Walhonding and Muskingum Rivers • Nov. 22 – 24
I asked my buddy Joe to come along because it had been so long since he’d been out. Plus, he’s handy to have around in case you run into black bears. For one thing, he’s loud enough to scare off a grizzly bear. If not, I can easily outrun him.
We spent three days floating from Six Mile Dam to Dresden on the Walhonding and Muskingum Rivers.
When we put on the river, the weather forecast called for rain all three days, but we lucked out. It only rained the first night we were out — and that was from sometime after midnight until about 7 a.m., so we slept through it.
It rained hard, but our tents didn’t leak and we’d had the foresight to put firewood under a tarp for our breakfast fire. The river came up about 3-4 inches overnight and stayed up for the rest of the weekend.
The first night we camped on an island past Coshocton. There are several spots along the river where you can camp between Coshocton and Conesville. Unfortunately, the coal trains going to and from the AEP power plant go through that area. The first island past Coshocton is the farthest away from the tracks, so the trains generally don’t disturb you. At least not if you drink enough beers before stumbling into your tent.
The second night, we camped at Wills Creek Island. Why? Because it’s about 12-14 feet off the water and I just wanted to hear Joe whine and moan as he lugged all his stuff up the bank. That’s his way of pretending not to enjoy himself. We could have easily paddled around the foot of the island to a much easier landing, but I didn’t want to spoil Joe’s fun.
He was still whining and moaning when we landed at Dresden the next day. Since he was having so much fun, I invited him to come along for the New Year’s weekend trip. I don’t think he will, though. He mumbled something about sticking pencils in his eyes. Must be some sort of New Year’s ritual.