Thread: TCT Memories
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Old 04-19-2020, 03:58 PM   #3
JPTolson
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Default 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!

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.

Last edited by JPTolson; 05-01-2020 at 06:16 AM.
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