Trip leaders Harold and Laurie met Tony, Alice and their 3 Yorkies within 5 minutes of each other at the Little Beaver Creek group camping area, 13401 Sprucevale Road, East Liverpool, Ohio. Reservations were had for site 1 which is located next to the creek and has room for tents and a little teardrop camper. At getting camp erected the four folks sat around talking until time for a naturists program at the family camping area, 6 miles away. Natures Edibles was the theme and ramps were the food. Pulling into the campground they saw lots of women all sitting around chatting. It was a club of camping girls out for the weekend. The naturist gave his talk 2 hours early as the bee lady that was giving a talk on bees didn't show up. The 4 OHCRA folks got a private talk. Ramps taste like garlic and onions and are full of vitamin C. The early settlers used spring ramps to replenish their vitamin C levels after the long winters. After the 15-minute talk it was back to camp for a fire, hotdogs and games. All went to bed at 11:00pm just as Mike and Judy arrived. They sat up camp in the dark, chilly, overcast night air.
Saturday morning was 47° but the sky was clear. Foggy mist rose from the creek creating an eerie scene. Breakfasts were cooked, eaten and shuttling plans started. 2 kkkayaks and 2 canoes only needed 2 vehicles to shuttle. The 3rd vehicle took drivers back to their cars later. The put in was at an ODNR designated launch area in the burg of Elkton. The distance back to camp was 10.5 miles on Harold's map and 11.5 miles on Tony's. They split the difference to 11 miles. They were getting ready to launch when the local ranger came by. It was boat safety inspection time. He explained that they get grants from the coast guard for performing the inspections. He was a nice fellow, but it took half an hour to write all the paperwork and everyone did receive a nice sticker to put on their watercraft. At 10:30 am they slid in the fast-moving stream.
Tony had his boy yorkie Benny with him and the chocolate brown water must have looked like dirt because 50 feet from the put in, Benny jumped off the side of the canoe plopping under the water. Tony pulled him out by the harness and that was the last time Benny tried that trick. The sun was shining nicely which helped the dog dry out and it created the perfect paddling day for 4 folks relaxing on a beautiful river. The USGS stream gage was close to 5 foot which prevented anyone from dragging in shallow areas, but it also hid the boulders close to the surface. Harold hit a rock, went sideways and flipped over. Further downstream Mike pulled the same move. Getting sideways in 4 MPH water does strange things to boats. They saw turtles, birds of all kinds, squirrels, fish jumping, heron rookery in an old huge sycamore tree and lots of tourists enjoying the state park. Lunch was at the pioneer village iron bridge, while resting on the green grass, in the bright sunny 66° air and watching other people enjoying the spring day. It just made a person glad to be alive.
At 2:30 they saw the signs announcing the camping area and were greeted by Alice and Laurie who were sunbathing the day away at camp. After getting the shuttle vehicles, Mike and Judy went hiking with the others having drinks and getting sun tans. With only 6 people the potluck should have been small but there still were plenty of leftovers. Pulled pork, potato and macaronic salads and asparagus was eaten. The fire was again rekindled and enjoyed with more games being played.
Around 11-11:30 it started to sprinkle and it rained off and on all night. It quit come morning, but the grass was wet producing wet shoes while walking around. It was Mother's Day so Tony and Alice got packed and left while Harold shuttled Mike and Judy so they could paddle from camp downstream. The campsite looked cleaner after the club left and they just don't understand how someone can camp and leave trash laying around. OHCRA will set an example for others and hopefully it will catch on!! Until next month, keep the open side up!