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Old 12-31-2021, 01:03 PM   #1
JPTolson
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Default 2021 Paddling Year in Review

TCT,
It’s that time of year again to reflect on the paddling season. Below are my personal high points and low points. I hope that a few other club members will chime in with their most memorable paddling-related experiences. Happy New Year!

High Points

1. Youghiogheny River

This was not a club event, but my friend Jan Wolf from Greenbelt, Maryland, and I had the good fortune of joining Bruce and Dianne Ambrose who invited us for a run down the middle Yough in late May. For Jan and me, this was a personal first descent. The paddling, scenery, and companions were terrific! It’s a beautiful run and the whitewater keeps you on your toes. We also camped at Ohiopyle State Park and biked on the Great Allegheny Passage Trail the following day.


2. Little Beaver Creek

This was an impromptu pick-up trip in early March from Sprucevale to Ohiopyle on a beautiful late winter day (air temps in the 60s) with Bruce and Dianne Ambrose, Mike and Jessica Danko, and Ron Eells. Little did anyone know that this would be Ron’s last run. He passed away less than a month later on April 1. We could see him struggling to walk and getting in and out of his kayak. But he was as masterful as ever in his boat with no hint of the physical difficulties besetting him. Looking back, we all felt honored and privileged to be with Ron on his final journey down his beloved Beaver Creek.


3. Mahoning River through Youngstown (B&O Station to Struthers)

This club trip in mid-July had a little of everything: carnage in each of the first three rapids, a lost paddle, a bald eagle, seven deer crossing the river, and an up and back excursion through the eerie storm water runoff stone tunnels of Crab Creek, a tributary of the Mahoning. It was a beautiful evening run on a day with very low humidity. It was one of those trips where everyone wants to linger at the take out to enjoy the trip and weather as along as possible.


4. Chili Chilly Run

What a gorgeous day for the final club outing of the year with uncharacteristicly clear skies for mid-December and moderate temperature in the low 40s. The weather and high water from lots of rain the day before made for a beautiful and fast run (just over an hour) for the 3.6 miles from Swift Park to Canoe City.


Low Points

1. Death of Ron Eells. The loss of Ron was a huge blow to the club. He elevated the collective paddling skills of all us with his knowledge and ability. He continues to be greatly missed.


2. Thinking I had lost a set of keys at the Chili Chilly Run and causing everyone to interrupt their enjoyment of the chili feast to hunt for them. I think this is the third lost key episode over the years that I have had to mention in year-end low points!

Last edited by JPTolson; 01-09-2022 at 10:21 PM.
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