Little Miami River
October 12, 13, 14, 2012



Steve Wading

The last OHCRA outing of the 2012 season was on the beautiful Little Miami River. As always, the club utilized the campground at Morgan's Canoe Livery and Campground down by Morrow, Ohio. Last month the club paddled the upper section of the Little Miami from just west of Xenia to seven miles north of Corwin. The clubs normal put in is in the village of Corwin but since there was that seven miles not yet paddled (except for Harold and Laurie who missed the unmarked takeout last month) Tony recruited Steve and Tom to paddle with him on Friday. Ted provided shuttle service for them.

The four met at the campground Thursday evening and enjoyed a hot campfire to counter the chilly effects of an October fall evening. After socializing a while, it was to warm sleeping bags while coyotes serenaded in the darkness. An owl was vocal early in the morning as the gray dawn light grew brighter. The fire was re-stroked, to ward off the 41 degree temperature, as each individual ate a hearty breakfast. Since it does not get light until after 7:00am, there wasn't any hurry for the shuttle.

Ted took the three guys, two canoes and one kkkayak up to Roxanna-Burlington Road and watched them paddle out of sight at 10:15am. He was meeting them in three hours at the Corwin canoe access point. Steve was paddling a kkkayak for only the second time. He soon found out that you use a different set of muscles than canoeing. As he was trying to get in the kkkayak at the put in, he ended up knee deep in the water. Laughing, Tony grab his camera and ran to the bank to snap a picture, only to fall off the bank into the weeds. What a way to start a trip. The water was 3 to 4 inches higher than last month, but still lower than normal. No one had to exit their craft but paint was left on lots of stones. The only item in the way of clear paddling was the low head dam a mile upstream of Corwin and even with the portage around the dam; they still greeted Ted at 12:45pm. After loading gear it was off to Morrow where lunch was had at the Flat Rock Tavern.


Back at camp Ted and Tony took a bike ride while Steve and Tom relaxed. When the weekend started for Connie, she joined the men and after dark Harold and Laurie staggered in. They were an hour and half behind schedule due to an accident on Interstate 71 that had traffic all backed up. The evening was cooler than the night before and the campfire felt great, reflecting much welcomed warmth to bodies used to a hot, dry summer. The weather forecast for Saturday was sunshine and 72 degrees, however, Sunday was predicted rain and high winds. Based on that forecast, the community breakfast planned for Sunday was moved ahead to Saturday morning. The shuttle just had to be delayed.

No one wanted to leave the warm sleeping bags until 7:30am and after the fire was relit, drinks drunk and the mountain man breakfast was cooked, the temperature started to rise. Jock showed up for a day outing with the members but he was going bike riding instead of paddling due to back problems. Two trip options were planned for the day, a 10 mile or 13 mile paddle. Steve, Tom and Tony choose the 13 mile while Ted-Connie and Harold-Laurie floated the 10 miles. 10:45am was launch time, the latest in recent club memory. But the day was now beautiful. With the sun shining, the 70's warm air and the wonderful fall colors it was just a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful day. It was one of those days that make's a person glad to be alive. The wildlife enjoyed the day also as many turtles, ducks, birds of all type and deer were rambling about. Poor Steve got caught in a current that flowed under a 10-12 inch log sticking out of the water. Tom hit it first and Steve kind of knocked him off it as Steve just rolled that kkkayak into the water. After emptying the cockpit, it was back to paddling. Wet clothes were OK with the warm temps. Near the village of Oregonia lots of tents were set up along the banks of the river. Come to find out there is a motorcycle climb call "Devils Cascade Motorcycle Climb." Lots of folks came out for the adventure to be held the next day.

Harold portaging canoe

Since Morgan's Canoe Livery was having their Haunted Raft Rides, the club decided to take out where Morgan's put in the rafts, which is close to 100 yards upstream of their regular take out. The 10 mile folks ended a mile ahead of the 13 mile guys with everyone back in camp around 3:15pm. Steve and Tom headed off to church while the rest just milled around camp and relaxed before the big Oktoberfest themed potluck. As Ted and Connie arrived back from getting the shuttle vehicle, Tony served a creamed of potato and leek soup as an appetizer. Soon the activity started on the main meal and there was sauerkraut and sausage, mac and cheese, green beans, apple crisp, salsa and chips and two pumpkin pies with whip cream. As the day neared an end and the early darkness set in, the fire was leveled off to a nice warm flame. Being as warm as it was they didn't need a big bonfire. Jock said goodbyes and headed for home as the others played the left, right, center game. Later the Ohio State Buckeyes came on the radio but it was on an AM channel with bad reception, Connie used her, smarter than us phone, and gave updates on the score. So was the end to a beautiful, beautiful October fall day.

Sunday morning was still warm and the rain held off as morning drinks and camp disassembly took place. They thought last month's trip was the earliest, as far as departing, in club history, but October's camp was down and people leaving at 9:00am. So ends another wonderful paddling season in OHCRA's canoe world. Even with the lack of rain, the high temperatures and the price of gasoline, OHCRA members found the time and ambition to join together and enjoy the sport of paddling the streams of the great state of Ohio. Until next year, when we again paddle "Around the Bend"........

Paddle Reflection

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