Monday, July 25, 2011

#10 Report: Continuing north of I-80

Saturday April 2nd, 2011. Up at 5:00AM, breakfast at King's Restaurant 6:00AM,back to motel, get into wetsuit, check out, and drive to Tidioute. Allegheny River is backed up into the mouth of the Tidioute Creek at the PFC access area.Chain MC to sign post near entrance to here. Very few places to secure a MC. Hope I don't get a ticket. Leave a note on bike to settle any concerns.
On drive to headwater point, I noticed that the water is at a nice level, MH, at Youngsville Road. At area named Hemlock, I make a left turn onto a gravel-clay road which has been graded recently. Go a quarter mile to the creek bridge. Make a u-turn at a wider area and return to park the truck. Was afraid to get too far off of the elevated road because the truck could sink in. Parked on the road surface. This is a rural place and very little traffic can be expected here, so this should not be a problem.
Launch the Mohawk Challenger on creek right-downstream side of bridge. This spot is down a brush bank. Across the creek, there is a fence with a horse in the pasture. The ride downstream through the valley was a nice one. Had to portage a few fallen trees. Ran over one small lowhead type dam, about one and a half feet high. This is vertical on upstream side and a 60 degree slope on the down side. Saw a small wall of some kind completely under water below here. Not a hazzard. This 4.0 miles of degree II water went by fast and I am on the backwaters of the river before I knew it. The river is backed up about 300 feet into creek.
Pull the canoe out and decided to chain it to big tree on the lower elevation by the water so that it would be out of sight from the basketball court which the kids may be playing on shortly. Hide my PFD knife under the float bag. I never ride the MC with it hanging on my chest. The PFD should offer me some protection if I have an accident, so I wear it on the ride back for the truck.
Complete the shuttle and load canoe by 11:00AM. Head south to West Hickory on Rt.62. Cross the river bridge and turn left to find the mouth of West Hickory Creek. Come to a guard rail along the road and park at the end of it. Walk back to check for water. It is at M level. A small creek. About 20 feet wide here. Chain the MC to the end of the guard rail on Dawson Road. This is at intersection of Williams Plan Road on the atlas. Put a tag note on the bike, secure helmet on MC lock pin, then head north to turn left on Preacher Hill Road which leads to Butchers Knife Hill Road. Wonder where they came up with that name?
The bridge on that road is said to be the put-in point. Water here is still at M level. On the downstream side of bridge there is an ice fence on the creek left suspended from a tree branch. To start here one would have to portage around that as there is no surf room to the right side of it. The creek here is 10 feet wide. There is no telling how many more of these things will be on such a narrow creek. Ponder my next move. See a lot of "no trespassing" signs on poles and trees. One seems to be directed at snow mobilers. It is five miles from here to the river. Hmm...Hemlocks, now that I am looking I see mixed Hemlocks with hardwoods. There could be a lot more walking here now that I see the whole picture. Go back to the truck and consult the atlas.
If I go down and turn right on McArthur Run Road, I can get two miles of the creek from its junction with the run of that same name. ( I can't believe they spelled the generals name wrong. It is Mac Arthur.) Went down to the point where the road turns up McArthur Run. Make a u-turn and drive the passenger side wheels up on the high road side bank to avoid blocking the through way. Narrow gravel roads, but this one shows signs of more use. Drag the canoe over a low land marsh area and launch. Water is M but scrachy going in places. Numerous fallen hemlock trees force portage. I am glad I did not attempt it from the five mile point. That is simply too far up the mountain. Finally see the Dawson Road bridge.
Drag the canoe over the flats and then shoulder it over better ground to the MC. I went to un-hook the MC. My helmet is gone! Damn it! I always suspected it would be easy to steal these things. One only needs a sharp knife to cut the chin web straps near the buckles which are on the lock pin, and they have a helmet.This was an especially good one. My son used it for racing cars at Maple Grove. He has another one that he likes better. I un-lock the seat and flip it up. No metal buckles on the lock pin! How did they do that? Discover that if one twist the seat on its hinge and uses a knife or screw driver under the buckles they would lift off of the pin securing them. Damn it! At least they did not trash the MC. Rode back and retrieved the truck. Had to pull it onto road surface to load the MC. Nobody came by in the time it took to do that.
Returned and was in the process of loading the canoe and gear when a white late model Chevy Suburban drove by slowly. I looked up but did not give the customary nod or small wave which people in the out back usually do. I am still mad. Funny, the three of them did not nod or wave either. Must be city people. Somebody with that much money does not steal helmets. I am almost done loading the truck when I hear a vehicle coming. I looked up and it is that same Chevy. Again-no acknowledgment when strange parties meet in rural areas. The Chevy turns right at the intersection onto Williams Plan Road. I remember being told by detectives at my shop that the crook sometimes returns to the scene of the crime. I think it was strange that they drove a half mile down and made a u-turn to come back to then go up that side road. Have nothing to write down the license plate number with, but I did see an "owl" on the plate. If you live in West Hickory and see a white late model Suburban with an owl on the plate, make sure your goods are secured.
It is still early, but too late to start another creek as the next two are long ones. Decide to scout Hemlock Creek and Coon Creek for tomorrow. Drove south on Rt.62 to President. Hemlock Creek looks very good at the Rt.62 bridge. About 35 to 40 feet wide with M level water. This is where it enters the Allegheny River. Drove up Red Brush Road to first intersection. No signs here. Must assume that this is Taylor Refuge Road. The elevation seems right according to the atlas. A long flat basically one lane ride though the wilderness. There is one and a half inches of snow on it. There is one lone tire track on it, so I rode on it as the sides are soft mud-snow mix. I did not see two right side trails indicated on the atlas, or a rill crossing the road. At a point I see an approaching truck about a half mile away. I pull onto a pull-off spot and wait. I flag him down and ask if this is Taylor Refuge Road? He says this is President Road. I ask about Red Brush Road or Allio Road on the left? He says "two more miles". We part and I consult the atlas. The road name changes to President Road further down the map. I am on the right path. It seems like I have been on this road a long time. Have had to drive slow because of conditions. Pass the two left side roads and turn right onto Hemlock Creek Road. It looks like two miles from this intersection to the creek.
In a wooded section the road is snow covered. I see a down hill part ahead of me. Stop the truck, put on the flashers and walk about 500 feet to see if icy gravel is going to be a problem. I can see straight through to the bottom of the hill. There is one tire track on the road. Drove down the hill in first gear and am prepared to rapidly shift to neutral if the braked wheels continue to spin. Got down OK.
When I crossed over the North Branch, I knew I had found it. Stopped at three places in the one and a half mile section mentioned on the claimants report. All bad news. First, I see a large sand bank on the far side of the creek. I have only seen one other like this in Pennsylvania. That one was on the West Branch of Susquehanna. Thoughts of Myrtle Beach South Carolina come to mind. (my favorite place) I descend about thirty feet in elevation to the creek bank. Hemlock Trees dominate the area. From the first spot I can see three fallen tree portages down from here, and two upstream. Water level is "L". It is too far up the mountain at 7.6 miles to the river. Notice that the soil has a high percentage of sand in it. Notice that each bend shows sign of undercutting or caving in. Thats how those Hemlocks get into the creek. At one place checked I was about to walk further downstream when I observed a parallel fisure in the bank. To step on that part would mean an instant wet bath. Noticed that on the straight parts which are few, that undercutting was occuring also. Checked it from the bridge which is the end point of potential launch according to the filed report. The writer fairly stated that there were numerous fallen trees to deal with. Even if the water was at "M" or "M-H" up here, there would still be a fallen tree problem to boating it. Consulted the atlas, and there is no other place to get to this creek between here and the river. It is the kind of place one may do once but they will never go there twice. This is too close to where the water comes out of the earth. Took pictures be back up my assessment. I'm out of here. -Bill

Monday, July 18, 2011

# 9 Report; March 23rd, Planning Ahead

Made three phone calls to Tionesta area for information. Got none to speak of. On the fourth call to Eagle Rock Motel, I got better info than usual. The lady said that they were releasing water from the lake and all water levels were generally high.Ice has gone out from the waterways, but shorelines are still iced in. A low of 16 degrees is expected through the weekend with a high of 29 degrees. They had rain Tuesday and Wednesday. Wow! How come she is so well informed especially about the shoreline ice? I inquired about that. It turns out that they have a canoe rental business here also. Great news! A good contact. A very good contact. Remember Eagle Rock Motel if you are in the area. Cancel this weekends run as not much is melting at those temperatures. Too far to go for only one days paddling at the cost of gas.
The first creek I plan to check on this next venture is Big Run. Found this on the AWA listing. On the topo map it appears to be three miles long and is two lines wide, making it wider than 20 feet, more like 30. The reports seem to say boaters run one big drop. This is the remains of an old dam by an amusement park. Another reported that they run the drop, then quickly exit the area before being caught by the property owner. This is not good. There is no mention of running the whole three miles to the Shenango River. This "Run"(not called a creek) is north of Sharon, near Greenville by the Ohio state line. Checked the AWA list again and found a "disclaimer" on it. Looks like a problem place.
This is the only creek out there that I plan to do that is two lines wide. Wondered how I missed that the first time around? Got to thinking about that detail, and suddenly remembered that two areas in Pennsylvania are flat in topography and elevation interval lines are graded at ten feet, not twenty. Check the maps again. Sure enough-the elevatons are at ten foot intervals!So, the creek appears to be much narower.( I had posted contour line width determinations in an earlier blog) This might mean that it is too narrow to run degree IV water. I know first hand that a lot of the creeks out there have steep near vertical banks of mud, so portage may be non existant if surf space is not available around fallen trees. All of this is factored into whether a place is a valid canoeable claim or a one time shot at a tight creek where the person who claimed it will not go again.
Wednesday, March 30th. All conditions sound favorable for this weekend. The plan is to leave home Friday afternoon and drive to West Middlesex for a Super Eight Motel. Saturday morning, first place to go will be Big Run. I suspect that this will be another listing like Little Scrubgrass Creek. After checking road mileage to Greenville and determining that we have day light until 7:20PM, I changed the plan. I should be able to scout Big Run late Friday afternoon-evening. If it is runnable, I will be ready for Saturday morning. If not passable, I can continue east towards Franklin for a motel to be closer to Saturdays activities. This would be best use of time as it would move up the whole agenda.
I read in the paper that fish season starts this weekend. Oh damn it! I thought this opened in mid April, but apparently it has been moved up. Phoned Marsh Creek State Park to find out if this was state-wide, or only the south east part of the state. Park official says it does not open in the north until mid April. Great news! Now I have a time frame to complete these last places before the descending hords of rod wavers.
Water conditions should be good as rain has been falling all across the western part of the state. Snow is predicted mainly in the eastern half of the state for Friday. April can be unpredictable. I am up at 5:30AM Friday morning and it is snowing like hell in Morgantown. Good God! Take the lose tarp off of the MC and drive to work. Wow! Gas went up ten cents a gallon last night. Arrive at work to see parking lot covered. Am hoping that it will change to rain. I usually wrap the MC in a tarp for wet travel. It is exposed to rain being sucked up into its parts which may make it hard to start. The sides of my two previous MCs were very open to the elements, but this one has pannels enclosing its parts. I am hoping for the best.
Put a long handle steel shovel and a snow shovel in bed of truck. Took out the cord wood which I might need for washed out roads. I'll take that chance. Most roads may have been graded by now if used at all. This was a last minute decision. I have tire chains, a come-a-long, and two cables if needed.
Since Tionesta Lake has been lowered, that might mean mud or ice piles when exiting on the shoreline. Could experience this same condition on Kinzua Lake. Decide to take a sheet of plywood 14 inches wide by 36 inches long with two 16 penny nails through it. Will carry this in the canoe incase of thick soft mud. I expect to drive the canoe in fast onto the mud, walk forward in the center of the boat, lay the plywood out on the mud,and then step out onto it. The nails should keep it from sliding while I pull the canoe forward. If neccessary I can get back in and repeat the process until reaching firm banks. If the lake has re-iced, I must look for a shoreline path where that has happened.
Had topped the gas off in the chain saw. May need that if a fallen tree blocks a forest road. I am sitting at work posting this in my log book, while watching heavy snow falling. My final run on a PA creek was in 4 inches of snow on April 1st, 2000. (read it in my book). I am hoping for the best. The "closed" sign in my shop window says that I will re-open Thursday next week. I want plenty of time to get these creeks in before fish season. A total of nine creeks will be checked on this venture. Only one remains after that. It is in Moosic, PA., the northeast part of the state.
I am out of here at 12:00 noon, Friday,April 1st. Leave home; arrive at Greenville at 6:30PM. Drive west on Rt.358 to Maysville to check the first bridge. Just as I suspected. There is not enough watershed above this point to keep the creek watered.It is a flash stream- up briefly, but not passable 24 hours after rain. Took pictures to back up my assessment. From here I drove south to Rt.846 bridge. More of the same condition. Took pictures. Continued downstream to the third bridge which is Coal Hill Road- S.R.4002. From this point it is a little under three miles by creek to the river. It is not good here either, so I take more pictures. I'm out of here. Head east to Greenville. Got some pictures of railroad equipment in town. Bessemer and Lake Erie R.R. ran through here. Continued east to Franklin and checked into a Super Eight Motel. Found a public phone at K-mart. Very few of these phones around anymore. People keep telling me to buy a $40.00 cell phone a Walmart. I have trouble hearing on cell phones so I use an amplifier on a reciever. Study my maps for tomorrow. -Bill

Monday, July 11, 2011

#8 Report: Canoe Creek Continued

Doing map study at the motel Friday night, I went back over todays maps again and claimants info provided for canoe guide book.Beaver Creek is too small at 1.7 mile mark up from Clarion River. This is the first bridge downstream of Blairs Mills. I never went to the 5.6 mile point. Too small is too small. On Canoe Creek, the next accessible bridge is 6.2 miles up from the mouth, not 5.2 as claimed. It could never be any bigger than 12 feet wide 3.4 miles closer to headwaters. The writings state that there are "undercuts" below I-80 on both creeks. A map count of eleven slight bends in 1.7 miles could give some idea of what to expect to traverse Beaver Creek.
Saturday March 19th, Up at 5:00AM. Catch the news, breakfast at 6:00AM at Eatin Park Restaurant. Do the routine and get on the road for Canoe Creek at 6:45AM. Arrive early. Check maps again. Drop MC at area named Canoe Ripple just up from the bridge over Clarion River. There is a barricade blocking an abandoned road here. The bridge over Canoe Creek went out years ago.It is about 150 yard walk down this road to the creek. The topo map shows a closer way into the creek on the other side, but without checking it out, it appears to go right by someones house, and it is too early in the morning to attempt a road nobody uses anymore. It could possibly be barricaded beyond that persons driveway. A little walk up out of this creek won't hurt me.
Went to the first bridge across the creek, which is 1.3 mile point. Water is at M level today which is probably too low for a degree III run. At the last minute I decided to walk the creek to get a feel for it. I had in mind that I may return in the future and run it from 2.8 mile point under I-80. More than one claim was made on this piece which gives it some credibility. I sometimes walked steeper sections of degree IV first to learn the course before running it. I have never done this on degree III, but the narrow width makes me think this is a wise decision. Started at 7:20AM. It is 34 degrees this morning, no wind. I had to cross the creek three times by picking a shallower section in order to avoid near vertical banks on outside of bends. Water is knee-deep. One must be careful of leg entrapment doing this. I am using my single blade w.w. paddle as a hiking stick. Came to a 2.5 inch thick telephone cable suspended across the creek. There is enough clearance to get under it if the water was H-H. Nice to know. Saw two white disk that had washed down here. Don't know what they are. Both at different locations. Minor boat scratchers, but not serious to travels. Only saw two undercuts, but there could have been another as growth on banks was dense in a few places preventing under bank checking. Some pieces of tree in places easily visible. Came upon a major tree jam creek-wide in the last rapids. Two trees about 24 inches in diameter completely block the creek. The water has found its way through near both banks, creating an island just upstream of the abandoned bridge pilings mentioned earlier. All manner of debris is collected here. No passage for canoe or kayak here. While walking on creek right, noticed a farm tractor wheel on the bank. A sign of civilizaton. From here, a house is visible high up on the mountain across the Clarion River. Finished the hike at 7:55AM. Run the MC back for the truck.I wanted to take everything back so that I would not have to return to this point. Chain and lock went into MC compartment and I stuck the blade of the paddle down into the back of my PFD. I'm glad nobody went by to see this. Upon returning I had to do a 180 degree turn to approach and load the MC on the rack.While making the turn the front tire skidded on the gravel road even though I was going slow.
My concerns about these smooth street tires proved to be real.I quickly got a foot out and prevented a fall. It is a good thing this MC is small. Load up and head for Maple Creek near Cook Forest.
This creek is near Clarington on the Clarion River. Bridge over creek mouth is guard railed in on both sides making it tricky to exit the water.Found a gap in the railings with a path leading down to the Clarion River. This point is just downstream of the mouth of the creek. Chained the MC to railing here and put a return note on it. I hook this onto the handle bar incase it is anybodys business.
Property owner has creek left side fenced in with six foot high chainlink fence toped with 30 degree angle brackets with barbed wire. This is too close to water to think about exiting there. Water is running a good M level. This expensive fence runs along the road for about 500 feet before turning and going up through the forest beyond where one could see the end of it. I wondered what justifies that kind of security a way out here. A sign on one gate says that it is an electric type. There is a German Shepherd running around in there barking its head off. Looks like new structural steel pieces of various sizes inside of fence. MEC is the name on the "no trespassing" signs.
Head north on Rt.899 to Redclydie and turn left onto Bear Run Road. this is in bad condition. Could really use repaving. Round a bend and see a beautiful multi millon dollar cement bridge across the Maple Creek. Wide shoulders and guard rails both sides. Big PennDOT "no parking" signs on both sides for a good ways from the creek. These are the symbol signs with the big letter "P" with a slash-line through it. I wondered if my tax dollars paid for this extravagance? Noticed that property owner has "posted and patrolled" signs on both sides of the road for a long distance. The shoulders are very good and wide for a long distance. This must be a hunting,fishing,dirt biker problem. Stopped on the bridge and checked the water. It is at M level, and passable. I could chance this but someone would see an empty MC rack on my truck. They might not observe that a second canoe is missing from the roof rack. This issue is easy for anyone patrolling. They don't even have to find me. They can report the violation of a state issue parking sign and I get a ticket. This creek could be run if a paddler was dropped and the shuttle vehicle driven away. The creeping Pocono disease has arrived here. Took pictures and continued around on the west side on the creek to check out a dotted line road showing on the atlas.
Make a left turn on a road posted "no winter maintenance". I know what that means. A little ways further a second sign warns "heavy truck traffic".Have never seen that one before. Road got progressively worst. I was lucky to make it to the top of the elevation in this muddy quackmire. I stopped at the top and could see that the downhill side towards the creek was real bad. On my right, a cable across the side road is down and I can see that major work is going on up there. A sight is being cleared, most likely for gas drilling. Turned round on this side road and left the area. Continued south-downstream. Pulled over near mouth of the creek to check the map. Looked at the water on my left and saw another sign on a tree. "Private, no parking. Vehicles will be towed at owners expense" Noticed the name on the sign is MEC. Friendly people. They control both sides of the creek. All of this is in rural area west of Cook State Forest. So, both ends of this small creek are too private and there is no way into the middle of it. Write it off. Someone must have run this years ago before gas exploration came in. Load MC and drive to wide pull-off area on Rt.899 to get out of wetsuit. End of this venture. Head home for brother-in-laws party tomorrow. -Bill

Monday, July 4, 2011

#7 Report: Sugar Creek, East Brady

Heading north on Rt.268, make a right turn at Frogtown and go down the hill to Kaylor. This is above the claimed put-in point on Sugar Creek, so I turn right and head downstream,looking as I go. it is too small at the 3.9 mile point,so continue further downstream. Pass a road on the right which I believe is Hart Run Road.Brush still meets in the mid-stream, but it is less frequent. It is 2.7 miles from here to the Allegheny River.This is probably the best start point.
Continue to the river and pull into a PFC access area. Chain the MC to a tree and leave a note on it that I will return by PM today. It is now 11:30AM. Noticed that the river is backed up about a half mile into the creek. No low bridge problems here. Sugar Creek is small, narrow, and of M level. I'll run it anyway even with the brush problem. Put-in on creek-left, just upstream of Rt.68 bridge.
Came to one degree II drop in the creek.It was minimum passable. Rock is mostly slab-like, probably Mudstone or Siltstone.I did not look close enough to see the fisure marks on it. Some angular rock mixed in at places.Again, I was not paying attention to it.It took 45 minutes to run the 2.7 miles. Had a nice MC ride, retrieved the truck, and returned and loaded the canoe. Nobody is using this PFC point today. It had been mostly covered by mud until recently.The river had been much higher.
Ponder the remains of this day. There is enough time left to possibly get some more miles on the headwaters of Bear Creek, which is not too far from here. Drove north by way of Petrolia. Got another look at the South Branch of Bear Creek. My first thoughts on it are right. It is too small and water level is L today. Continue to Bruin and turn left in town to go up the main branch of Bear Creek. Water is at M level by bridge where I started last year. Continue upstream and turn left on Snake Road.Went up past the area of "no tresspassing". Turn around and found a place where the creek is next to the road. Put in here. It is 2.0 miles from here to my take-out point. It was an easy degree I run. A lot of trees fall into the creek up here from these soft high mud banks, but today I did not have to portage any. A good afternoon! Retrieved the truck, returned for canoe, got out of wetsuit,and prepare to head to Kittanning. Had finished this last creek by 2:45PM.
Found a Comfort Motel in Kittanning, check in, shower, organize,and wash wetsuit.Anything in contact with your skin should be washed because creek water is not clean. Think about it. Between the wetsuit and your skin is a dark,damp, warm ideal place for germs. Kittanning is a convienent location for me to run to Pine Run tomorrow. Go to grocery store and buy bananas. My legs got a workout today. Fear cramps tonight.Phone home from a public phone in Walmart and report that I am off of the water and all is OK.I use a calling card since I do not use a cell phone. No GPS either. If you can't read a topo map, stay out of the woods. Got dinner at Kings Restaurant and head back to motel to study tomorrows routes of travel.
Friday, March 18th. Up at 5:00AM,catch the news on tv, prepare for the day,and go to breakfast at Kings at 6:00AM. Outside of left thigh hurts, hip hurts- not injuries, just old man's pains.Felt better after moving around and returning to the into creek clothing and drove to Rt.839 bridge on Pine Run. The railroad track is gone now. I remember this place. The day that I ran it from here to Mahoning Creek, it was snowing hard and the road was covered.I don't mind riding the MC on snow but this looked like a serious storm. This creek looked pretty small above here so I figured this was the put-in. A new claim was posted with the Pittsburgh Youth Hostel Canoe Guide which shows the headwater point at Dora which is four miles further up.I am here to complete that if it is valid.
Drop the MC and continue upstream checking each bridge. At the third bridge which is in the town of Timblin, the brush meets in mid-stream. This is one bridge too far. To launch here I would have to walk in on someones cut grass side yard, which is trespassing.The creek is ten feet wide. Saw an old bank building in Timblin with the date 1920 on it. Imagine a bank a way out here in a rural area. Decide to drop down one more bridge. It is private here too, but wider so no brush and potential ice fences to deal with.Decide to ask permission. I met Mr.Snyder who used to farm this land. He said that was OK.He had never seen anyone canoe or kayak through here. He is retired and I noticed that he has a fairly good view of the creek from his house. It is funny he would not have seen someone come through here. I'll give the claimant the benefit of the doubt. We boaters are fast. Mr Snyder told me about his family who started the farm many generations ago. I gave him an add for my book and explained what I am doing here. Backed the truck off of the road and launched by 9:00AM. Portage some strainers here and there. The creek is at M-H level. Finished the two miles by 9:45AM. Retrieve truck and canoe and head for Leatherwood Creek.
Pass through New Bethlehem on Rt.861. Check it from this bridge. It is M level. Turn right on Rt.854, go to T472 and turn right to reach the headwater point. It is a very small creek here,too narrow for a degree III run. Water level is M here also. Noticed that the grass bank had been washed over recently. Water would have to be one foot higher to do that. At that level one would be running through low hanging tree branches and brush. No elbow room to manuver around nature. I get out the camera for the second time today and take pictures to back up my accessment of the creek. From here, I drove down to the mouth of the creek at St.Charles.
There are remains of a long-closed brick factory here on the bank of RedBank Creek.It is a 150 yard walk upthe Red Bank to the mouth of Leatherwood Creek at a barricaded railroad bridge. The creek is 25 feet wide here.All of these creeks show one blue line wide on the topo maps. One line wide means 20 feet. Two lines wide would be in excess of 30 feet. As I have said before, degree III needs elbow room to surf around obsticles or else it means portages. I see a blue light burning inside the delapidated building. Someone is welding down there.
Continue to Cherry Run from here. Stop by Cherry Run Methodist Church and take some pictures of a very small brushy creek.Who is claiming these creeks? Proceed downstream checking bridges. There are five bridges from the church to the take-out on Licking Creek. Drop the MC here and decide to try it from the fourth bridge back, Toby area on the map.Water level is M and it could use a little more. One mile down at S.R.3003 farmers bridge, the creek flattens out and water is OK. It opens onto farm meadows. This means no more trees. There were two or three bigger drops in the last mile. One was a four foot ledge-falling onto slab. This is under cut deep enough for a person to sit under it as high water pours over the top. I know falls can wash out underneath like this but this is the deepest one I ever remember seeing. This is a degree III drop but there is not enough water to run it today. Finish and retrieve truck. Haul canoe up a steep bank with a 100 foot rope tied to the truck bumper. Rope can be a great work saver.
Get out of wetsuit. It is 1:25PM. Decide to turn the remainder of the day into a scouting trip. Checked Canoe Creek, Beaver Creek, and Little Scrubgrass Creek, all of which I now know fall into the same catagory as Leatherwood Creek. Sure enough, all were not good. Got pictures. Undercuts are mentioned on Canoe and Beaver Creek reports. That means portages because of lack of surf room. Too much portage means no floating, so go figure, do you want to hike or are you here to run it. Will try for last one and a quarter miles of Canoe Creek tomorrow. Drove in to look at 2.8 mile point under I-80 twin bridges. It looks like they throw road kill deer off of the bridge. That is a long ways up in the air. I hope they look first before throwing them over. Creek here on upstream side of road bridge is 12 feet wide. I don't know how anyone can claim to have done this from the five mile point.Downstream of I-80 it is 20 feet wide and may be posible with the cautions at those undercuts. I drove east to Clarion for a Super Eight Motel. Got a shower, organize truck, and go to dinner at Eatin Park Restaurant. Phoned home from Walmart public phone. Again, this was the only public phone in this area that anyone could think of.