Friday, November 30, 2012

"I Competed Against An Olympian...."

Not a river or stream, but man can this young woman hit the water with success. So cool that Olympic medalist Missy Franklin will swim with her high school team before moving on to college. Life is about relationships and despite Missy's Olympic success, people should not take away her opportunity to be part of her high school. Quite frankly, it's ashame that any decision she made results in one group of adults questioning her decision.  While Missy clearly has extreme God-given talent, one must not underestimate how hard she has worked (and continues to work) to develop that talent and she should not be deprived (or feel bad about) wanting to support her school, friends and family. We would bet that most of her teammates and opponents will think it very cool to simply be in the pool with an Olympian, let alone compete against her. Every person she swims will be telling folks forever, " I competed against an Olympian in high school"--how cool is that!!  We hope that folks let Missy be and have fun....

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Christmas Festival on the River Dec 7 & 8, 2012...

It's that time of the year. You can see the excitement in the eyes of children as the post-Thanksgiving Christmas period begins. This time brings many celebrations in the small Villages and Hamlets that line the Ohio River and other streams and waterways. From the Harbor Holiday Festival (Nov 23-Dec 2, 2012) in the Washington DC area to the A River Village Christmas Event in New Richmond, Ohio along the mighty Ohio River, this is the time of year to celebrate Christmas along the water.  There is something so magical about the flowing river or rushing ocean waves, as the holiday season progresses. These events generally feature so many "get outside and play" activities (carriage rides), music (Saturday, Live Acoustic Music 630pm at the Green Kayak Market & Eatery) and are great events for families, couples or friends looking to enjoy a day on the river.  Stop on by the New Richmond "A River Village Christmas" Event on Dec 7 and 8, the Harbor Holiday Festival and/or your local waterside event. And, yes,  please share any such festivals on this blog.

Monday, November 26, 2012

It's A Wild Animal....Isn't It???

A recent story emerged in the little Ohio River Village of New Richmond, Ohio. The story got much more play than it should have, and I guess we are perpetuating some of the hype. However, the reason we raise the issue is as a reminder that "wild animals can be wild." 

Roaming the Village for years has been a peacock, proudly referred to throughout the Village as Jacob. Jacob is name after the founder of the near 200 year old Village. A 22 month child somehow ended up way too close to Jacob and was scratched, requiring a visit to the hospital and a few stitches. Unfortunately, instead of simply being happy that their child was safe, the family involved the television media and threatened to sue the Village. An odd, and incredibly sad reaction, to what was certainly a scary situation.

While not placing blame on anyone, one has to wonder why a 22 month old child was permitted to be so close to a wild animal. Jacob, when left alone, has been, from all reports and experience, been a great neighbor for many years. But when harassed, knowingly or unknowingly, he (like any animal) can be dangerous. Clearly, the answer is not a lawsuit, nor is it contacting the media. The answer is that when you are out kayaking, hiking, camping or otherwise enjoying the great outdoors, please stay away from the wildlife. This seems like common sense, but it's incredible sense to some.....

On a related note, there are several lessons to be learned from this event. First, and most important, fortunately the young child is fine. Second, if you call the TV stations to tell your story and try to gain sympathy, the effort can backfire. The New Richmond Peacock Facebook page is proof positive. The page is rife with comments from Jacob supporters and also full of vulgar and otherwise disturbing comments from the family of the young girl. While the family has seen it fit to delete some the worst comments, such does not alleviate the fact that such were made.....What's the old quote "He who protesteth too much....."

Just Wondering ......

So many items are sold in "packages" or "grouping" and so many other games and events are played with a set number of "players" or "participants." One has to wonder why? And then asked is it a coincidence.......There are 24 hours in a day and a case of beer contains 24 bottles. Is this a coincidence or more....Any thoughts on other interesting mix/match on numbers???

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving on the Water

While not all of our readers are from the US, many of them are and just enjoyed Thanksgiving. It's during this holiday that we remember and cherish our friends and family. We hope that everyone was fortunate enough to indulge in a celebratory Thanksgiving meal with roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, fresh corn, pumpkin pie and whatever "secret family recipe" graces the table. We are looking forward to a prosperous and exciting new year with many new river and other water adventures. We really hope that some of our readers begin sharing their adventures too......

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Is It Really Utopia Along the Ohio River??

East of Cincinnati, Ohio, along Highway 52, is a marker for the small hamlet of "Utopia." Yes, Utopia exists on the shores of the Ohio River-- right along the highway in Clermont County, Ohio. But unlike the utopia of storybooks and song, this Utopia holds secrets and legends from the past, as well as ghosts that will haunt Utopia well into the future.

The Utopia legend dates back to the mid 1840's when an offbeat religious group founded this small, Ohio River community,built homes and a 30 room brick community-like dining/recreation center. The original religious group exited Utopia after only a few years and sold the entire community to John Wattles, an eccentric spiritualist. Against sound advice, the story goes that Wattles had the large, brick building disassembled and moved to the shore of the Ohio River. Unfortunately, within days of completion of the reconstruction in December 1847, tragedy beset the community. As the celebration of the project completion occurred in the building, a flash flood on the river tore through the walls of the structure and washed 150 (of 156) of the members out into the icy river. Only six of the spiritualistic group dodged fate that night and survived. The legend goes that the ghosts of these six survivors still haunt what's left of the small burg.

Another interesting landmark in Utopia is the remains of the underground church. That's right, a brick church some 25 feet below the surface. The story goes that Pastor Wattle had the church built deep below the ground so the congregation could better communicate with the dead.....Certainly not the utopia that we dream about!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Trip To the Historic Lost Ghost Ship....

There are many great adventures to experience on or near the Ohio River. One of the most exciting of those adventures is a kayak paddle to the "Lost Ghost Ship." The history of this abandoned, 186 ft iron hulk is nothing short of amazing. The ship, built in 1902 and launched as The Celt, has served so many roles throughout its long and productive life, including a tour ship on the Hudson River and serving our Country when appropriated by the government in World Wars I and II. As the vessel has been bought and sold, she has been renamed to the USS Phenakite, Sightseer, Circle Line V and the Sachem.  The legend has it that the government assigned the ship to Thomas Edison on which he performed oceanic communication experiments in the Caribbean. However, despite the illustrious past, the great ship, according to maritime experts, simply disappeared in the early 1980's, only to be "found" decades later, abandoned and partially sunken in a small tributary off of the Ohio River (just west of Cincinnati).

How the ship ended up in a small tributary (Taylor Creek) of the Ohio River in Kentucky is a story shrouded in mystery. However, what we do know is that we are organizing a trip next spring to visit and video this lost treasure.....Stayed tuned for more information and, of course, if you have already visited please share comments.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sailing on the River....

Even as the cold frost begins to encroach on the shores of the river, time still exists to get out and play and try out some of the new toys that will be staples for the adventures of the coming year. As we look out at the river beach and amidst the sand, gravel and driftwood, sits a kayak. But this isn't your regular kayak. This craft is outfitted with a sail. How cool is that?!! The wind often whips down through the river valley providing the perfect setting for kayak sailing. Definately worth a try.

There are also so many other accessories available for kayaks, including solar-powered motors and more.

We love these newer solar engines and hope that the prices continue to fall into a reasonable range......

Monday, November 12, 2012

Thanks To All Veterans

Today is a day to step back and thank those women and men who have protected our freedom. Whatever your political persuasion, everyone should take the time to thank a veteran, attend an event or simply take pause and take count of those men and women (and their families) who have sacrificed for us. With the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday,  remember that not everyone gets to be home with family and friends watching football and enjoying a turkey feast. We will be sharing soon a Christmas song that espouses the hope that Next Year will bring our loved one's home....

Friday, November 9, 2012

Play Outside Like a Fluffy Dog...

It's a wonderful November day and the sun is out. We should all take advantage of a day like this to get outside and play. Whether it's hiking, kayaking, climbing or good old backyard fun, take off early to enjoy this sunny day and have fun. As see in the video, playing with your "four legged friend" is always a great option!!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

More Music, More Fun...all on the water...

It's another Thursday and another "stage time" event at the Green Kayak at New Richmond on the Ohio (, as well as a lineup of entertainment at the Front Street Cafe, just a stone's throw upriver from the Green Kayak (  You can also "bar hop" down river a block or so to the Landing to check out all the sites. These quaint venues offer a great selection of beer, wine and food and lots of musical talent--all with a view of the beautiful Ohio River and into the hills of Kentucky. But that's not all we know about this historic little village, New Richmond offers an exclusive canoe/kayak ramp (repurposed from a long abandoned river ferry locale), a fishing/ski boat ramp up river from the kayak ramp and the Worlds Only Cardboard Boat Museum (at least as far as they know !!!).  Check it out as featured by RoadsideAmerica

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Put Down Your Paddle and Find Your Poll (location)

Today is an important day and a day to be cherished. Not every country has the privilege of voting. While we have our own opinions, this post is simply to encourage everyone to get out and take advantage of this amazing voting right. Please do not waste your vote, as such truly does count....

Put down your paddle and find your Poll (location)!!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Hurricane Sandy: Categorically Huge

While the massive storm has moved on, the carnage left is amazing. Please reach out and help as you can the folks out east that faced the true force of the storms wickedness. With reports that at least 24 US states were affected by Hurricane Sandy, we know for a fact that Ohio incurred fallout from the storm. We know folks in Cleveland still without power (1 week later) from the strong winds and rains that blasted over Lake Erie. Our beautiful Ohio River in southern Ohio also rose over 10 ft as a result of the aftermath of the storm. While the inconveniences caused by loss of power or rising waters are real, such in now way compare to the devastation encountered by our friends who faced the immediate fury of the storm on the east coast. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

The NOAA website is a great place to monitor the ever-changing river levels

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Today is the "Use Your Common Sense Day" celebration. As admirers of the outdoors and waterways, this is a good reminder to be "safe." Life jackets, ring buoys and other safety items should be checked regularly and everyone should be reminded on when/how to use each such item. What is "commons sense" to some is "incredible sense" to others