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Old July 7th 05, 05:41 PM
 
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Default Gently down the stream - Several Nice Canoeing Articles

Gently down the stream
CiN Weekly hits North America's original interstate highways when we go
canoeing. Grab a paddle.
GINA DAUGHERTY | CIN WEEKLY

Sometime this summer you're going to grow tired of air-conditioned
office buildings, elevators and car exhaust. When that happens, you're
going to go looking for something a little closer to nature. And you're
going to find it, practically in your backyard.

All you're going to need for this trip is a rented canoe, a nearby
river and some oars. And friends are nice to have, too.

Your only real instruction is to paddle. If you paddle into the trees,
you're doing something wrong (unless you want to paddle into the trees.
And that's OK, too).

When you're ready for this trip, just drag your canoe into the river,
push yourself off with your oars and see where the river takes you.

PACK A LUNCH
We also recommend sunscreen, a cooler with cold beverages and some
snacks. These are the same things recommended by the band of paddle
expert brothers at Morgan's Canoe Livery, a family-owned business for
more than 40 years.

"Your first experience on the river is the most important," says Gary
Morgan, who runs the Morgan's outfitters at Fort Ancient in Oregonia
and Brookville along with his brothers Randy and Dirk. "It will either
turn you into an enthusiast for the rest of your life, or you won't
want to go again."

To ensure that you will want to go again, Gary suggests a shorter first
trip - something three, six, or maybe even 12 miles long, with plenty
of cold water, food and leisurely paddling.

WEEKEND WARRIORS
You don't have to be in particularly good shape, athletic or driven by
any desires to become so to canoe. You can be, but most people aren't.

Most of the people who Randy Morgan sees paddling out of the livery in
Fort Ancient are what he calls "born again Sierra Club members.

"They haven't quite invested in their own equipment, but they like the
idea of it. They're outdoor enthusiasts who probably have other things
they love outdoors. They just haven't gotten around to owning their own
equipment."

Brian Wood, of Fairfield, fit that definition until December, when he
got tired of renting and bought his own canoe. Recently under the high
afternoon sun at Morgan's Canoe, he tied his gently used boat to the
top of his SUV. Whenever he gets the chance, he's on the river.

"There's a huge sign on the bank that says, 'All boaters welcome,' "
Wood explains. So he stops here because the staff is friendly and he
can safely park his car and use the outfitter for transportation for
$10.

"(The Little Miami) is just the most scenic river," he says. "You're
never far from civilization, but you see very few houses. It flows
nicely with a minimal amount of work, and there are some rapids, but
you can also relax and have a nice day of it."

HAPPINESS MAY BE A RIVER
Canopied by a number of lush trees along the bank, the water is clear
enough on some days in shallower areas of the Little Miami River to see
the rocks the bottom of your boat will scrape against. It is peaceful
and calm along the river, and there are plenty of places to pull onto
the bank, have a snack and relax.

It's one of Donna Luggen's favorite things to do: The East Walnut Hills
resident brings a book and a towel and pulls up on shore. Though she
leads Clark Montessori School students on canoe trips each year and
also paddles for fun, she doesn't consider herself an expert canoeist.
(She's been known to take a few baths in the river.)

"You just get wet if you fall in," she says, adding that the river has
its leisure spots and moments of quick current. "It's kind of its own
little thrill when you hit the fast water."

Randy Morgan describes the Little Miami as a "classic Midwestern
river."

"Very pristine," he says. "It's so important for a lot of people to get
out of the urban environment and not see any man-made structures.
People tell me every day it's like time travel. They leave the highway
and in 10 minutes they're out in a secluded gorge seeing turtles and
heron and stopping along the bank to look at fossils."

When Lee Robinson, canoeist, cyclist, runner and real-estate agent, got
engaged to his wife, Ann Heathcote, 13 years ago, he did it on the
Little Miami River. Known to pick up garbage out of the river, he put a
note asking Ann to marry him into an empty wine bottle and slipped it
into the river as they paddled upstream. On the way back, Ann found the
bottle. The rest, as they say, is history.

"Canoeing and kayaking allow you to go down nature's corridor at any
level, even when you're a complete novice," Robinson says. "It's a
beautiful environment. There's a natural serenity."

RIGHT IN YOUR BACK YARD
To live so close to such pristine rivers at the Little Miami,
Whitewater and Licking Rivers and not float down them is what Dirk
Morgan calls the "close-to-home syndrome.

"It's where people don't realize that this is in their back yard," he
says. "People drive from all over the country to get here because they
hear about the (Little Miami) bike trail and the river. People think
they have to go four or five hours. It's right here."

----
YOU'RE IN THE WATER
So you've managed to get into the boat - good. Here are some helpful
tips from canoeing expert Randy Morgan.

=B7 Use your paddles to push the boat off into the water. The paddles
should be on opposite sides of the boat unless you are trying to turn.

=B7 The person in the back of the canoe is responsible for steering.
It's also important that the person steering times his or her stroke
with the person in front.

=B7 Try staying in the deeper and smooth-looking part of the water.
This is known as the V current. You'll have a harder time moving, and
you might even capsize if you hang out in the rippled water.

=B7 If you are heading toward rapids or fast water, kneel down in the
boat instead of sitting. You can maintain balance easier this way.

=B7 If you feel compelled to jump into the water, beware of landing on
tree trunks, tires and everything in between.

Keep in mind these are just the basics. Several places around the city,
such as The Sierra Club Miami and the Dae extensive instructions on
canoeing and paddling. And if you'd rather read up online, visit two
excellent Web sites:

=B7 www.gopaddle.com

=B7 www.acanet.org

- Rich Shivener
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http://www.cinweekly.com/apps/pbcs.d.../COV/50706032=
0/1076
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Your first canoe trip

Canoe and kayak outfitters offer a range of trips, ranging from three-,
six- and 12-mile journeys to two-day overnight trips.

If it's your first canoe experience, we recommend a shorter mileage
trip. If you're looking for more adventure, consider adding an
overnight riverside stay to the agenda.

A SHORT DAY TRIP WE RECOMMEND
=B7 Start at Morgan's Canoe Livery at Fort Ancient in Oregonia along
the Little Miami River. Schedule yourself a six-mile trip ($27-$35 per
canoe), and before you leave, pack a lunch and cold beverages.

=B7 At the three-mile, halfway mark, pull your boat onto the shore at
Morgan's campground, where you can enjoy your lunch in the picnic area
and use the restrooms. (The location sells snacks and beverages if you
forget to pack.)

=B7 Once you've re-energized, finish off the last three miles of your
trip. When you see the Morgan's sign at the six-mile mark, give
Morgan's a call on the phone there and your ride will come pick you up.

=B7 Prepare to not to be able to lift your arms above your head the
next day.
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Places to paddle
COMPILED BY RICH SHIVENER | CIN WEEKLY

Wherever you live in the Tristate, canoeing outfitters are nearby. Most
on this list are less than an hour's drive from the majority of the
area. Prices at each outfitter vary depending on how many people are in
your group and how long you want to travel. And just an FYI: At most
spots, the more people you bring along, the less you'll pay.

OHIO

SCENIC RIVER CANOE EXCURSIONS

WHE 4595 Roundbottom Road, Anderson Twp.

CONTACT: (513) 831-5552

PRICE: $25-$35 per canoe

ETC.: Paddlers take trips on the southern part of the Little Miami
River. It's the closest livery to downtown Cincinnati and Northern
Kentucky.



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RIVERS EDGE CANOE OUTFITTERS

WHE 9964 U.S. 42, Waynesville

CONTACT: (937) 862-4540 or (800) 628-2319

PRICE: $31-$36 per canoe

ETC.: This outfitter claims that it offers the best service, equipment
and facilities available. Paddlers take scenic trips every hour, on the
hour, on the Upper Little Miami River.



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LOVELAND CANOE RENTAL

WHE 200 Crutchfield Place, Loveland

CONTACT: (513) 683-4611

PRICE: $28-$36 per canoe

ETC.: This is where the CiN staff went canoeing. Need we say more?



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MORGAN'S FT. ANCIENT CANOE LIVERY

WHE 5701 Ohio 350, Oregonia

PRICE: $19-$36 per canoe with reservations. Add $6 without.

CONTACT: (513) 899-2166 or www.morganscanoe.com

ETC.: Besides traveling down the Little Miami during the day, moonlight
guided trips are available as well.



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LITTLE MIAMI CANOE RENTALS

WHE 219 Mill St. (Ohio 123), Morrow

PRICE: $8-$21.50. Rates are per person based on two persons per canoe.
Children ride free. Third adult in a canoe pays half price.

CONTACT: (513) 899-3616, (800) 634-4277 or www.littlemiamicanoe.com

ETC.: Camping next to the Little Miami River and the Little Miami
Scenic Trail.



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GREEN ACRES CANOE AND KAYAK RENTAL

WHE 10465 Suspension Bridge Road, Harrison

PRICE: $20-$25 per canoe

CONTACT: (513) 353-4770 or www.greenacrescanoe.com

ETC.: Before or after you canoe, challenge your crew to a game of
miniature golf. Plus, canoe in two states!



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KENTUCKY
THAXTON'S CANOE AND PADDLER'S INN

WHE 33 Hornbeek Road, Suite 3, Butler

PRICE: $15.95-$39.95. Rates are per individual.

CONTACT: (859) 472-2000 or www.gopaddling.com

ETC.: It's Kentucky's oldest family-owned canoe rental business.
Paddlers take trips on the Licking River. If you stay in the Paddler's
Inn, you can paddle for free.



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CANOE KENTUCKY

WHE 7323 Peaks Mill Road, Frankfort

PRICE: $40-$75 per canoe

CONTACT: (502) 227-4492 or (800) K-CANOE-1 (522-6631) or
www.canoeky.com

ETC.: Paddlers take trips on the Elkhorn Creek. According to the Web
site, this outfitter is also considered the fifth-ranked small-mouth
bass stream in the Southeast.



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INDIANA
MORGAN'S BROOKVILLE CANOE LIVERY

WHE 7040 Whitewater River, Brookville

PRICE: $33.50-$42 per canoe with reservations. Add $6 without.

CONTACT: (888) 304-4904 or www.morganscanoe.com

ETC.: Just like at its sister in Ohio, you can show off your skills on
the rock climbing wall.



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WHITEWATER CANOE RENTAL

WHE 6288 U.S. 52, Cedargrove

PRICE: $12.50-$23. Rates are per person based on two people per canoe.
Children can ride free in parents' canoe.

CONTACT: (800) 634-4277

ETC.: With two other outfitters in New Trenton and Brookville, the
canoeing company's establishments cover 100 miles of the Whitewater
River.

------
THE COMPLETE CANOEIST
Be prepared, like Rich!


If you're going to survive a day on the river, you'd better be
ready. Our intern Rich Shivener shows what an experienced canoeist
looks like. (Actually, he dresses like this every day.)

Trash Bags
Nobody likes finding empty beer cans

Change of Clothes
Unless you want to drive home naked

Sunscreen
A farmer's tan doesn't look good on anyone

Non-Styrofoam cooler
Styrofoam coolers break apart easily

Crappy pair of shoes
Your new kicks won't like the water. Grass-cutters will do

Paddle
Should be between shoulder and chin height

Shorts
Daisy dukes are not suggested - for men

Life Jacket
If you can't swim you're in good hands

T-shirt
Any will do

Sunglasses with strap
That way you won't lose those sweet shades if you capsize


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http://www.cinweekly.com/apps/pbcs.d.../COV/50706032=
3/1076


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