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Old 05-25-2018, 08:29 AM   #11
KenM
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Default The scouting trip 5-24-18

The scouting trip 5-24-18

K & C took a ride over to Teegarden and down to Lisbon on Thursday afternoon. Grimms gage at noon was 589 (3.99 ft) and declining slowly.

A lovely summer afternoon with sun, shade along river, quiet except for singing birds. We found the creek inviting.

The creek at Teegarden had a decent flow of water. There were nice stretches of knee deep pools and then shallow gravel bars... typical of the stretch down to Lisbon. It appeared to us that you could find a shallow channel through some gravel bars but others may need to be walked through. Gravel is maybe egg-size or smaller so not hard to walk on. I would say a smaller (10-12 ft) boat would be more suitable because of some tight turns. You may make it through some gravel with some scrapping. Some you will walk. The longest bar that we could observe was just downstream of Willow Grove Park, almost under RT 30, where I think the dam had been. This is about .5 mile from Lisbon takeout and, as noted earlier, that short bit of river is not quite so attractive as upstream. From roads and bridges we did not observe any log jams.

If I would have had a ride back from Lisbon (and a boat) I would have wore some river-walking shoes and launched my 10 ft kayak without much thinking. By Saturday morning... not so sure what it may look like if water came down very much. Like here though, the ground is currently soaked from rain and still draining from woods and farmland so hard to say.

Ken

Last edited by KenM; 05-25-2018 at 05:37 PM.
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Old 05-28-2018, 11:29 AM   #12
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Default Trip Report

Here is the trip summary on the Columbiana County Park District FB page. The gage was around 3.5 ft. and flow about 375 cfs.


Columbiana County Park District

We walked more than we might have liked due to low water but the Columbiana County Park District's first Kayak and Canoe Trip down the Middle Fork of the Little Beaver Creek was a success. We put in at the Covered Bridge on Eagleton Road and rode the creek down to Lisbon's canoe area by the PL&W railroad station. With bright sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-80s, what wasn't there to enjoy?
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Old 05-28-2018, 12:09 PM   #13
KenM
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I don't "do" facebook but I saw the report.

The office gave me the supposed coordinator's phone number. I called 8:15 a Sat morning to see if they were still doing this. No answer, left message but no call back. Looks like 6 people...I guess it was a private party not a public event. Boo on Columbiana County for posting this.

I guess I'm spoiled by an organized club.

KenM
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Old 06-03-2018, 10:41 AM   #14
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Default Painted Gage Would Help

This is a situation where a painted gage on a bridge abutment would be very useful. Since the gage is probably 15-20 miles downstream, the river at Teegarden could already have dropped to below paddling zero by the time the gage reading reaches what might be considered the minimum runnable level. And vice versa–the river at Teagarden could be runnable before enough water reaches the gage to achieve the so-called minimum runnable level. Of course all of this depends where the rain falls in the watershed.

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Old 07-27-2018, 01:59 PM   #15
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Default May 26 Trip on Middle Fork of the Little Beaver

Someone in this group posted a link to a volunteer-led trip on Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. I was one of the 6 participants. Three were locals, two were out-of-town relatives of the volunteer leader. It turned out to be a memorable trip.

The water was quite shallow, but just deep enough to get through without getting out of your boat if you could read water. At times a little pushing off the riverbed was needed.

I was a little embarrassed at the put-in because I had my 14 foot fiberglass boat, spray skirt, life vest, throw rope, webbing, carabiner, first aid kit, water and paddle gloves. The others had cheap 6 foot boats, water and a cell phone. I joked about feeling a bit "overdressed" and we all chuckled.

It was hot and dry, but rain was threatening. Our leader had a family picnic gathering to get to after the paddle, so we commented about wanting to finish within a certain time frame, which would get him to his picnic and help us beat the rain. Someone joked that if we are still on the river by such-and-such a time it would mean something bad happened.

Off we go down the river. I immediately noted the 2 out-of-town relatives had absolutely no experience with kayaks. They spent more time dragging their boats than paddling them. The other 3 could control their boats but only one of them knew how to read water. He took the lead, followed by his girlfriend. The rest of us varied our positions as people got stuck on rocks, ran into each other, passed each other, waited for each other, etc. The volunteer eventually figured out he would benefit from following me, so we ended up paddling side-by-side in the deeper sections and chatting.

When he asked my about how to read water I guess I became a tad bit over animated pointing and gesturing, as I was talking away when suddenly I flipped. I'm not quite sure what happened, but the theory is that I tried to break my flip with my hand, it hit the river bottom and broke my wrist. It is possible the paddle blade hit the river bottom and my wrist broke while holding onto the paddle. All I remember is being upside down in my boat and surprised that it was deep enough to try a roll. I had no clue my wrist was injured, as the pain hadn't yet set in. I set up my paddle and rolled, but only made it halfway and fell back under. Now my wrist hurt a little and I debated whether to roll again or swim out. Dummy me decided to try another roll. After that failed attempt I KNEW WITHOUT A DOUBT I had seriously injured my wrist. I pulled the spray skirt and swam to the surface.

They helped me onto a gravel bar, got out my first aid kit and wrapped up my wrist. I was unable to paddle further and we were not in a place were I could get to the bike path and walk out. And even if I could, what about my boat?

We ended up threading my throw rope through the grab loop on my bow and connecting it to my webbing loop with the carabiner. The 1 other person who could read water put the webbing over one shoulder. I gave my paddle to his girlfriend and held onto the throw rope with my one usable hand. This way he could tow me to the first good access point and we each could easily release the tow line as needed. Talk about scary! He would get himself successfully through the shallow spots, but the current would push my boat off-line and I'd have to yell to him to "go left, go left" or "hard right, hard right". He got hung up once; I got hung up once. It was the scariest river mile of my life!

When we got me out of the boat and the boat by the side of the road the girl called her parents, who picked me up, took me back to my car and lead me back to the boat. The group loaded my boat onto my car, then I called insurance. I had to drive one-handed 45 minutes toward home to get to an in-network facility. They told me if I went to an emergency room and the wrist was not broken they would not pay anything for the visit.

The others continued down river when I drove away. My guess is they got caught in the rain and the volunteer was late to his picnic. Yep, something bad happened. LOL

Luckily??? my wrist was broken. No orthopod was working the holiday weekend so had to call for appointment on Tuesday. Saw the doctor Thursday, had surgery late Friday--got a plate and 7 screws. Am recovering well, albeit way too slowly. It is what it is...

The moral of the story--ALWAYS be prepared and NEVER joke about being over-prepared or something bad happening! NEVER paddle alone. I started paddling whitewater in 1994 and have flipped many a time. I have seen countless flips by other paddlers. I have never seen, nor heard of, this type of injury from a flip. I have paddled the Class III Lower Yough alone a half a dozen times but will not do it again. Sometimes freak accidents just happen and this was one of those times. I feel lucky that it was not a whitewater river, as I am not sure how I would have gotten out. It would have been a major (and costly) rescue.

Stay safe this summer and have fun. I hope to paddle with you guys before the season ends, but it may be next year before I am ready for rivers again.
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Old 07-28-2018, 03:17 AM   #16
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Wow, what a story. Sorry to hear about your wrist. Another example that wearing a PFD is a good idea. We were hoping you could make the Allegheny River Fall Colors Camping Trip from Franklin to Emlenton in October.
Jim

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