"" Writer's Wanderings: Kayaking The Crooked River

Monday, August 15, 2016

Kayaking The Crooked River

Looking for a fun outdoor activity to do with our visiting granddaughter, we decided to revisit a place from our youth leader days. About thirty-five years ago (or so) we would take the teens from our church for a weekend canoe trip at Camp Hi in Hiram, Ohio. It was not a fancy place to say the least back then--outhouses and basic canoe equipment. The first time we did the overnight trip was when I learned what "primitive camping" was. I thought it meant the facility had an outhouse. That sounded primitive to me. Not so. We ended up hanging up a blanket for the girls to have some privacy. We had one teen who never came again even though we found a better camping spot in the following years.

Well, Camp Hi had changed but not a lot. The grounds had a lot more picnic tables and the outhouse was a lot nicer. Is there such a thing as a modern outhouse? And along with a lot more canoes there was also the option of kayaks.

We arrived shortly before ten in the morning. Bob had reserved three kayaks but once there, our granddaughter decided she didn't want to have her own kayak so she and I chose a two-man (or rather woman) kayak. We picked up life jackets and paddles and found the last three seats in the van for the ride up the river to the drop off point.

One canoe and several kayaks went into the river before us. We were the last in and let everyone get a good head start. It was like having the river to ourselves. The Cuyahoga wasn't running too fast since we hadn't had a lot of rain in the last few weeks. There were a few places where the current picked up and I got to rest a bit. Our granddaughter rested between a couple strokes here and there which got more frequent as she got hungrier and wanted to get to our picnic lunch.

A seven mile trip that took us three hours fifteen minutes revealed lots of water lilies and other marsh flowers as well as a huge blue heron, several turtles and a glimpse of a river otter. While it promised to be a hot and humid day, there were large sections of shade and a nice breeze blowing most of the time. It was relaxing and peaceful and something we will always remember sharing with our granddaughter.

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