Kokosing River
March 23, 24, 25, 26, 2012



Kokosing River in March

March weather was way above normal for so early in the year. It was 84 degrees on the 22nd when OHCRA started the 2012 canoeing season. After paddling the Kokosing River last fall in very low water, it was decided to try it again in the spring. Tom was first to arrive at the Kokosing Valley Campground. Ted met Tom and Tony pulled in also with Liz joining the group after night fall. After listening to the Ohio State Buckeyes beat the Cincinnati Bearcats in NCAA basketball it was to the tents, in 60 degree weather.

In the morning it was damp everywhere due, to lots of dew. The four were going to paddle on a Friday from Mt. Vernon back to the campground which was 17-17.5 miles. They had trouble finding a place to launch near Memorial Park because of construction in the area. They finally found a designated ODNR boat ramp and were on the river at 10:00am. It was a beautiful, partly sunny day in the 70's. The water was flowing nicely and rocks were not a problem at all. The USGS stream gauge was around four foot. The quartet saw lots of wildlife including, eagle, eight deer, muskrat, turtles, squirrels, groundhogs, kingfishers, hawks, herons, vultures, a bullfrog and a tick. With an average speed of 4.25 miles per hour they made the 17 miles in four hours, including a lunch stop.

Ted's Tarp

Back at camp thunder was heard in the distance. The weather forecast was for rain and some heavy rain all weekend. Individual suppers were cooked and consumed before the rains hit. Wil called and said it was raining too hard to see as he was driving over. Ted had brought a huge tarp, maybe 40' x 30' and it was erected to help ward off the coming moisture. It did start raining but not real hard, just the start-stop type. Tom and Liz would drag their lawn chairs out to the campfire, then bring them back in, then out again and so forth. Ted and Tony couldn't help but laugh at them. Paul K showed up right at dark and got his tent sat up in between showers, then Wil came in pulling his T@b camper. Everyone sat around listening to more NCAA basketball on Tony's crank-up radio. Two Ohio teams were beaten but they did play great sweet 16 games. Around 10:00pm everyone was heading to bed as Colleen arrived. Now there were eight OHCRA members in attendance.

The night was again warm at 60 degrees with record setting Ohio temperatures. Around 5:00am the rains came again. Only lasting a little while it was over when people started emerging from their dens. During breakfast it was decided to paddle from camp all the way to the Mohawk Dam, a total of 16.5 miles. Scattered showers were forecast all day with a high of 65. Tony, Ted and Paul shuttled vehicles downstream. With all the rain the parking area was muddy. Paul got his four wheel drive truck stuck. It was left until after paddling due to needing a shovel to help get it freed.

Back at camp Lance joined the group for the day's trip. Five canoes and two kkkayaks launched from the campground at 9:45am. The water was swift at 4.5 mph. Just downstream of Millwood there is a gravel/stone quarry. Lots of rocks were scattered across the river creating a nice set of rapids. With the high water it was fast and unforgiving. Wil took a dump in his kkkayak. Dam rocks. Just below the rapids is the Honey Run County Park and waterfall. Everyone stopped for pictures with Ted taking a group picture. They sure acted like tourists.

Honey Run Waterfall

The rest of the day was great for paddling. No rain fell the whole trip or for the rest of the day. Saw more wildlife such as deer, eagles, turkeys, ducks and those pesky geese. After reaching the Mohawk Dam, Paul's truck was quickly freed and it was back to camp for refreshments. Everyone relaxed until time for the potluck.

Italian was the theme and trip leader Tony had a big pot of spaghetti. All sorts of side dishes followed, meatballs, salad, bread, pickled veggies, cookies and even Italian wine. A feast fit for an Italian queen. After clean up, it was campfire time and more NCAA Ohio State basketball. Not the sort of thing OHCRA does at outings but with OSU in the top eight, we just had to listen. It was a fine evening with a fine fire and OSU winning and advancing to the final four. After the game it was off to their cubby holes for the night.

Sunday morning was cloudy and very damp. No rain was forecasted but the saturated ground and air had all the equipment wet. Paul cooked Italian sausage for everyone and Wil provided the sour dough bread to go along. Talk turned to paddling and only Paul and Lance agreed to go. They were shuttled upstream around five miles then the rest of the club headed for home. It was a great March weekend for being on the water and using those muscles that were dormant for the winter. Until next month on Ohio Brush Creek and hopefully more great weather we hope to see more OHCRA paddlers. Please join us!

Kokosing and Mohican Merging

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