boy, do we have great cooks in this club. Tents and campers and boats got loaded up and all returned to their homes to get ready for the next outing.
Charles Mill Sunday Trip Report from Lance
On Sunday, Brad, Wil and Lance put in below the Charles Mill Lake dam. The water was swift for the first 1/2 mile or so and it was definitely a challenge to begin immediately dodging logs and limbs. It became obvious that a livery had been clearing the river for paddlers, but the recent rains had sent many small and medium trees into the water. Luckily none completely blocked the river. After the initial swift water, the river widened out and it was a pleasant speed to paddle a bit and relax a bit.
We saw a couple of bald eagles with white heads and tails. 1 left its perch over the river as Wil was going under it, making it look like it was swooping down on him, but it was just catching air and took off downstream. It was a warm sunny day. After the river crossed the valley and hit the hills on the south side it turned and narrowed and we came upon about 100 feet of 2 foot standing waves. Quite fun and bouncy, but Brad got his bow buried and some water in the cockpit. The river continued to be narrow and moved along at an enjoyable clip.
Brad had originally planned to end the trip at a particular bridge, but a livery had put no parking signs in the area, so we paddled down another mile and took out at the next bridge. That was a bit of adventure with no take out area or path down to the river, but we got the boats up and out. The trip was around 6 miles. The cars and trailers were retrieved, boats loaded and we were off; Brad heading home and Wil and Lance headed to Deer Creek for scouting.