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Old 12-27-2019, 02:25 PM   #1
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Default 2019 Paddling Year in Review

As we have noted here since 2011, the end of the year is a good time to reflect on the paddling season. I hope a few club members will be willing to share some of their paddling experiences during 2019. It is always fun to read others' adventures on the water and good for club morale. Below are my high points and low point from a limited number of outings. Happy New Year and good paddling to all in 2020!


High Points

1. Buckaloons Camper – What a great weekend! The water, weather, and camping were outstanding! Rich, Patty, and Dee Dee did a superb job organizing and preparing the food and the paddling. I personally logged about 25 miles on the Allegheny over two days. The camaraderie around the dining table and the campfire, complete one night with a lively discussion of the cross bow draw, was terrific.

2. North Fork of Little Beaver Creek – This scores high because of the beautiful scenery on a beautiful early spring day and because it was a personal first descent of any stretch of this river. It was neat to see The Tubs, a class 3-4 rapid (all of us carried it) and fun to run the class 2 rapids shortly down river before the confluence with the main stem.

3. Middle Fork of Little Beaver Creek – For some reason I am fascinated with the hard-to-catch run from Teegarden to Lisbon. Stan and I hooked up with a trip sponsored by the Columbiana County Park District on a beautiful morning in May. We were on the water by 9:30 and often heading into the morning sun that set the water shimmering. The sun on the water combined with the soft green hues of spring along the banks were beautiful.

Low Point

1. WE MISSED THE TAKE OUT!!! After over 40 years of paddling, what new mistakes could be left to make? Well, I found out on the Allegheny River run from Betts Park in Warren, PA, to Buckaloons Campground. Mary and I were chatting and enjoying the beautiful day, but obliviously glided past the access ramp where we were supposed to take out for lunch and decide who wanted to paddle another 12 miles to the next public access ramp. (The rest of the group had taken another channel around an island so we were separated from them.) It wasn't until about a mile later that Mary's phone rang. It was Sue telling us that we had MISSED THE TAKE OUT! We were now committed to those 12 miles whether we wanted to be or not! We could offer several explanations for such a boneheaded brain cramp (and did), but we are happy that it provided three or four hearty guffaws to everyone on the Buckaloons Camper. We're sure it will live on for quite some time in TCT history and continue to produce lots of laughs.

Last edited by JPTolson; 01-03-2020 at 10:48 PM.
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Old 12-30-2019, 07:53 PM   #2
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Default What I learned about kayaking in 2019

Very nicely done JP!

I kept a diary of all the paddling trips in 2018. Destination, weather, highlights, water conditions etc. Sadly, I was not as fastidious in 2019, so I am just going to list a few things that I learned this past year as it pertains to kayaking.

1). Duct tape, duct tape, duct tape.

When the button failed to connect the two pieces of my paddle in the middle of the Allegheny River, duct tape came to the rescue and saved the day!

2). Jump.

This gal ain't too old or skeered to climb a bridge abutment and jump off!. To all you spectators, I double dog dare you next year!

3). You've got that glow.

You can't go overboard (no pun intended) with glow sticks when lighting up your kayak for the moonlight paddle. Ok, yes you can, but it's just good old plain fun!

4). You don't light up my life.

A burned out brake light bulb on the trailer can wreak havoc with the whole electrical system and make you say bad words and kick things.

5). Honey dunked the wife.

Have dry clothes available when the husband attempts to assist with the launch.

6). Baby it's cold outside.

Always be prepared for cold water immersion. (see #5)

7). Carpe diem.

Try to make it to as many outings as you can with TCT because you never know what exciting adventure or disaster awaits you!

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Old 12-31-2019, 05:24 PM   #3
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2019 had many up's and downs for me.
*High Points-
1-Club trip on Oil Creek
Oil Creek has been on my list to paddle for a long time. We were able to make it a club trip and it turned out to be a great day with just enough water to get down. A great turn out 28 paddlers made the trek to Titusville PA

2-Clarion River- Jessica and myself finally made it on the clarion river. This was our second time paddling this river. We did two paddles in two days. Day one was 18 miles from Ridgeway to Irwin Run with all four major rapids (Trestle, X, Y & Z)
Day two we had Rich Allen join us for a great 11 mile trip from Clear Creek State Park to Cooksburg

3-North Fork Of Little Beaver Creek- A small group Ron, JP, Bruce, Diane, Jessica and myself did a scouting trip and I finally got to see the famous "tubs" on the creek. A true class III or IV which none of us ran. The mile section of Class II's afterwards was really fun and gave me more solo canoe experience.

4-Beaver Creek at 5 ft. usgs gauge - A great trip with higher water levels with a great group. This trip had many challenges that made me work as a solo canoe. The best part was running eagle rapid about 5 times.

5-Buckaloons Camping- I made it up on Saturday afternoon because of work, but a great time with everyone and enjoyed a great selection of food and an awesome campfire discussion. We had a great paddle on Sunday and it was just great to spend time with my paddling family.
PS JP look out for the bridge-take out just past it river right :)

6-Whitewater through Kent- In June I was able to make several trips through the whitewater section of the Cuyahoga River in Kent. It is only a mile trip so walking back up with a boat can be extremely hard.Came up with a solution were I paddled every boat I have through it that made it fun. Also had Tim join me the one evening after work and paddle the same section as many times as we could with the all boats we have

7-Pittsburgh Paddle to the Point- A great club trip that allowed us to meet a new member who lives east of the Pittsburgh. We also a great time with the military helicopters that flew over us several times as they were getting ready for the fly over for the Steelers game. Having lunch in front of Heinze field during a game was a blast as we walked around in our paddling gear and getting some odd looks.

Low Points
1-Very little whitewater- 2019 wasn't good to Jessica and myself for whitewater- We never could catch the Connie, Neshannock Creek Lower Slippery Rock Creek or my Favorite Ashtabula River.
Jessica and myself had to cancel our trip to South Bend Indiana to paddle the east raceway white water course due to bladder infection and truck breaking down.

2-Carnage on Little Beaver Creek-On the same trip that had so many highs it had a huge low point. First my go pro wasn't working right. Then my first flip that actually put some fear into me and taught me a good lesson, and realize I need to keep practicing my crossbow draw. All I could hear was Ron's voice that kept me calm and helped me stay focus and get out from underneath the canoe with no injury's, But my canoe and life jacket took a beating. Video on Youtube

3-Canceling Club Trip on Little Beaver Creek- Sprucevale was not open yet due to the construction of the new bridge.

4-Canceling Riverfest- TCT gives free rides to the public during riverfest in Youngstown. But due to extremely high water we weren't able to give any rides. We did have a nice turn out of club members to help work out booth

Hope for a great and fun 2020
Mahoning River-Home of the Trumbull Canoe Trails 1975-2020 45 years

Last edited by mfdanko99; 12-31-2019 at 05:41 PM.
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Old 01-03-2020, 11:32 AM   #4
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Default K & c 2019

Ken and Cheryl Year in review 2019

Looking back over my 2019 paddle records was a bit disheartening. Since that first year in 2011 (when we didn't yet know where all to paddle) this was the least we paddled. We have logged in from 150-260 miles in a season. For 2019 I show about 98 miles total for the season. Wow. What happened? I know we got a very late start with a cool and wet spring. And then the summer heat kicked up. Since we do paddle lakes and backwater we sometimes pass if it's too breezy. We passed up a number of trips to local lakes. I did take on a couple of earth-moving projects here at home (like the driveway restoration) that kept me busy.

We did paddle seven times with TCT for a total of 56 miles. Two trips I particularly liked was the Oil Creek paddle and another trip on the Little Beaver. I wouldn't have gotten those trips in if not for TCT.

Our two "biggest trips" of the season were in May. We got in another 20 mile overnight trip on the upper Grand River. Then we had a hiking trip planned at Cumberland River State Park in KY. We left a couple of days early (with kayaks) and stopped at Grayson Lake State Park in eastern KY for two days of paddling. This has to be one of the most spectacular places to paddle in the eastern US. And we had two perfect weather days! There had been lots of rain earlier so the waterfalls were still running as we paddled along the sandstone cliffs. I took lots of video and photos of course and have the (daunting) chore of trying to put together a video. Stay tuned for that.

Ken and Cheryl
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Old 01-05-2020, 06:08 PM   #5
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The 2019 season had some ups and downs for Jodi and I:

We started the season by participating in the "Ice Breaker" paddle on the Shenango. We were each out there in our cold water gear and solo kayaks.

In April, Jodi drove her Explorer down south to see her new granddaughter, leaving me to decide on how to get to Oil Creek. We had helped Mike scout this one in March, and we had ridden the bike trail in the park in years past, so I knew I wanted to do this one. Well, I threw the kayak in the back of a rented U-Haul van and away I went. Oil Creek was indeed a really nice paddle with one nice rapid, and a lunch spot with restroom access. As Charlie Sheen would say, "Winning!"

Our next outing wasn't until the Carson's Landing trip. We took the 17.5 foot Tripper canoe out for this adventure. We hadn't had much time in this boat, and were seeing how well we would do with it. As I recall, the weather was great and we did OK maneuvering the Tripper.

The club pic-nic took us to Canoe City with our solo yaks. We enjoyed good weather again, some good food, and great company.

At the end of July, we attended the paddle clinic trip to Beaver Creek. I had worked a midnight shift the night before, so I was pushing my limits. Jodi was my designated driver. I got the opportunity to practice tipping my Wilderness Aspire, which thankfully I had not done before. I wanted to see how well I could wet-exit. Well, I did fine falling right out of that thing, and a dip in the crick was just what I needed to wake me up.

The Foxburg trip was a special trip for me. Since we started kayaking years ago, my mother had always said she would like to give it a try. And for years, one thing or another got in the way. Back on the 4th of July, I told her of this trip, and of my intent to finally get her on the water. She was on-board! Well, just weeks prior to the trip, mom learned of having breast cancer. The doctors seemed very positive, and we were hopeful. Mom and I paddled my tandem kayak, and she enjoyed the Foxburg trip as much as anybody could, and she was welcomed by all of you. For this I thank you all. We got some very special pictures that day.

Next, Jodi and I attended the pic-nic at Sue's for the "Moonlight Run". We didn't bring our boats, just our folding chairs and some goodies to share.

The day of the Pymatuning Creek trip, my cousin was having a bridal shower. Jodi and my mother attended the shower, and I was going to drive up to join the paddle. Jodi "politely suggested" that I should wait at home for her return and that we would find some other adventure together .... "even hiking". Well, I waited at home and planned our hike. When my mother learned of our plans to hike, she asked to join-in, and how could we even possibly say no ... Well, mom was one who always enjoyed the outdoors, and she had a great time in the woods. And she out-hiked Jodi and I! And again, we got some pictures out on the trail that day, that unknowingly would be some of the last I would ever take with mom. At the time, I was sorry to have missed the Pymatuning trip, but I suppose there is a reason for everything.

In September, I lead the club on the three rivers in Pittsburgh. It was great weather, and the Steeler home-game that day brought folks out on the rivers and the atmosphere on the "north shore" around the stadium was as festive as it gets. The club got to see Pittsburgh really shine. I would be remiss if I didn't mention a great after-paddle meal at Big Jim's - made famous on "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives".

We made a guest appearance at Buckaloons one night to sit around the camp fire and kibitz, but we were unable to camp or paddle as this was the first week of mom getting chemo, and we felt we should be nearby if she or dad needed something.

In September Jodi and I took the Tripper out to Pete's trip on the Tusca. This was the first time we had any of our canoes out on moving water. Despite some low readings on the gauges, this trip proved to be very enjoyable, and we did good navigating the Tripper.

In October, we paddled our kayaks on the Shenango for the "Fall Color" paddle. The weather was a lil cool, and as some found out, the water was a bit chilly too. All-in-all, this too, was another great trip.

November brought tears to our family, as my father spent weeks in the hospital, and my mom passed away unexpectedly while dad was hospitalized. Dad has still not fully recovered from surgery, and has not fully regained his pre-surgery level of cognition, and still is not aware of mom's passing. So many of you expressed your condolences and some even traveled to Ambridge to call at her funeral. All of you folks are so special, in supporting us, and being so cordial and welcoming to mom at Foxburg. She had a great time that day, and I am so grateful for that.

Thank you all, and we hope to see you at the party next week.

Last edited by Ambridger; 01-06-2020 at 07:35 PM.
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