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Old 12-31-2017, 01:14 PM   #1
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Default 2017 Paddling Year High Points and Low Points

As we have done on this forum since 2011, now is a good time to look back on the 2017 paddling season and reflect on our personal high points and low points. I hope other club members will share some of their best and best-be-forgotten experiences during the past year. Below are mine in order of significance. Happy New Year and good paddling to all in 2018!


2017 Paddling Year in Review
High Points and Low Points!


1. Ashtabula River

What a great trip on a PFD (personal first descent) as part of the club’s whitewater weekend! The combination of scenery, weather, whitewater (class two+) was outstanding. This is a beautiful run! There was near-constant action, causing some arm fatigue to set in along the way (see low point 2 below), but what a reward to be able to paddle this gem. So grateful for Mike Danko leading us down the river and showing us the lines.

2. Connoquenessing Creek

This section of the Connie was another PFD and another class two whitewater gem. It’s hard to believe it took seven years in the club before discovering this run. Thanks to Bruce and Dianne Ambrose for the inspiration to get out in the middle of the week on an unseasonably warm day in February when air temps reached the 60s.

3. Mahoning River

The club’s Lowellville to Edinburg run in October was my first time on the water in three months. So when paddling trips are few and far between, each one becomes a little more special. Plus it was just great to be out again with paddling friends, see how much Mike had progressed in OC-1, and play in the rapid below Route 224. Does anyone know if there is a name for that rapid?

4. Mahoning River

The Paddle Ohio Event from Swift Park to Canoe City in July was, by far, the trip with the greatest number of paddlers that I had ever participated in. It was kind of amazing that 80 paddlers took part in this chance to showcase the Mahoning River Water Trail, and it was neat that TCT had a good turnout to provide support for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Trumbull Metroparks.


1. Low-head Dam Drownings

News of four kayaker drownings–two on the Ohio River in PA and two on the Scioto River in Ohio–was another sad and sobering reminder of the dangers of low-head dams. Please continue to make friends, family, and new paddlers aware of the life-threatening hazard posed by these drowning machines.

2. Side Surf Near Swim

After miles of near continuous action on the Ashtabula River run, my arms were so fatigued I was unable to perform the necessary strokes to stay out of a small curler/keeper wave. The boat was soon stuck side surfing this wave, causing a couple of upstream lurches that threatened to put me in the drink and sweep the boat down river or, worse, cause it to be pinned. But Mike came to the rescue with a very timely and well-placed bump to the bow with his kayak to dislodge the canoe from the wave. But I will likely hear from BobK for the rest of my days on this earth about the time a kayak had to come to the aid of me and my canoe!

Last edited by JPTolson; 12-31-2017 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 01-01-2018, 01:18 PM   #2
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What a year 2017 has been for paddling, between to much water and then not enough it has been a hit and miss year.
1-Canceling the Grand River Twice-Once in April at flood levels and October not enough water.
2-Canceling French Creek due to much water
3-Hurting my knee playing soccer in November making paddling the canoe hard at the Chilly Chili Paddle

Highs- So many great paddles for the year with TCT and side paddles.

TCT Trips-
1) Finally getting JP, Ron on the Ashtabula River Whitewater section. For so many years I been wanting to get them on my favorite whitewater river in our region. We were joined by Matt Brady, Paul Issac & Jessica Hoffart on an Amazing day.

2) ODNR Mahoning Paddle. I loved helping with a state paddle, and then having huge turn out that set a new state record (80 paddlers). That just made my summer :)

3) Beaver Creek Whitewater weekend, I love are normal Beaver Creek Trips but we were able to catch it just below 6 ft. that made a lot of great waves.

4) October Mahoning Lowellville to Edinburg - Just a great trip on the Mahoning

5) is a Tie between Club Picnic and Color run with Picnic.- Both had a great picnic before/after the paddles but I just love being on the Mahoning River.

Side Trips-
1) February- Called off work to meet up with JP, Bruce & Dianne Ambrose and Paul Issac for a great trip down the Whitewater Section of the Connoquenessing Creek

2) French Creek- Jess & I made it to French Creek in June at one of the lowest levels, but no scraping. Had a blast and we used the local livery .

3) July Trip to Springfield Ohio. In a short get away trip we paddled
-Buck Creek Whitewater Park area
-Little Miami River (National & State Scenic Section) (I wasn't all that impressed- The Mahoning is right there with it in my opinion)
-Mad River Through Springfield Ohio

4)Thanksgiving Paddle with Jessica around Punderson Lake

5) Learning and Executing solo canoeing in my Old Town Scout. Starting to apply what Ron & JP has been showing me in Swift Water Solo Canoeing. ( Now only if I can get my knee back to normal & Yes ken I have a doctors appointment made)
Mahoning River-Home of the Trumbull Canoe Trails 1975-2018 43 years
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Old 01-27-2018, 11:17 PM   #3
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So, Jodi and I began the year with a trip to Warren for the roll class. While we didn’t personally do any rolling, we did indeed appreciate the generosity of the school district for allowing the club to use the pool, which was a great mid-winter diversion.

Our next outing was the ice breaker. It was great to get out on an unseasonably warm day. I paddled, and Jodi helped with the shuttle. As I recall, a spring rain shower even held off until we all got off the water and loaded up the boats.

The FOM event at the B&O went well. This was one of the few times I had the tandem kayak out this year. It was another good turn-out, and I didn’t get too sun burned this year.

The month of June found us pulling the old canoe out of storage for the trip up to Presque Isle. We went up to Erie a day early and enjoyed the bike trail, then took to the lagoons the next day. We did get chased out of the water by some ominous clouds and gusty winds, but all-in-all we had a great weekend.

The picnic paddle in July was some of the best weather of the season, and we had a great group on the water. The picnic brought out both some new friends and old friends as well, and we all enjoyed the bountiful picnic.

The trip to Emlenton for the Foxburg run was special for us this year. Jodi’s dad joined the club a year-or-so ago. He is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys boating, and has had some heart troubles. This year, he and I took to his canoe, with me in the stern to alleviate some of the work of paddling. Jodi and her step-mother were in our tandem kayak, which really gave Jodi a chance to steer the boat for a change. The weather was as good as one could hope, the Allegheny Grill provided a delicious lunch, and the club had a great turn-out for this increasingly popular float.

The summer found both Jodi and I shopping the internet for boats. Jodi began to look for a single kayak of her own, and I was in search of a canoe worthy of a canoe camping trip. I’ve been admiring Jimbo’s spring float down Tionesta Creek, and hope to be there in 2018. I found an Old Town Tripper in New Jersey, but getting it would require an out-and-back-in-one-day trip. And so I did. I got my dad to ride shot-gun, and a cheese steak lunch in Philly later, we were now a four boat household.

The trip from the Mahoning River onto the Beaver River was closer to home for us, and our first time on the north end of the Beaver. The Beaver had some challenging currents to steer through, which kept us on our toes. We took out a little earlier than the rest of the participants, and as it turned out, those currents did eventually create some carnage. Despite the currents and carnage, I think everyone had a great day on the water.

On Labor Day, we borrowed a kayak from Jodi’s dad, so we could float the Connoquenessing out of Zelienople. The gauge was only 1.5, but there were plenty of other folks on the creek. This gave Jodi a feel for being in a single kayak, and when she gave a “Ya-Hoo!!!” going through a wave train, I knew for sure that we would indeed be adding another boat to the stable.

We are not the most experienced campers, but when the Buckaloons trip came around, we were ready. I swear we were prepping gear for a week. We had bailed-out of this trip in previous years due to weather, but the stars aligned this year, and were bright in the sky. And we had a great time camping and paddling. We did the ball fields to Buckaloons run with the club, and the next day Jodi and I broke from the group, and used the outfitter to allow us to do the float from the dam back down to Warren. We had not been to Kinzua before, and didn’t feel up to the challenge of the ten mile float down to Tidioute.

Jodi got her new Wilderness Aspire 10.5 from ORE in time for the Pittsburgh paddle, rounding out our fleet at five boats. For better or for worse, we were still having unseasonably warm days in late September. We lead the club down the Allegheny and onto the Ohio for an eventful six mile run. The speed boats were on the river, taking in the last of the great weather days, and creating some wakes. On the Allegheny, club members had to assist a kayaker who had been rolled out of his boat by the wakes. Near the take-out, a large speed boat came along at high speed, making for some more waves that were easily cresting at three feet. We all stayed afloat, even Jodi on the maiden voyage of her Aspire.

The Mahoning was a great backdrop of colors for our fall color float. Jodi and I were both there in our singles, and after the up-and-back float, we all enjoyed some camaraderie and a nice late-in-the-season picnic.

For the chilly chili run, Jodi helped me into my dry suit, and then myself and five other nuts scooted up the Mahoning and onto Eagle Creek. Jodi stayed ashore with about a dozen others who were tending the food and the fire. As much as I needed Jodi’s help to get into the dry suit, I needed even more help to get out of that thing. Thankfully none of us ended up in the water, and other members were kind enough to lend a hand getting me out of that suit. Yet again, we enjoyed a fine spread of food, and Mike’s secret recipe chili.

The surprise of the year came at the procrastinators Christmas party, when it was suggested that I become the vice president. Just like at the Oscars, it was an honor just to be nominated. Without much opposition, I was indeed honored to become the vice president of Trumbull Canoe Trails Club. Jodi and I have only been around the club, and for-that-matter, paddling in general for a few years, but I think that fact just goes to show how this club does indeed fulfill its mission of promoting paddle sports, and bringing people to the Mahoning River Valley. We have learned so much from so many, made many new friends, and had so many good experiences with the club. I’m still not quite certain what all being VP entails, but I’m sure I will keep Jodi busy helping me fulfill those duties.
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Old 01-30-2018, 11:18 PM   #4
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Default 2017 Paddling Highlights (Ken and Cheryl)

2017 Paddling Highlights (Ken and Cheryl)

In early May we finally got to paddle the Upper Cuyahoga while it was flooded. Been trying to catch that for years but never wanted to try it while there was still ice. Went from Eldon Russel up to SR 87 for a 7 mile trip.

I have been wanting to paddle the Little Beaver for 25+ years. Never had an opportunity until this May with TCT. I was aware of the couple of good rapids and expected to take on a lot of water with our extra large cockpit Hurricanes. I did some measuring and made up a 4 mil plastic "spray skirt" for my boat. I heavily taped up the body tube that came up almost to my armpits. It tucked in under the rim with a bungee cord so it would come off if needed to. While it wasn't sealed around my body it was high enough to deflect a wave to the chest. I finally got a chance to test it in some good size rapids. Right at the beginning a wave came over the bow and hit me in the belly. I did not get wet! There was however a pool of water caught in the skirt right over my lap. Still needing to keep my paddle in the water before I got to the end of the rapid and could empty it, I could feel water. The tape had a leak! Even though my wonderful skirt worked very well, by the time I got through the waves the leak had emptied a couple of quarts right into my lap. I was wet anyway!

K & C got in two new (to us) sections of the Mahoning... Canoe City to Packard Park and the really nice fall paddle from Lowellville to Covert Road.

We were able to get in four more Paddle Ohio locations and received our fourth Paddle Ohio Pin...the "16 Rivers" pin. The rivers we wanted to paddle were too low by mid summer so we paddled three lakes from the ODNR list... Harrison Lake, Belmont Lake and Dow Lake at Strouds Run SP near Athens. Dow Lake on Oct 3 was especially nice on a quiet and crisp fall day. It was our 25th wedding aniversary.

In early August our "big" river trip was on the Maumee River. By then even the Maumee was too low to float. We had heard there was a large pool between rapids above and below Missionary Island. It's a large island. We logged in 5.4 miles by the time we made our way around it.

Reviewing my yearly list, I counted 8 trips (including Riverfest) with TCT in 2017. Cheryl got in 6 trips. The trips covered 64 miles. 24 of that was in a canoe.

It didn't seem like K & C got out to paddle as much in 2017 but in review I see we were on the water 23 times. I logged in 130 miles of paddling this past year which is a bit lower than the last couple seasons.

Ken and Cheryl
Paddle Pin_2 2017.jpg

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