Thursday, August 4, 2011

Allegheny River PA, Kayaking

July 30-31 I took a paddle trip with some folks from the Trumbull Canoe Trails Club out of Youngstown Ohio. It was a fantastic trip and we got to paddle through some of the most remote parts of the Allegheny River in Western Pennsylvania. It was the first time I've been to PA and the more I see of the North East the more I become a fan. The river itself was crystal clear in most parts and the temp was nice enough for a quick dip at the end of the day. It was only a 2 hour drive from Medina where I live. I look forward to exploring more of Pennsylvania in the future, hopefully with the family next time. 

Only a two hour trek in to Western PA. There is much left to explore of the SE mountainous parts of the state
Around 24 miles or so with the campsite just short of half way. 

We put in about 4-5 hours the first day and about 6 solid hours the second day finishing in the early afternoon. I would have liked to have spent quite a bit more time on the water but the guys I was with had these super long race-like yaks and seemed to be in a hurry so I paddled my much wider tank-like yak as hard as I could to keep up with em. They were patient though and waited for me in the rapid sections.

The Allegheny 5; Matt, Aaron, Jim, Jim, Me
Put in at O.A.R.S. in Franklin PA. We used Outdoor Allegheny River Services for the shuttling and after getting lost following a detour to our parking area we eventually made it back and hit the water and were underway

Remnants of an old bridge just south of Franklin

Lunch break day 1. Come to think of it, we didn't even take a lunch break on day 2...

Stopping to check out an island for a potential camp site. Super clear water the whole way was super nice.

This guy used my boat as an aircraft carrier attack platform. As he sat there I looked to my right and saw this medium sized green moth descend down and touch the water then become airborne again and flew behind me. As I looked over my left shoulder up flew that dragonfly who snatched him right out of the air, then he landed on the back of my boat and proceed to consume him as he chilled out miles (in dragonfly distance) from the shore. Crafty little fella.

Ahhhhhh finally made it to camp. Going on only 3 hours of sleep I hit the sack and slept for about 4 hours in to the evening.

Early morning sunrise and we're back on the water.

Kennerdell Bridge, about the half way point on our journey.

That steam rising up and filling the valley was the neatest part of the whole trip.

This part, near the end, was the nicest part under water. There were other kayakers fishing there catching small mouth bass and the grass just waved in 4-8 foot depths with a fairly mild current. I just wanted to take the kids swimming here with goggles and snorkel through the bright green grasses.
A sweet rope swing along the last one mile stretch before Emlenton.

Emlenton bridge take out with Interstate 80 in the background.

It was my first trip down a river in a kayak, having only been down one river before in my old canoe. There were only two rapids sections that produced waves high enough to completely drench me and fill my kayak with a few inches of water. It was pretty refreshing but if I were planning to run rivers with waves much bigger, and I do plan to, I will be investing in the spray skirt to keep the water out!

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