Monday, June 27, 2011

#6 Report; Temperatures going up, rain coming down.

This weekend might be it. Feb. 15th, start up the motorcycle. Should have done this earlier. Just because it was completely tuned up last October, doesn't mean it will run.It runs great. There is still some snow on my driveway. Feb. 19th, 20th; Conditions not good. Very cold temperatures and some moisture predicted. I cannot do it next weekend because of other obligations.
March 3rd,Heavy rain coming up the Ohio valley. Pittsburgh will get it Saturday, Not a good report. Will bide my time. March 6th; North of Pittsburgh snow fell all across the northwest. March 8th,Tuesday, it looks like more rain from the southwest Thursday and Friday.
March 9th, Wednesday; Load the canoes again.Noticed the float bags were low in air probably from the cold temperatures. Reinflate them. One was stuck shut and broke apart while I was opening it. Thats the problem with old equipment. Other two bags inflated OK. I should have checked this closer much earlier. I would hate to be out there with only one good float bag in my whitewater canoe. I have two other bags in my reserve equipment. Got both out and inflated them. Both are good. Put a good one in place of the bad one. Will take the other along incase one gets a puncture. Notice that the gas is low in the motorcycle.I left it that way all winter. It could be going stale. Wondered if I put 89 octane in on top of the old 87 octane would that reinvigorate the old possibly stale gas? I normally use a stabilizer in fuel which is to sit for a while.
March 10th, It is raining very hard here and the weather pattern looks the same out by Pittsburgh. Phone around to motels. Yes, what I am seeing is what is happening. I am getting anxious to get moving.Morning temperatures are 32 degrees or higher now and afternoon going into 50s. No ice on well used roads in the morning. Good bike riding. 40 degree water and 60 degree air is the breakover point regarding hypothermia. Conditions are getting better and safer at this time. A traveling customer of mine tells me snow is expected north of Pittsburgh tonight. Thursdays paper shows 50s out there and 40s north of the city. Will check river gauges tonight.
Thurs. March 10th. I am in denial over my condition. When I picked the canoes up off of the picnic table the other day to reload, I felt the muscle in my back stress out. Now I am experiencing lower back pains. Hope for some signs of improvement. Friday 11th, Weather don't look favorable and no relief on my back problems. I could do this thing but it means slippery roads up near I-80, East Brady. Decide to forget it. Now I see another problem. Next weekend is brother-in-laws 70th birthday party and I am expected to be there. May decide to go out for one day and return by Sunday for the party. Who doesn't like a party?
Half an inch of rain in Pittsburgh Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday Fri, and Sat. will be unusally warm in the 60s.Decide to go for it! I had hoped not to take time off at work because I have three day weekends. Sometimes events will not fit into a weekend, so I had better go for it. These creeks are mostly under five miles long, so with a bit of luck I might get six of them in on a three day trip, but not this coming weekend. Two days, Friday and Saturday.It rained and got warm.
Had tested both CB radios. Both are junk, but I installed the better one to keep me company on the long early morning ride to Pittsburgh. Notice that one float bag has a slow leak. It takes a whole day to lose it, so I'll continue to reinflate it as I go until I can replace it on my next run.Completed final details of loading Thursday. Recharge the MC battery. Also, charge up the jumper assist box incase needed. Plan to start up MC when I drop it so that it should be OK. I have three chains and locks. One to carry in the canoe incase I have to leave it half way into a trip.Two more; one for the kick stand to keep it from being put up. If kids play with it, they will never be able to get the stand down again and will lay the MC on its side which is not good. The second chain is to secure the bike to a railing or tree. It is too easy to steal, so fasten it down.
Some last thoughts. "By yourself?" We go out to dinner with different friends and someone will say, You are going out there by yourself? I explain that it is imposible to find a person who can function on someone elses schedule, which may be a very short notice to go. Years ago, I heard Ed Gertler the writer of a canoe manual, express this same thing when asked by someone in the audience. I fully understand it. The important thing is not to lose your head. Systematically check everything. The canoe must be ship-shape before you put one foot into it.All blind descend needs to be walked down and checked before floating, and the next eddy downstream that you plan to pull into must be located. Nothing can be done in a hurry, or pressed into the 3:00PM waning hour of the winter day. Do it another day.Motorcycle riding has its own set of things to watch out for. We can die anywhere. Weds.March 15th Reading Eagle had a story of a man found dead by his car in a restaurant parking lot. It was not foul play. Probably a heart attack. We all take our chances in this world, and when its your time, thats it. This is the last posting in the log book. I carry a pocket size log book to record details which will eventually be posted in this larger book when I return home.
Friday, March 18th, Up at 3:00AM, on the road at 3:30AM headed for Pittsburgh. 41 degrees, three/quarter bright moon. Animals will be crossing roads.Watch for deer.Notice water seeping down vertical rock along the turnpike. Notice sides of shoulder of road are still wet.All good signs. Get breakfast 7:40AM at Kings Restaurant on Rt.28. My CB radio did not work well. Miss having trucker reports on the road.
I missed the turn to enter Rt.28 expressway and ended up going the old business route through the small towns to Breckenridge. This place looks like a crowded city on the atlas.That is where I have to locate a drop spot for the motorcycle where Bull Creek enters the Allegheny River. Think it best to do a partial ride up Bull Creek Road first to determine the water level and check details of the degree III rapid "under Rt.28 bridge".Found the creek. Circled around town to check out bridges and found the P.F.C. area under the bridge over the river. The river is up so it backs up into the creek about a half mile. One bridge has very low clearance at this level. Wow! This is something boaters should check before running it.Got into wetsuit at the PFC area which is vacant this morning. Traffic through town is scarey at rush hour. Coming in all directions.
Found the first road on the west side of Rt.28, Grim Road. Today this will be an ideal take-out point.The degree III rapid is about 400 feet upstream of Grim Road bridge.Water level looks Medium (M). I asked at a welding supply store if I could leave my MC by the pole across the road by the creek? Owner says to bring it over here by the trailer. Nobody will bother it there. I did that and continued towards Millerstown. Cross an intersection and found a Methodist Church and a ball field. This is a good put-in location. Water is running 12 inches down on cement base works which supports the poured concrete verticals of the bridge. This is M level here-into the average mud line on proved to be a good level, but at the degree III drop, it was just not enough. This drop is thirty feet long over large base rock creek-wide,with best flow on two sides of center. Going over the entry part is OK, but there appears to be a pool pocket and then another partial ridge of rock splits the water at this level making it difficult to complete the course. A portage up a steep bank was neccessary because the shoreline was very dense old growth briars. A lady raking her yard here wanted to help me make the portage, so I gave her the double blade paddle. She said that if I could not get through the briars, she would shuttle the canoe around to the bridge. As I have said in my book, the Pittsburgh people are great! I got cut up with briars so I back off and decided to carry up to the guard rail at Grim Road bridge and chain the canoe to it. It is a short walk from here to the MC.
Riding out Grim Road I noticed the PFC guy inspecting my canoe. I tooted the horn, waved and kept going. He waved back.It took one hour and fifteen minutes to complete the 4.5 miles. Three portages of strainers. Went over one low head cement dam about one and a half feet high. One cement bar, 12 inches thick and creek-wide was passable. I don't know what purpose this structure served. Returned for canoe and headed for Sugar Run at East Brady.I think the PFC guy was looking to see if I was fishing illegally.

Monday, June 20, 2011

#5 Report; Find a Shuttle Vehicle

The search for a motorcycle begins. I had owned two others over the time that I needed them. They had been sold when I thought I was done canoeing. Used small street bikes are hard to find. When the original owner gives up on them, others take the lights off and use them for dirt bikes. I looked at one of those. It was cleaned up and all of the lights were in a box. A close look at the machine revealed that it had gone through hell and back. There has to be a better bike out there.  The cycle has to be light enough that one end at a time can be lifted up into a bumper rack. There are a lot of big bikes for sale, but that would require a trailer for transport. The only old bikes still in dependable service are motorscooters which are hauled around on motorhomes. I looked at a few of those.
One 1987 Honda Elite 80cc looked very good. Only 1500 miles on it. Seller did not have the title. It had been owned by a relative who came from Virginia. Seller kept it at his place of business in Philadelphia. He tried to get the title and was told that they do not keep dormant paper around more than five years. His granddaughter rode it around his property, so it had little use. Price was cheap at $150.00. Seller said I could take sales receipt to notary and they would get a title. I wasn't sure of that procedure, so I told him I would get back to him. Notary said, owner must get the title, then he can sell it. I gave up on the sweet deal.
Found another Honda Elite 1989 model.It had 9000miles on it. Seller hauled it on a motorhome.I paid $300.00 for it. It may have been better for something this old to have been run more frequently. I thought that I might buy the first one for parts, so I called the owner and it was sold. I hope the buyer knew what he was doing.
This Honda has smooth street tires, like the kind that you see on crouch rockets. One lineal groove around the circumference with single grooves radiating out from center to the edge of  the tread. The remainder of the tread is very smooth. I don't want to be on wet or snowy roads with those, so I ordered a knobby for the back. I saw the tire patern in the CycleMax dealers catalog. I told the parts man that that design would work good on snow for me. He promptly said I cannot ride this on snowy roads! I did not engage him in debate on it. A lot of back country roads are posted "no winter maintenance", so chains go on the truck to get in there. On return with the cycle I keep both hardsole boots on the slippery surface and go slow, with a quick disengage on the hand clutch if the wheel starts to let lose. Again, that is another reason the bike must be small.
My son gave me a full face helmet with a lot of features on it. He had used it to race Mustangs at Maple Grove, but now has a better one. My only concern about this bike is that it doesn't have a manual clutch, but a centrifugal one with automatic transmission. I am hoping that rapid down-turn of the throttle will disengage quick enough to spare me a spill. Will take it slower than usual, if it comes to icy conditions, to learn its ways.
On the internet, details of the 17 creeks are noted. Degree of difficulty, Put-in, take-out, hazzards, gauge points. It is clear that I will use both of my solo canoes. A Mohawk Challenger model, 14 feet long,30 inches wide, and an Old Town H2Pro model whitewater model 13'8" long by 29inches wide. Both are ready to go since they had been taken out earlier. I can forget about boats until January.
November 2010, I got on the scale.Good God! I weigh 210 lbs. Decide to make it a goal to lose ten lbs. Immediately switched to half piece of toast, cereal, one egg for breakfast. Gave up sweet iced tea altogether, and replaced it with water. Lunch was three plain rice cakes dipped in water. Damn things taste like wet newspaper. The surprising thing is that I did not miss the iced tea which I drink must of the time. The hardest thing is avoiding sweets which around holidays seem to come in abundance. I lost five pounds after the first two weeks, then it was very slow going on the numbers. Finally the scale responded with lower numbers. It took two and a half months to see 198 lbs on the scale the end of January. Now to keep it there. I don't know if this is physiological, but I feel that I can move quicker, or am less sluggish, maybe even more physical, although I am not doing strenthening activities, just cross country skiing and walking our Golden Retriever on a three mile round trip to the store. All I can say about dieting is that it does not take expensive programs, just old fashioned will power. January 2011 turned into an artic type winter with snow every week, so I kept on skiing. This is good for my legs which I know I'll be wet hiking and protaging definitely on some of these creeks.
While having lunch with a group of ski, bike, canoe friends, a fellow I have paddled and skied with many times mentioned that he might like to do that type of creek search. Out of  the corner of my eye, I caught the expression on his wife's face, which was not good, although she did not say anything. He has Friday afternoons off at work,  so I told him I would keep him informed as the plan evolves. Later, I was thinking about having a second person preparing for a last minute phone call Thursday night or Friday morning. I wondered if anyone could act on short notice, almost like a fire drill to go for a long weekend, let alone for a week. That person may be thinking of this as an adventure or leisure travel, but for me it is more like a business trip. I just want to claim these creeks.
I thought it would be wise to enter an itinerary on Mitch's E-mail, so he would have some idea what to expect. Following is what was posted:  Hi Mitch; You expressed an interest in my hectic canoe schedule, so I thought I would lay it out roughly for you, incase you still want to try this venture.I expect to start at Pittsburgh heading north, or Smeltport heading west. I think Pittsburgh north may have best early weather chances. Two or three Feb.-March weekend runs will be followed by a week-long run in March or as late as early April. I would leave home Fri. afternoon, motel north of Pittsburgh, up at 5:30AM,breakfast local diner, back to motel, into wetsuits, drive to Bull Creek. Check it out, drop MC, go to headwater, paddle down, cycle back, get canoe.( I don't know if you simply want to scout to see how it is done or paddle, but I don't want you on this creek- a degree III rapid) Next, drive to East Brady, check out Sugar Creek, set up and run it in the afternoon. You can run this degree I, if you have that in mind. Then drive south to Kittanning, get a motel. We have to plan to be off the water by 3:00PM in the winter months. Thats why the early starts. Nap, shower, wash wetsuits, organize for Sundays venture, dinner locally, study tommorows maps. Sunday, up at 5:30AM, breakfast, back to motel, wetsuits on, drive to Pine Creek near Dora, check it out, run it. This is degree I water, You can make your decision on this one.Sunday noon, head for home. If Saturday, Bull Creek has iced in shoreline, I turn around and head for home, no scouting, or paddling. Will try another weekend. Things to check on the internet: Google -Canoeing Guide to Western Pennsylvania and Northern West Virginia. Sign in on "agree" line and pull up Bull Creek, Sugar Creek, Pine Creek. Careful- there are many Sugar and Pine Creeks. Look for Rt.839-Pine Crk. Need any details, e-mail questions. -Bill
All of my equipment is showing signs of wear, but I am not going into expense just to do 17 creeks of short length. All three wetsuits fit. One drysuit is OK. I don't use this where frequent portages are expected because one poke from a sharp stick can render it useless and me vulnerable to hypothermia. It may be used on two wider creeks, Coon and South Branch Kinzua, both of which end on lakes which may still be partly frozen. Dry suit offers best protection- if it is air tight.  Two double blade paddles are put together with screws. My ice blade is still tight. This is a heavy, thick of shaft and blade area with tile paste spreader trowels screwed onto both sides of it with the teeth extending down a quarter inch below bottom of the blade. I use this as a spare on places like Coon or S.Br., incase  the canoe has to be driven up onto the ice. It is neccessary to move far enough onto the good ice before getting out of the boat. My primary use paddle is the double blade. 1/11 Got out motel guides to determine which towns have them. Will use their numbers for on location info.
2/17/11 Have been skiing almost every weekend.Pittsburgh expecting 65degree weather Thurs, and Fri. Rapid snow melt should occur this weekend. Calling around I found out that they did not get as much snow out there as we had here. Another problem; on Sunday their weather is to take a turn for the worst. It is not worth it to run out there for one day of paddling.To continue further north would be heading into a snow zone. I think I'll bide my time and pass on this weekend.
Have been watching the weather channel for a break in winter, but it is not happening. It is either very cold continuously meaning iced in shoreline, or snowing, or flooding conditions. Eight four foot lengths of cord wood have been loaded in my truck, a long handled steel shovel, a snow shovel, chain saw, two cables one ten foot, and one fifty foot, a come-a-long, and 100 feet of half inch rope. All of this is for those back roads. I also have chains to go on over my snow tires. I learned all this in past history. I never got an answer from Mitch. I know the E-mail went through. I think his E-mail got censored. Anyway the plan rolls along. I don't think it will be much longer before the time is right. -Bill

Monday, June 13, 2011

#4 Report: Sceond day-First venture

Sunday, May 9th, 2010: Up at 5:00AM, catch the news, get ready. 6:00AM breakfast at the restaurant down the hill from the motel. Back to motel, get into wetsuit, pack and check out. Head west on Rt.208 to check out Scrubgrass Creek. Turn right in Clintondale onto Rt.308. After one mile, come to the bridge over the creek. Wow! this thing is running M-H. It has been three days since rain. How did I miss this creek the first time around?
From this point I have the shortest route marked on the topo map. This is best for a bicycle or motorcycle unless a truck cannot handle it, or it is declared a private road, or the road is abandoned which can happen. The area shows as an oil field on the map.Well heads everywhere. Drove south on Rt.308 a quarter mile and turned left on small road. Then turned left onto Phillips Road which is gravel and goes down hill in a steep section. No fear of the steep grade as it appears maintained by the industries. This joins S.R.3006 and a left turn goes across the creek. There is nice degree II rapids here.I turned right to reach the mouth at the Allegheny River.
I stopped for a minute after circling the area which is a large campground. Riding my bicycle back seven miles for my truck is going to be5 miles of walking and 2 miles of riding. Consult the elevation lines on the map. Approzimately a 400 foot climb over that distance. This will take all day. I wondered if I could hire a shuttle driver? First I need permission to take-out here and leave a bicycle. Then I should explain what I am doing and inquire about hiring a senior citizen to ride up with me and bring my truck back down here.
         I started for the office and was met by a lady who was the manager. It was OK to take out and leave the bike. She said to ask the fellow on the other side of the creek. I drove over to see him and his wife just leaving all dressed up. He said to try the fellow at the last site at the river. I went there and he was already gone. Back at the office I asked if she could think of who else I might ask? She said maybe her son would do it. How much was I willing to pay?  I had thought about that miserable all day hike in a wetsuit and raised my thoughts of what that fee should be. $40.00 I said. She said she would check with him. It is 8:00AM. It will be tough to get a young person out of bed at this hour on Sunday morning. She returned and said he would do it.
A fellow in his late teens came out. I ask if he had a drivers license. Yes he did. I would not have cared if it was my old Chevy, but this is my good Dodge. I am glad I did not quote a cheap number on that fee. I drove up to the put-in. I cautioned him about that steep down hill. He said he knew a better road back. I am excited about this creek. I slid the Mohawk Challenger down the gravel path and then through the grass to the waterline. Took a moment to make ship shape, everyting in its place. Launch and enter a forest of mixed trees, leaving civilization behind.
Degree II rapids frequently at first , then almost continuosly as it starts down hill. It is a nice creek.Had to portage a strainer or two. Came to an area where some excavating was being done near well heads. It is mostly conifers through here. Some older 4 inch diameter pipes are exposed along the banks in places. This has been a producer of oil for many years based on the amount of discarded metal. The creek got narrower and steep in places, but never exceeded degree II in difficulty. The paddler has time to look around without being totally focused on the rocks.
After 3 miles of wilderness, I see a house on the right up on the hillside. I know that the first island is just below here.Took the best flow channel and come out by S.R.3006 bridge. The creek is 15 yards wide here. This is called the pumphouse bridge, but I did not see anything at the waterline. Must have been busy with the water. When a creek spreads out the water level is lower and rocks are closer to the surface which makes it interesting.
Take out above the camp entrance, load up, and head out by way of Humpheys Corner and Cyrus. I am driving slow and looking for a possible new oil company road in towards Little Scrubgrass Creek. This creek is inaccessable at the mouth, so one would have to boat down the river one mile to a possible take-out on private land if allowed. Otherwise one would have to go two more miles down to river left and take out in Blacks on a public road.
There was no new roads so I continued and turned left onto Rt.208.  went a half mile and turned right on a small gravel road and stopped on the creek bridge to check it out. This is a dead end road. Somebody must be kidding. There is not enough water here today. One could walk across it and only get wet ankles. There is a cross-creek strainer just below the bridge.  Upstream about seventy-five yards a four foot high dam can be seen. Little Scrubgrass Creek is three miles long from Rt.208 to the river and the claimant says it is passable from a point one mile up from here. Not possible. It is the kind of creek one might do once, but they will never do it again. At this point I have to decide to try more creeksMonday or pack it in. This bicycle riding is for young people and I know I'll never be lucky enough to find a shuttle driver in a rural area on a weekday.The water levels have dropped since rain four days ago. I sense that further search will not be good. Head for I-80 and home. This mission accomplished and a lot learned. Buy a motorcycle. some of these very small creeks are bad claims. A person went there once, found out what it was like, but should not have put it on a list as canoeable. I had attempted some creeks in past history and had to humble myself and portage out, thus no claims on them for the public. -Bill

Monday, June 6, 2011

#3 Report: Rain Comes

        On second thought, throw in six pieces of cord wood 3 to 4 feet long incase I encounter a washed out road through the forest. Kick around the idea of the chain saw, come-a-long, and cables, but maybe not. It will depend on WHERE it rains.
         Based on what has shown on the weather radar, the area along I-80 near Emlenton might be the best place to try for. Left home 3:30AM Saturday for the drive out there. Someone has claimed that the part of Bear Creek above Bruin and the South Branch are both passable.
         I had previously made two trys for this creek from Bruin to the Allegheny River, which is Degree III water. On first try I had launched below a strainer pile and got to the first bend which had more tree debris blocking it. I took out on creek-right. A portage on creek-left would be murder- up a steep bank. The trees were bare, so climbing over and through the rocks looked better. Checking down stream, the next rapid had a tree in it too. I could  see my truck from where I took out, so the easy portage was away from the creek to boulder free land. Decided to put this place on the back burner. Sometimes trees clear out after heavy flooding. I will be through this area again.
          The second time, it looked much clearer. I paddled into the first constricted zone. It was too tight to pass a canoe. At this portage point it is a much steeper climb up a railroad bank on creek-left. I took out on the right and scouted down stream. There is not enough elbow room to get by some tight spots, so more portage would be neccessary. Funny that I didn't notice that the first time that I was here. This was attempted in the first place because it shows two lines wide on the topo map, and it looked like it had enough running water source above Bruin on the stream map. This time there were some leaves on the sapplings, and I had a heck of a time finding the canoe which was on the ground among the boulders. This never happened to me before. This is conglomerate sandstone boulders along this creek. Not exactly a boulder city in geology terms but similar in smaller size. I portaged out of here, and wrote it off as a place too small for sensible passage.
        Now eleven years later someone claimed to have run it on the AWA listings. I can't believe I am going back there for a third time. Arrived at Parker and stopped to study the topos again. All possible take-outs had been checked out in past history, but I saw a dotted path line down creek right to the river. Drove down and over the last bridge on the creek before the river. It is one mile from this bridge to the river. Continued up the other side to a wider area to park.There is a pickup truck here. I surprised a man and his son in the process of moving bushes. I ask him about the path? He said it was a steep walk to the Allegheny River. I told him that I have moved good bushes myself, and that I didn't see him doing it. He laughed but was now at ease. ( I lied, but I am not looking for trouble here.) Yankee ingenuity has to make money any way they can out here. I walked about a quarter mile down the path and decided that it was no place to portage out of.
      Went back down to the creek bridge and parked on the turn-around spot. Hiked up to check the first good rapids. This is an undercut boulder on creek left, but there is surf room to get by it on the right.This creek runs four miles down from Bruin. This last 1.5 miles to the river is runnable. I then drove over the bridge and parked by the abandoned railroad bed. Took the bike for a ride upstream on the worn motorcycle path in the railbed. I had ask the fellow about the railbed, and he said that I could not get through because kids destroyed the bridge over a side creek. The creek is free of fallen trees for the most part, but passage on the channels is so-so. Bike back and drove up to Bruin. The previously abandoned little used tote road is more open now, so I drove in on it.The land is used for various purposes, one of which is more active oil wells, also some illegal dumping. Come to the part of game land closure, and backed up to turn around. It looks like industry is keeping the creek clear of trees to keep the high water away from their public works and the well heads. The water level is too low to consider it today, but having given this place the third degree, I can say it is too small to be considered good whitewater. It is a place where a team of steep creekers in short kayaks might challenge themselves to a lot of physical portaging before getting enough elbow room half way into the run. I'm out of here.
        Checked the main branch above Bruin and it is minimum passable, so I returned to the town park and chained the bicycle to a tree. Put a note on it, that it was a canoeist shuttle vehicle and I would return shortly. Drove up to Snake Road. This is too far. Went back to the first road bridge over the creek. Prepared the Mohawk Challenger and got into wetsuit. Water is still cold in the mountains this time of year. Launched and had a reasonable run to Bruin. Rock type is different up here. I don't usually look at rock in flat water, but I have been looking at conglomerate all morning. Noticed that this is where all the trees come from in the lower creek. There will always be a chance of strainers among the boulders. Arrive at the take-out point and chain the canoe to a tree. This is a steep road out of the town park so I had to walk the bike up the hill to start riding.Out to the main road and through town to a long low grade up along the creek to my truck.Made it back to the truck without too much exertion. The last time that I used a bicycle for shuttle was before 1985, when I switched to a motorcycle.
        Retrieved the canoe and walked through the woods here to see the mouth of the South Branch entering this branch. Noticed that the South Branch has a sliding board where it drops into this main branch. The brush almost meets in mid-creek here. This is too low to consider today. Left the park and drove south on Rt.268 to Petrolia. The South Branch is ten feet wide and walled in on both sides through the industry here. I wonder how they like canoeist going through their zone? Decided to look for a put-in point below here. A lot of the area is fenced-in industry. Beyond the fenced part one would have to walk a ways across private property to reach the creek. Further north and still upstream of the minimum three mile run point, the creek comes closer to Rt.268, but there is a guard rail and not enough shoulder to park on either side to leave a perfectly good truck, so this is out of the question. If it was my old Chevy I would leave it here, but not my good Dodge.
       It is too late in the day to consider another creek, so I headed to Emlenton to get a motel. This puts me close to where I think I am going tomorrow. Report home, on a public phone in the truck stop restaurant near motel, that I am off the water and OK. Get dinner, review topo maps for tomorrow. It was a good day.
                       Bear Creek: written off as too tight, too small for sensible passage.
                       Bear Creek above Bruin: In the future with MH water this can be had from a good ways
                       up on Snake Road.
                       South Branch Bear Creek: Will look at it when I come back to this area, but am doubtful
                       of it. Too intimate with private property and brush probably meets in the middle at the
                       four mile point below the industry since it almost meets mid-stream at the mouth. This
                       means ice fences in the cold winter months when the water level would be up enough
                       to do it. Ice is heavy and can stop a canoe it its tracks.
     It has been a long day since 3:30AM this morning, so it was easy to hit the sack.