To start things off...our latest paddle to unwind on a favorite marsh pond just up the road from us. Known locally as Black Ash, this is a large expanse of Pennsylvania State Game Lands #69 that patchworks across the marshy lowlands of Crawford County in northwestern corner of our State. We love poking around in marshes and swamps with their teeming wildlife and spring time flowers. No flowers at this time but lots of wildlife to see. Geese, ducks, beavers, deer, and Sandhills cranes were spotted this day.
I just finished a trip on the Little Toby and Clarion rivers with my buddies GF. We put in on the Little Toby just below Brockway. It was high and fast and did not require much paddling. We stopped for lunch at a swinging bridge, that had once been a road bridge, And ate under huge red oaks. I want to go back once the leaves are all out. They were impressive trees. The Little Toby also has a rail trail that I want to go back to check out.
The Little Toby joined the Clarion River after about 12 miles. It was also high and fast but a little clearer than the Toby. We went a short distance on the Clarion and turned up Bear Creek.. We only paddled 100 yards up Bear Creek and set up camp. Camp was on a point overlooking both the Bear and the Clarion. Temps got down to about 35F. Luckily previous high water deposited plenty of fire wood.
On Saturday, we broke camp and headed down the Clarion. The dark fast water was beautiful. Just below the Arroyo bridge we found the XYZ rapids. They are 3 separate rapids. We had a bawl (and a bale) taking boats laden with camping gear through! Many big waves to negotiate. We camped just before the Y rapid after having done about 7 miles. With more time in camp, I made a mallet out of Iron Wood. I’ve never seen Iron wood any where but on rivers. It is very dense. I don’t know how long this mallet will last but it was very effective a crushing aluminum cans. We fished but had no luck at all.
On Sunday we found a awesome rope swing. Only my 22 year old buddy did it. The water was cold! Another 8 mile and we pulled out at Halton. I think we did ~24 miles total. Anyway, here are some pics
July 4th moonlit paddle...Full summer moon, warm breeze and water that was dead calm. Adding to the ambiance were the fireworks going off in the surrounding hills as local folks made up for the usual civic sponsored versions.