June 8th - 9th, 2013
Upper Allegheny River
On June 8-9, Abhik Bhawal and Mike Jehn organized an overnight
canoeing trip on the upper Allegheny River (Allegheny National
Forest) beginning in Warren, PA, with canoe rentals by Allegheny
Outfitters. Since most of our participants lacked experience with
canoeing, we chose to do the Allegheny Outfitters -- Wildwood trip,
which allowed us to stay overnight on an island and to do a
significant amount of canoeing without overwhelming the newcomers.
There were 8 people in total with 2 people per canoe. We traveled
around 16 miles in total, passing by scenic natural areas as well as
industrial sites and quiet communities.
Locating an island camping spot proved to be a bit challenging since
the first several desirable sites were already occupied. However, we
succeeded in finding an excellent campsite with plenty of daylight
left to set up tents, get a fire going, cut some wood, prepare
dinner, and relax before nightfall. (Luckily Mike brought a sharp
folding saw with him to cut a large fallen tree bough for firewood;
very little wood was available otherwise since previous campers had
foraged most of it.) Our group enjoyed spaghetti with sauce and
bread for dinner; s'mores for snacking; and a breakfast of oatmeal,
eggs and sausage (plus tortillas and cheese) the next day.
Overall it was a fantastic trip. The weather couldn't have been
better--sunny with occasional clouds and not a drop of rain. We
encountered wildlife ranging from white swans and Mallard ducks
(with lots of ducklings) to Blue Herons, turtles basking on the
shore, and snakes (which Mike Jehn was compelled to catch and share
with everyone!). The river water was pretty cold but a few people
jumped in for a quick swim on Sunday afternoon.
-A. Bhawal, M. Jehn