Starting mapping efforts of Mad River

18 08 2009

My online mapping of the Mad River in and around Dayton OH can be found HERE.


Kayaking The Little Miami River

18 08 2009

My kayaking buddy (Mikey C.) and I will be paddling the length of the Little Miami River in Ohio. It’s not a challenging river as far as rapids go but it is local to us and allows us to have something interesting to do. We won’t do it all at once but will break it up into about three weekends. Most likely we will arrive at drop off Saturday morning, paddle all day, camp, then paddle more on Sunday.

I have used several online resources to map out out the route. They are: (I think this one also pulled from the Wittenberg Map originally)

A link to the map I created, and will continue to update, is HERE

Many miles of the Little Miami River is covered by canoe/kayak rental businesses. This means that the river is fairly cleared of blockage and is generally passable. I don’t mind a few portages but as I’ve never done this river I’d like for it to go as smooth as possible.

My main concern for the trip is camping. I’ve never camped out of a canoe/kayak so I fear I may over or under pack. My other concern is not knowing how far we can realistically paddle in one day. On our Branson trip we went almost 10 miles in smooth water that had no current. It tired us out but we were pushing most of the way. If we had all day I think we could have done several more miles, possible 15? With a small river with current I suspect we will target 15-20 miles on the Saturday, 10 on the Sunday. We will determine ahead of time where we are stopping to camp, and where we are taking out.

I may take a camera to document the trip. I fear getting it wet but I don’t want to accept the photos I get from a disposable.

Branson MO Trip (Aug 3 – Aug 9 2009)

18 08 2009

This past week another family and my crew went to Branson MO, for vacation. We stayed South West of the actual city and were very close to Table Rock Lake ( and Lake Taneycomo ( Table Rock Lake is a deep lake used for standard boating and fishing by locals and tourists while Lake Taneycomo is mostly for trout fishing in the first 5-8 miles where it meets Table Rock Lake. Due to Lake Taneycomo being fed from the bottom water of Table Rock Lake it is very cold. Cold enough that if you put your hand in the water it won’t take long for you to pull it back out. Lake Taneycomo has no current except for when Table Rock Dam releases water to generate electricity. The schedule (which changes constantly) is located here:

To see a map of our route and locations referenced, go here:!466

We arrived on Sunday evening and Mike C. and I went for a small paddle on Table Rock Lake to see what it was all about. We floated and enjoyed a few brews before heading back in as it got dark.

The next morning (Monday) we took the “Hatchery to Branson Landing” (see map) route, which turned out to be about 9.5 miles. There was no current that day so it was all paddle powered. Because we didn’t have an idea of where we actually were along the route (we only knew “sort of”) we kept up a steady pace and by the end my shoulders were very tired. The great thing about paddling Lake Taneycomo in the morning or late evening is the mist. The water is cold and the air is hot so a mist settles very thick. To paddle through that in the morning while the trout fishermen are doing their thing is very calming and surreal.

Over the course of the vacation we were able to get on both lakes with the wives or the kids. One morning we took the boys out early for some fishing on Lake Taneycomo and another day we took the girls out for some paddling on Table Rock. The wives went with us one morning for a misty trip on Taneycomo and another trip in the evening to watch the sun set on Table Rock. Very enjoyable.

I don’t know if I want to go back to the city of Branson again, but I sure want to visit Lake Taneycomo at some point in the future.

Jacobs Landing to The Narrows

18 08 2009

5:30 wakeup to meet the Collins at their place at 6:30. For some reason I busted my ass to get there by 6:05. Why? Not sure except for I’m horrible with times and dates.

It had been raining the day before so we expected the water to be swift and we were not disappointed. Rapids were a bit quicker, corners a bit hairier, and the normal slow spots where we could coast and enjoy the day sped by too quickly. However the feeling of being on the water at the start of the day with good company was awesome. At one point the river forked and we were not sure which way to go. We were hoping that the two forks joined back up and in time that is exactly what happened. For a bit we didn’t know if we would make it back to our vehicles or float out into the ocean.

We had three NIHR’s (Non Intentional Half Roll) today. Mikey C. had two, and I had one. Marni C. escaped any NIHR’s due to her uncanny balance and command of her vessel.

Ship Ahoy!

18 08 2009

Myself and Mikey C. took our kayaks on their maiden voyage at the Wednesday Nite Paddle hosted by Whitewater Warehouse. Take a peek here: Wednesday Nite Paddle . Our wives were supposed to go with us but due to the rain they chickened out. Mikey and I bravely continued on and had a great time. The rain came down with little or no wind and we floated merrily along. The rain made the trip very peaceful. To celebrate our first outing I bought four (4) Budweiser tall boys and two bags of Combos. I had not eaten dinner and this seemed as nutritious and satisfying as any other meal I could come up with . I split the beers and Combos with Mikey and we continued to float.

We both had rain ponchos on. Due to the smaller opening in his kayak he was able to fake a skirt and keep some of the rain out of the kayak. I was not so fortunate but I was thinking of ways I could make one out of an old tarp I have back in the garage. It would be nice to have a way to keep the water (rain, etc) from accumulating in the bottom of the kayak and/or getting me wet from the waist down.

We had such a good time that we have penciled in going out early Sunday morning. We will park on the down river part and take both kayaks to the up river part. We will float back down to the down river part and drive back to the up river vehicle. Done.

Getting / Got A New Kayak

18 08 2009

Transferred from:

I own a kayak now. I’ve been getting out on the water for quite a few years now but always in a canoe during recreational floats down a lazy river. I’m even co-founder of a website dedicated to providing aqua-aholic pleasure to others. is the url if you get the urge to visit.

Several weekends ago we did a small family river outing and opted to get a single kayak and a regular canoe to handle my wife, myself, our daughter and a niece. Once I got in the kayak I was hooked! What the hell was I missing all those years? Mikey C., husband to Marni C., has used kayaks in the past and has told us how nifty they are . Did we listen? Nope.  Apologies.

So there we are floating down the river in kayaks and canoes and having a dandy time. We figure we need to go more often and if we got our own kayaks we would soon save money on rentals. Fine idea! The hunt is on.

After searching and calling and demoing, and blah and more blah, I end up with a Perception Prodigy 12.0. Several others were in contention but price and availability won out. Link to the Prodigy 12.0 is HERE:

Mikey C., and Marni C., also purchased kayaks. Marni got a Perception Prodigy 10.0 and Mikey got a Dagger Element 11.2. My wife wasn’t sure how much we would use them so in time she may get her own.