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mfdanko99 04-14-2020 06:47 PM

TCT Memories
April is usually a great month for club trips, but this year has been tough. Jessica and myself got a great paddle on Conneaut Creek in.

I was at work today and was remembering some of the club trips. The ones you will never forget about!!!!

1-This will always be the best paddle ever, the 2011 Beaver Creek trip. We paddled it at 8.7ft the highest I have ever done it. The best whitewater trip I have ever done. I did some swimming and rescuing YSU students with other club members (JP & Jonathan come to mind).
My biggest memory of the trip was at Eagle Rapid and getting in the middle of a haystack wave and turning around and seeing the bottom ( I mean the BOTTOM!!) of JP’s Canoe as he was coming off of that wave and thinking paddle faster. (only if I had my go pro back then)

2- Was my first time meeting the club was during the club picnic. I was doing a solo paddle from the Labrae Ball fields (before Swift Park was around) to canoe city. I came around the bend were eagle creek meets the Mahoning and all I saw was a wall of canoes and kayaks. Everyone was so friendly and invited me back to canoe city for a great meal and became a member that day.

3-2008 was my first chili chilly paddle, first time paddling in December. Lots of great chili chilly paddles from upper 60 degree’s in 2015 to a good snow storm in 2016

4- Paddling at night! This was completely new to me and I love it. We use to launch at Point Park and go up river on Lake Milton. My first one It stormed really bad as we gathered and was about to leave when it stopped raining and enjoyed a great paddle.
The other great night club paddle was my first lighting bug paddle on Lake Newport.
Both of those events hold a special place in my heart. Both events in later years were a first paddle at night in a canoe with Jessica.
At Lighting Bug run we SMASHED into a rock after we turned around at shields road to head back through the only ripple and laughed nonstop about it.
Then at the moonlight paddle with Jessica and Tori in the canoe was a blast. Watching Tori trying to figure out what we were doing was so funny to me.

5- 2014 Allegheny River at Tionesta Camping. Near the end of the trip there is a big wave train. Everyone else went right and Jessica & myself hit it straight on and got swept off our seats as the front of the old aluminum canoe got ripped apart. Soon after another group who saw us; did the same thing with the same fate.
As my little buddy Allan says that was the day Jessica broke the boat :)
We were able to repair it with duct tape, zip screws and wire and still made a 9 mile trip on Sunday down the Tionesta creek.

So many other memories of great paddles of the past, but those stick out in my mind the most.
Looking forward to making many more memories with the club!!!

How to hear about your memories

BandanaDan 04-14-2020 10:08 PM

Mike, I was near the end of a 3 day trip last fall when that rapids at Tionesta took me by surprise. I flipped and had a long swim with the boat to shore while a couple of locals jumped in a motorboat and chased down my pack that was headed for Pittsburgh. Next time I'll know enough to stay right!

JPTolson 04-19-2020 03:58 PM

Memorable Times with TCT
Following Mike’s lead as we bide our time during COVID-19 restrictions, here are some of my most memorable times with TCT since joining in the fall of 2008.

1. Little Beaver Creek, April 17, 2011. For anyone who was on this trip, it has to be seared into their memory. The water was high, swift and muddy and some of the standing waves were huge. (A kayaker flipped bow backwards over stern when his play boat went up the face of a standing wave at Eagle Rapids.) At 8.7 feet, we probably should have looked for an alternative trip or instead gone for a hike. But miraculously we survived seven or eight swims and a serious kayak pin in which the boater was swept under a large tree and mercifully delivered whole on the downstream side. Mike Danko somehow tethered himself from shore to reach the boat and get it free while Jonathan Burrows attended to the kayaker. I recall having just a second to decide whether to go left or right of the kayaker, who, for a time was splayed across the tree that her boat was pinned under and that she would eventually go under. I went left and soon found myself in trouble with a boat full of water. Luckily I was able to empty the canoe, haul it over another big tree in the water and put the kayaker in the bow to paddle for the rest of the trip.

2. Neshannock Creek, May 4, 2014. This was a fantastic trip! The water level, current, weather, scenery, and time of year all combined perfectly for a classic spring river run.

3. Grand River, April 7, 2013. The river banks still had the look of winter but the air temperature was in the 60s and it was very windy to the point of occasionally getting blown upstream. We pulled over for lunch on river left and most of us were sitting on a log facing the river. I had pulled my canoe onto the bank and it was canted at an awkward-looking angle. A sudden gust of wind picked up my boat (all 80 pounds!) and sent it flying. I watched in horror as it bounded twice, traveling about 20 feet, before coming to a stop just short of Betka who could have been hurt, and just missing Jim Bozdog who was also nearby. Most everyone who was eating lunch saw the boat go flying and agreed they had never seen a boat picked up like that by the wind before.

4. Ashtabula River, April 9, 2017. This trip was part of the club’s whitewater weekend, and it was a blast! There was rapid after rapid, nearly constant class 2 action the entire seven miles of the run. Near the end of the trip my forearms were so fatigued that I couldn’t correct the boat angle to avoid side surfing a small curler/keeper wave. I nearly flipped only to be bailed out by Mike Danko in his kayak who gave my boat just enough of a bump to free the Chrysler Newport. But now I suffer in perpetuity the indignity of an open boater being saved by a double-bladed paddler!:o

5. Allegheny River, September 21-22, 2019/Buckaloons camper. This stands out for two reasons: 1) The outstanding weather, camping, camaraderie and paddling all weekend and 2) missing the take out on the first leg of Saturday’s run. Rich and Patty Allen and their friend Dee Dee did an outstanding job organizing this trip and cooking delicious meals. On Saturday’s run, the plan was to paddle from Betts Park in Warren, PA, to the campground at Buckaloons where we were all staying. There we would have lunch and decide who wanted to paddle another 12 miles to the Bonnie Brae access. Mary Kane and I were chatting and enjoying the surroundings so much that WE MISSED THE TAKE OUT! It wasn’t until we were about a mile down river that Sue called Mary to give us the news. So we were committed to the extra miles whether we wanted to or not! Rich and Stan hopped in the Allen’s canoe, met us, and we all paddled the rest of the way. And we were glad that we did because it was a beautiful stretch of river on a beautiful day. Needless to say, Mary and I were met with some hearty guffaws when we ambled into camp that evening.

There are many other wonderful memories of club trips and fellow paddlers in the 11 years I have belonged to the club. These are some that stand out. I hope a few others will share some of theirs.

SOS57 04-30-2020 10:27 PM

TCT Memories
Quick correction for JP on the 2011 Beaver Creek run. Wasn't me that gets credit for assisting. I missed this run. I got up to go, checked the river height and figured it was a no go. I wasn't going to waste the trip down that far and not paddle. However if I'd known it would happen I'd have been right there in the middle of you, probably upside down sharing the risks and pleasures along with all the other "all weather" paddlers.

As for memories, I have never had a paddle I didn't love. Sunshine, rain, snow, cold. Just being on the water (and in it) is great and doing it with the TCT crew just makes it better. The specials are any oernighters or camping runs. The best being our extended weekends at Buckaloons.

Everyone stay healthy and happy, and I'll see you all as soon as we can reasonably put another trip together.

mfdanko99 05-01-2020 04:43 AM

I was the one we tied a rope to and jumped in and got the kayak free. Never did find her paddle

JPTolson 05-01-2020 06:15 AM

Stan and Mike,
Thanks for correcting the record of that boat rescue.

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