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Canoe Trips - Itinerary 2006

Canoe Trips - Itinerary 2006
Friday, 16 June 2006

We have reservations for Friday night at Organized Group Tenting Site B and C in the Cooks Forest State Park (814-744-8407). Everybody is responsible for his/her ride, although we will try to coordinate rides some time before the trip: there is usually enough space for those who don't have cars, so please, do not worry too much in advance. For those who prefer to drive in caravan, we will be leaving from North Bellefield Avenue, outside the SIS building, at 4:00pm on Friday. Directions to the Friday night camping site are available on a separate web page. Please, take a map of Western Pennsylvania and a copy of the directions with you in case you get lost on the way. Also, if you have a cellular phone, please take it with you -- it may be helpful to communicate on the way in case you get lost or something unexpected happens.

Try to come to the camping site before dark -- Organized Group Tenting Site is not easy to find at night. Also, children find it nice to go to the swimming pool, which closes around 7 or 8 pm. Friday night is also quite a lot of fun, especially for the children. We usually have a campfire (or several small campfires). The camping site is very primitive -- there are only toilets, garbage disposal, and a single water pump (the water does not look drinkable, so please take some water with you from Pittsburgh; you need to pump for a while before water starts to come out -- there are more cholesterol-lowering exercises built into the program :-) , but it is clean and spacious.

Saturday, 17 June 2006

We will leave the campsite for the canoe outfitters (Cook Riverside Cabins,, 800-680-0160) in Cooksburg around 6:30am on Saturday morning.

We will leave our cars at the outfitters. They will load us into trucks or buses and transport us and our gear several miles upstream of Cooksburg. The outfitters will provide canoes, paddles, and life jackets. The life jackets are pretty nice and there are also child sizes. If you are concerned about the comfort of your child, you may want to purchase a better fitting life jacket beforehand (should be less than $20).

Clarion River is quite peaceful, so it is far from white water canoing. There are several rapids, so even though the trip is generally safe, there is a small chance of falling into the water if your canoe gets stuck on a rock and the current turns you sideways. We will go at a slow pace and will have a lot of fun on the way. There should be enough time to swim, talk and enjoy the sun (we always had quite a lot of sun). Feel free to paddle or float at your own pace, but please do not stray too many miles from the crowd and buddy-up with at least one other canoe. It is especially important for the fast canoeists not to pass our campsite area for Saturday evening. Topographical maps showing that area will be available no later than Saturday morning. We have been warned in the past that unauthorized camping in the Clear Creek State Park (beyond our planned campsite) carries a stiff fine. On the other hand, paddling back up the stream is a good workout, as the current can be fast at some places :-) . We will make our camp somewhere midway between the drop-off and pick-up point.

Saturday night dinner will be communal -- we will eat together, roast corn, sausages, veggie-burgers, or shish-kebab in the campfire. Bring your own food and own drinks but share them with others. Please feel free to bring whatever else you like -- in the past we shared food with each other.

Sunday, 18 June 2006

On Sunday morning, we will break camp and continue our float down the river. We will end the trip at the outfitters office in the late afternoon.

by Tomek D Loboda and Mark Voortman