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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-15-2013, 04:16 AM Thread Starter
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canoe trip

Well we made it, 107 miles.
No injuries, only 2 boats flipped, and finished in one less day. First day was 24 mi, the second we thought was going to be the long one was 29, the third was 23, and we did the 4th by noon in the rain so we decided to do the last that afternoon in the sun, it was about 32 total miles. Didnt get all the pics I wanted to because of the weather, but got a few and more are trickling in from other sources.
http://www.fish.state.pa.us/watertra...g/trailmap.htm

http://www.fish.state.pa.us/watertra...trailguide.htm

http://s657.photobucket.com/user/Var...w/canoe%20trip

Every day you see it on the news. Another felons life needlessly spared by inaccurate fire.

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-15-2013, 04:16 AM Thread Starter
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Re: canoe trip

To begin the story it is important to understand that the Troop transformed from a car camping troop to a more hardcore adventure troop over about three years. Working in small steps, and building from a good core group of people, the troop went from totes to backpacks and has a lot more fun. We need to go back in time a little for the set up to understand how this trip came about.
About a year earlier the troop did a 60 mile canoe trip From Tidioute to Kennerdale and then again that October, a trip from Kennerdale to just below the Emlenton bridge for about 17 miles. We had camped on a nice Friday night and as is the norm for Troop 217, it turned to heavy rain. The rain mostly stopped by morning and we set out in a light mist that stopped by ten and the sun broke through steady by noon. After landing in Emlenton, setting camp and while eating dinner, the silly Committee Chairman quipped, “Since we did 60 this spring and just did about 20 starting from where we ended last time, we ought to just go ahead and do a hundred.” He soon realized the danger of humor when, instead of a collective gasp, there was a general contemplative look that took over throughout the group.
Planning began in earnest in December after we found that the Middle Allegheny River Trail was one hundred and seven miles from the boat launch at Kinzu Dam to the access at Emlenton using the PA Fish Commissions site. http://www.fish.state.pa.us/watertra...g/trailmap.htm http://www.fish.state.pa.us/watertra...leg/trailguide The trip was very much possible and the lack of dams or portages with the fact that we had already covered most of the camping areas we needed on the shorter trips meant that by January, we had a pretty good idea roughed out with a map and a route. Logistics proceeded over the late winter into early spring. All of the Scouts had experience with packing for wet weather and back packing food as there was to be no resupply. The scoutmaster drew up the itinerary like he did for the sixty mile trip. Adults came up with canoes of their own or relative’s canoes, a rack was built on a 16 foot trailer, and LorNatInc http://www.lornatinc.com donated vehicles and drivers to get the troop to the destination. The start date would be the first Saturday after school left out, putting the trip in the river when they water should be flowing enough that any bottoming out would be minimal.
The plan had the troop leaving the Chicora Moose http://lodge962.moosepages.org at 5:30 AM and having wet boats by 8:30 on the 8th and pulling out in Emlenton at 4:00 pm on the 12th. Scout trips as they are, after about 5:31 on the 8th, the itinerary became more of a general list of good ideas. We had had a few days of rain beforehand that was going to be a lot of help making up time.
The road across the breastwork of the Kinzu dam was closed, so we had to backtrack a bit and come in on the other side of the river from another bridge. The water was moving quickly but the launch was uneventful and the fleet was going downhill by 10 AM (mm 197) with the intent of making up some time. We stopped at Point Park (mm 189) for lunch about a mile and a half short of the planned lunch stop. Then it was back in the water until we arrived at a private camp that we had made arraignments to use in Anthom (mm 175) covering the first leg and arriving at the correct location not too far off the schedule for time. The only mishap was one when 2 adults decided to find a little odd eddy current and go for a swim. A hat, sunglasses, a fishing pole and some pride were lost. However it was a good lesson for the scouts in lashing gear in the boat, and the required tip over for the trip was out of the way early so they should have thanked me. That’s my story, and I am sticking to it.

Every day you see it on the news. Another felons life needlessly spared by inaccurate fire.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-15-2013, 04:16 AM Thread Starter
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Re: canoe trip

The second day was going to be the long one with 29 miles planned, that was to change later. The first stretch was to the Tidioute Borough Access for a quick lunch by noon (mm 166) and then on to President (mm 146) to camp on a public island that we had stayed at before that the Scouts named Nettle Island. The water was up and we were moving and felt that we were making good time. We made the lunch stop close to an hour before schedule under bright sunny skies. We put back in and made the rest of the “hard” day in 4 hours landing in the weeds at Nettle Island ahead of schedule. We kicked the pointy weeds down and made camp during a pleasant afternoon.
The rain came that night. It wasn’t a driving rain, just a gentle one that made things wet. Luckily enough it didn’t cool off to much and the forecast was calling for scattered showers. Living up to our reputation, “It doesn’t rain in Troop 217, it rains on us.” the showers scattered over the troop most of the day. The highlight of the day was the Oil City rapids. They can get ugly but with as much water in the river they were exciting but not bad and all of the canoes made it through with just a little extra ballast. We pulled off at the Oil City Access (mm 131) for lunch and a general bailing as the sun came out. We put back in and the general consensus was to put in in Franklin where last year there was a fresh fruit vendor and the pizza shop delivers. (mm 124) The fruit stand was not open so after 2 small slices each put smiles all around, we put in again and headed for the Cranberry Primitive Campsite. (mm 122) Being a short run in quick water getting there was not the problem. Getting out of the water was. There was no beach less a 1 foot muddy strip so as the canoes came in one at a time, paddlers got out, the gear was unloaded and hauled up by the paddlers, ropes were attached and the canoe was hauled up. Once enough people were landed, the packs went up in a chain and the last canoe was pulled by almost all of the troop. In short order, everyone and their gear was 12 feet above the river and setting camp.
Launching on the 11th was the opposite. The canoes were loaded on top, a haul rope and drag rope attached, and they were pulled down. One paddler got in and the canoe was half pushed out, then held as the other paddler got in, then they were set afloat. The entire process took less than half an hour more than the itinerary called for and the Troop was moving downhill by 8AM. We had great water for making time, and a not so great steady rain, so we made some time. The lead boats were at the Danners Rest Campsite (mm 107) in Kennerdale by 12:15. We pulled out and made the call to finish that day. Everyone got lunch and we set off by 1 PM for Emlenton as the sky cleared and the sun came out. We pulled out at the Emlenton launch at 5:30 PM with more than 30 river miles in for the day. Again, the boats were unloaded and this time carried up the hill to make room for the next. As canoes came in, they were taken out of the way.
It was a great trip with the Bald Eagle count at about eleven. Mallards, redheaded ducks, geese, were all along the river with their youngsters. Herons were letting us chase them down the river, and a loon was spotted. Mud turtles, a few beaver, some muskrat, and a fisher were on the banks and we spooked a deer on Nettle Island.

Every day you see it on the news. Another felons life needlessly spared by inaccurate fire.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-15-2013, 11:15 AM
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Re: canoe trip

looks like it was a good time. I would love to do a trip like that.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-15-2013, 03:51 PM
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Re: canoe trip

Great stories. Sounds like a great time. Thank you for sharing.

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In the luck of the chase.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-16-2013, 04:54 PM
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Re: canoe trip

i'll have to ask my sister if she saw you go by. my family has camps along the river

if you bought it, a trucker brought it
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-17-2013, 02:28 AM Thread Starter
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Re: canoe trip

She would have had to look quick, we went by in a hurry. There were 11 boats though and mostly they were noisy.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-19-2013, 05:30 AM
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Re: canoe trip

Awesome! keep up the good work.

Molon Labe
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-20-2013, 03:42 PM
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Re: canoe trip

Great story and a fun trip. Back in the early 70's When I was a scout ,our troop camped 1 weekend every month. For a period of 2 1/2 years it rained at least one day out of the weekend EVERY time we camped. This weather was known as Troop 211 Sunshine

"Lazy people think of the easy way to do the hard stuff"
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-23-2013, 02:59 AM Thread Starter
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Re: canoe trip

When we were first transitioning to a backpacking type troop, we went to Buzzard Swamp. It rained like bovine elimination on a horizontal surface.

I stopped them about a mile in and yelled "It doesnt rain in Troop 217..(sighs of relief).. It rains ON us, lets go"
We manage 1 trip every 2 years where it doesnt rain. As for camping, if you made all the outings we had planned, by the end of June you would have 17 nights in.

Every day you see it on the news. Another felons life needlessly spared by inaccurate fire.

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