Homeless on the Range

Never thought I’d see the day when homelessness affected my canoe camping. It has.

Last October, I came upon a more-less permanent campsite on the Walhonding River near Coshocton. I planned to camp on an island south of town where I have camped before. It’s what I call an occasional island, accessible from the mainland except when the water levels are high. As I stepped out of my canoe, I noticed fresh footprints in the mud. I climbed up the bank and saw a tent.

junkcampclose

The bare ground indicates that this camp had been in use for a long time. No fire? Probably means the occupant(s) did not want to attract attention.

“Occupied,” I said to myself, and pressed on.

A few weeks ago, during a canoe trip from Coshocton to Zanesville, I stopped at the island again. No footprints this time. But, when I climbed the bank for a look-see, I found an abandoned squatter’s camp. It was the same tent I’d seen the previous year.

I pressed on to find another campsite.

Wish I could say that this was an isolated incident. I’ve been seeing more and more of this sort of thing along the rivers.

junktent

The same tent I saw in October 2016 and again in September 2017.

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One thought on “Homeless on the Range

  1. Rivers and railroad tracks both have small green areas along the sides, and homeless people can be found almost any place where the vegetation is dense here in Columbus. The Scioto has a bike trail that follows the river west from downtown, and there are two or three homeless camps within a couple miles (the camps get cleared out occasionally). It’s as bad as I have ever seen it, and with the R’s in control of the government, I think it will get worse.

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