Thursday, July 28, 2011

33rd State: Ohio - Mad River & Buck Creek State Park lake (July 28 and 29, 2011)

Stopped at Cheryl and David’s house (Vandweller members living near Springfield OH) to visit and kayak nearby.  It is a place of amazement and wonder.  Cheryl’s handle is “birdwatcher” and she is true to her name.  And then there are the cats… this one my favorite… Fluff.  He is like a dog in disguise.  A wonderful animal who will need a new home when his family hits the road.

Their yard is full of flowers, cats and birds.  So many birds.
David and Cheryl decided to paddle the Mad River with me.  What a hoot.  Not many of my state paddles have been done with company.  It was a neat 6.5 mile long paddle, with a couple of exciting spots along the way.  Great fun.
That would be David and Cheryl up ahead there.
The orange thing is my personal gps SPOT device which allows me to track where I’ve been, send out notices to 10 key people as to my location, and to also signal for emergency road service, or to call for 911 help if I’m injured or need rescuing. A couple of times on the water I have almost used it when I thought I could not get back to shore, as in my Apostle Island Paddle in Wisconsin.  Also.. this is my attempt to get some color on my Lillie-white legs my sister is always making fun of.
The day after our Mad River paddle, I went to a nearby Buck Creek State Park lake which I thought was just a small little lake about 1/4 mile wide, but I had it mistaken for another one.  This one was much much larger, like Cheryl told me it was, and I ended up with another about seven mile paddle, some of it pretty rough 2’ waves and white caps.
I was greeted by a flock of Canadian Geese… and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen them on water before.  Interesting.
Then there was this odd sight.  I saw a dog sitting in the water near the shore… looking out into the lake.  Odd?  Then I saw a man swimming in much deeper water.  He walked back toward the dog, picked him up, carried him out til he was up to his shoulders and then turned the old dog loose… the dog turned and calmly swam to shore and sat back down in the shallow water.  Hum!
A few sail boats enjoying the breeze.
Finally I crossed to the other side of the lake where the water was almost still.  Nice to get a rest.  I did not expect such choppy water.  Some other sights below.
This was the largest shelf fungus I have ever seen.  It was bigger than my paddle.  Still about three feet away from the end of the paddle.
After enjoying the Nature Preserve, I turned and headed back across the lake… and again, almost waved to get a tow back to the other side.  I am NOT holding the camera crooked… that’s the water tossing me about.  I’ve got to go all the way over then and around that point of land.
But as you can see, I made it… about a three-four hour paddle.  Safe back at Cheryl’s to enjoy her company (and David’s), and the birds and the cats (not so much the cats with my allergies, still I do LOVE that Fluff).
Coke (behind the chair)… named Coke because she was found as a small kitten, inside a Coca Cola machine.
Look carefully, you will see little yellow finches on the sunflowers.  The female is almost the same color as the leaves, and same shape… sitting on top of the largest flower in the bottom photo.
It’s been a wonderful visit, two great paddles, and “it doesn’t get any better than this… until tomorrow!”  Thank you Cheryl and David.
Ohio (continued).

Who is Swankie?

My photo
Anywhere, USA, Full-Time USA traveler, United States
Visit me on In 2006, I was shopping for a wheelchair. By 2007, I had new knees, better health and by 2008 a kayak. In Aug 2013, I kayaked my 49th state, Alaska, at the Holgate Glacier and in May 2014, I kayaked Hawaii, my 50th state, to celebrate my 70th Birthday and the finale to the wonderful adventure of Kayaking America? Next up... Solo Hiking the Arizona Trail, 820 miles in Spring 2017. In training now for the hike.