Another great OHCRA adventure is in the books! Ruth planned a great trip, with the group staying at Wolf Creek campground (which we had nearly to ourselves) and a Saturday paddle down the Sandusky River. Unfortunately, Ruth had to do a last-minute pivot and couldn't attend, so Mary, Eric, and Steve helped out. Speaking of last-minute pivots, one of Mary and Eric's dogs got sick, so they cancelled a previous trip and arrived at Wolf Creek Thursday afternoon, a day early, with both dogs in tow - the dogs first OHCRA adventure!
Friday (the 13th, for the Triskaidekaphobics among us) was hot and sunny. Mary and Eric went out exploring and got back for a much-needed nap, but things got lively quickly as Laura, Ann, and Tony all pulled in. They were soon followed by Jamie and Jeremy, Steve, Ron and Jilinda, Lance, and Tom. Colleen finally made it from PA, and the group was complete. This week was the tail end of International Migratory Bird Week, so we were treated with countless orioles and rose-breasted grosbeaks flying through the campground. After a long discussion and a game of NIMBY (not in my backyard), we finally decided on Jamie and Jeremy's site for the group fire. Out came the hot dogs, gumbo, beer, more hot dogs, beer, and snacks. Oh, and a bit of something in a flask, too. Great fire and great conversation, as always. Gordie and Bodhi (the Grindahl dogs) met Tootsie and Murphy (no introduction needed), and after a bit of butt-sniffing and dog shenanigans, all was well in the animal kingdom. We figured out the shuttle for the morning, and eventually, all but the heartiest among the group crashed for the night.
Saturday was another hot day with the sun peeking through the clouds. The group left around 9, with Mary and Ann staying behind.
As the group of paddlers were getting their boats ready for the shuttle, Bill Johnson pulled in, making for 10 total boats, 2 tandem canoes, 5 solo canoes and 3 kkkayaks. With everyone's boats loaded they drove a mile north to the Wolf Creek Canoe access and left return vehicles, then headed south to the Steyer Nature Preserve off county road 33. There is no good river access at the campground.
Seneca County maintains the Steyer Nature Preserve and the river access had been up graded with concrete blocking to help launch canoes and protect the bank from eroding. The short carry to the water wasn't too bad. The water levels on the river were wonderful, the weather sunny and warm, the current adequate and the wildlife abundant. There were turtles, wood ducks, geese, 3 eagles, an osprey, raccoon, groundhog, Baltimore Orioles, cardinals and of course dogs. The 8.05-mile trip started at 10:10 am and was over at 1:15 pm. 3 hours to go 8.05 miles means they averaged 2.68 Mph. The one drawback to paddling that area is no river access for nature calls. The banks are kind of steep and there were no sandbars due to the water level.
After the group returned, snacks, naps, and conversation were in order. Tony, Laura, and Tom left to go to the Tiffin Brewery because, well, brewery. Judy stopped by on her bike and had a chance to catch up. We started prepping dinner and were excited to see Liz pull up with Ruth, Cobi and Tod in tow! They made it to a picnic table just in time, as the sky darkened fast then opened up to a serious rainstorm. Steve ran around and got enough tarps to create a protected area for us to eat and share dinner. The potluck theme was "Scary Food." Ron and Jilinda made "Brains and Eyeballs" (aka tagliatelle and meatballs), Tom made venison stroganoff (scary if said in your best Dracula voice), Eric and Mary brought scary vegetables (a skeleton and Frankenstein), and others donated the usual yummy fare. The hands down favorite food of the evening was Tony's homegrown grilled asparagus. Good thing Liz came because our scary meal was topped off with scary cat cupcakes. (Yum!) The weather calmed down enough for us to have a fire and hang out.
We had a slow Sunday morning, except for Tony, who left early. Jamie made a delicious breakfast casserole which we enjoyed before breaking camp. It was a fun weekend and we look forward to more time together this summer