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Old 07-31-2022, 09:36 PM   #1
Ambridger
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Default Lock 5 - Allegheny River (Freeport)

UPDATE FOR LOCK TRIP:


Fortunately, most of the recent rains in the Pittsburgh region have fallen south of the city, into the Monongahela watershed. When I did the scouting trip up to the lock, the level was 9.7 on the gauge at Lock 5; that is a normal level, as this is a commercially navigable section of river. Today at noon, the gauge is roughly the same as the day I scouted. Scattered showers have been predicted for the region, so I would encourage folks to bring a rain jacket. I will be at the launch, rain or shine tomorrow morning. I will continue to monitor the weather and water levels. I spoke to the lock around noon today, and things are operational there as usual, and they are aware of our plan.






Sunday, August 7th, 10AM
Allegheny River - Lock 5

Meet at the Freeport Boat Ramp, intersection of 1st Street and High Street - I could not find an actual address for the launch area ... 323 2nd Street (The Rainbow Inn), Freeport 16229, will get you about a block away; continue past the address to the next intersection. Make a right onto High Street. There is a sign (on your left) that will point you towards the launch area.

Upon launching from the ramp on Buffalo Creek, we will turn onto the Allegheny and paddle about 2 miles up to the lock & dam. We will stay along the west bank of the river, or river-right, so as to stay out of the current above and below the dam, and avoid the boat traffic. The lock chamber is river-right as well. Upon arrival at the outer warning point of the lock, we will await instruction from the lock master. We will then enter the lock and be lifted to the upper pool. We will then continue on about another 2 miles to an island where we will stop for a break, before heading back down stream, and locking through again. Paddlers will need to have a 75 FOOT PIECE OF ROPE to be tied off in the lock chamber.

This is a trip for EXPERIENCED PADDLERS, who possess good boat control skills. There are inherent hazards associated with dams, and the scouting trip revealed that this section of river seems to amplify the wakes of passing pleasure boats, and this section has a good bit of pleasure boat traffic. All paddlers on this trip should be WEARING their properly secured PFD.

As this is an up-and-back, there is no shuttle involved. There is a restaurant about a ten minute drive from the launch that has a large room available for us for after the paddle, for those so interested. Snyder's Bonfire is located at 5739 Leechburg Rd, Leechburg PA, 15656.

Please reply below this post, so we have an idea of who to expect. Any questions, call or text. 724-601-9801
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Last edited by Ambridger; 08-06-2022 at 03:32 PM.
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Old 08-05-2022, 02:19 PM   #2
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Jess and myself will be there
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Old 08-06-2022, 12:42 PM   #3
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UPDATE FOR LOCK TRIP:

Fortunately, most of the recent rains in the Pittsburgh region have fallen south of the city, into the Monongahela watershed. When I did the scouting trip up to the lock, the level was 9.7 on the gauge at Lock 5; that is a normal level, as this is a commercially navigable section of river. Today at noon, the gauge is roughly the same as the day I scouted. Scattered showers have been predicted for the region, so I would encourage folks to bring a rain jacket. I will be at the launch, rain or shine tomorrow morning. I will continue to monitor the weather and water levels. I spoke to the lock around noon today, and things are operational there as usual, and they are aware of our plan.
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Old 08-08-2022, 06:40 PM   #4
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Default Trip Report

On Sunday Kristen, Jodi, and myself (Mark) in kayaks, and Millie and her two grandchildren (freshly arrived from Germany) in a canoe launched onto Buffalo Creek for the trip through lock 5 on the Allegheny. From the time we arrived at the parking lot, it was hot and humid, and pretty much stayed that way all day. We only encountered a few boats on our way up to the lock. As we approached the lock, we radioed the lock tender of our approach. Within about five minutes, the lock doors began to open, and we were soon signaled to proceed into the lock. With just a few boats, we were only required to tie off one boat, and have the others hold onto one another, such that we were all connected. The doors closed and the water began to rise. It only took about ten minutes or so to lift us about 15 feet to the level of the upper pool. The opposite doors opened, we untied, and we were on our way. As there was little shade, and the heat and humidity were oppressive, we got a good ways above the dam and pulled off to relax under some trees along shore and do a little swimming to cool off. After a spell, we continued on up river. As we neared the island, it began to sprinkle, then the sprinkle turned to more of a shower. As we could hear the distant rumble of thunder, we turned around and headed back. The rains dissipated just as quickly as they came. We continued to hear distant thunder, and saw lightening far across the horizon, but encountered no more weather than a gentle breeze. After locking back through, we encountered several more pleasure boaters and jet skiers than we had earlier. We had to turn into many of the wakes made by the passing boats to avoid being tossed sideways. No carnages to report. We took out on the concrete ramp at Buffalo Creek amongst a few other boaters. All-in-all, it was a pretty good trip. Locking through went smoothly for a bunch of first time locker-throughers. While we all agreed that we've now "been there and done that", we agreed that while we wouldn't do an up and back again for the sake of locking, we wouldn't let a lock deter us from a float that might require lockage as part of the trip ... so that's something to think on for the future. Thanks to all! See yinz on the next one.
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