Message from the Bottle

The Hocking River derives its name from a Native American word for bottle. This has nothing to do with the practice of cabrewing. The Native American word means bottle-shaped, referring to the way the river looks when viewed from a waterfall near its headwaters.

I finally got a chance to canoe the Hocking again in April, after the river settled down within its banks. I’d paddled it once before, decades ago. What really struck me about it then was the partially buried cars and trucks along the banks.


Poor man’s rip-rap. The Appalachian approach to river bank stabilization.

I love old cars and I love canoeing. So, even though the Hocking River lacked the pristine quality of a remote mountain stream, I enjoyed the experience.

I saw only four buried cars this trip.

The folks at Hocking Hills Adventures helped with my shuttle and accommodations. They did a great job on both counts.

I set up a base camp at Riverside Campground in Rockbridge, which is affiliated with the livery. It didn’t have the manicured turf of the campgrounds along my native Mohican River, but it was well-run, clean and the other campers were courteous and quiet.

The ground was incredibly dry considering the campground had been under water days before.


Campground map. The campground attendant drew a line near the speed limit sign indicating how far the river had wandered from its banks during a recent flood. My site, #54, allowed easy access to the river and a great view.


The view from my campsite. Gotta love the river in the morning.

Did I mention showers? Warm, clean showers?


I’ve heard that violets always grow on the north side of the trees. This is an example of the interesting flora and fauna at the campground.

The showers and flush toilets were a short hike up the hill. The path is lined with wildflowers and and birds singing in the tree canopy overhead.

The campground served as a stop on my two-day river trip and as a base camp for further exploration by car. (More on that in the next post.)

Here are a few more photos from the trip:


The Hocking is a very narrow stream at the Sugar Grove put-in point, but quickly widens after the confluence with Rush Creek. I paddled up Rush Creek as far as I could until I ran into a logjam. The livery also offers trips originating on Rush Creek after the logjams are cleared.


Railroad trestle downstream from the confluence of the Hocking and Rush Creek. There’s something romantic about rivers and railroads.


I stopped to explore Rock Bridge, a unique feature in the landscape. It’s accessible from the river and part of a large nature preserve. Just upstream of Rock Bridge is a zipline operation. Some of the zipline courses go right over the river.






Random Shots from a Beer Run

Took the camera along on a beer run this evening and got a few random shots at Malabar Farm.


A kettle of vultures hanging out by the inn — soaking up a few rays. Very few. The sun has been fickle all day long.





Roger and his Fiat — a common sight around these parts.



A gosling lays low near the ponds by the Hostel.


This cat averted eye contact with the geese the whole time it passed by. More than likely, papa goose had put the fear of God in the kitty early on.