Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Did You See That Bird..Check It Out At The ORINWR

Sunsets on the Ohio River
Have you ever heard of the Ohio River Island National Wildlife Refuge ("ORINWR")? We just recently learned of this amazing treasure right here along our waters. The ORINWR consists of 22 non-contiguous islands and 5 mainland parcels along an over 350 mile stretch of the Ohio River. Most of the islands are in West Virginia, but a few are upstream in Pennsylvania (Beaver County) and another grouping in Kentucky (Lewis County). Amongst other accomplishments, the establishment of this National Wildlife Refuge brought West Virginia in line with the rest of the United States, as it was the only state in the United States without a National Wildlife Refuge. However, most importantly, the Refuge provides safety for the wildlife that calls this diverse property home. 

The Refuge is replete with wildlife, including migratory birds, river mammals and scores of fish and other aquatic species. The area also has riparian forests. These transitional forests are found along waterways, like the Ohio River. While subject of frequent flooding, the forest protects against shoreline erosion and safeguards the habitat for important aquatic creatures and plants that keep the river healthy.
View from Ohio park into the hills of Kentucky 

Here is a link to the website:

Let's all "get out and play" and check out the Ohio River Island National Wildlife Refuge......  Just another of the many wonders along beautiful Ohio River.....

Monday, May 27, 2013

Let Freedom Ring. At 3 pm....

So here we are on the beginning of Memorial Day 2013.  While the origins of Memorial Day (previously known as Decoration Day) are not clear, the purpose is: To honor those who died in service of our nation. We cherish and value our freedom and, amidst the picnics and parades, encourage all to take a  moment of silence to remember our fallen friends.

Memorial Day was first acknowledged in 1868 by General John Logan, national Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. The holiday was embrace by the northern states, but not necessarily acknowledged in the south. It was only after World War I was the Day embraced by all States to honor all fallen soldiers in any war.

In 2000, efforts were undertaken to remind folks of the true meaning of Memorial Day by passage of the "National Moment of Remembrance." While remembering our friends and family is always important, Memorial Day is to focus on those who died in service for our Country. The National Moment of Remembrance" requests that we pause whatever we are doing at 3pm on Memorial Day and simply observe a moment of silence or listen to Taps. Here at Ohio Kayak, we embrace the idea and hope that all our followers please "take pause" at 3 pm and remember. We can "get outside and play" because so many have paid the ultimate consequence protecting our freedom.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Pick Up & Paddle (On The Ohio River).....

PICKUP & PADDLE (at the kayak ramp at New Richmond, OH)

As we have mentioned in the past the Village of New Richmond on Ohio has repurposed an abandoned ferry boat landing into the region's only Kayak-only access ramp. While the plans are big for the ramp, unfortunately, such plans have been delayed to the unavailability of grant funds from the State of Ohio

In light of the lack of funding, we learned that a local group known as Tri-State Kayakers have stepped up to the plate. The group met at the ramp in early May to begin the spring clean-up of the ramp, followed by a great paddle out onto the river. We are told that the group has indicated a willingness to meet once a month to "spruce up" the ramp area. This is true community service. What a great group of people!

 We have located a few photos of the initial early-May "Pick Up & Paddle" on the Tri-State Kayakers site on (thanks for the lead on the photos) and have included a few here on our blog for your viewing pleasure

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Takin' Out To The River This Weekend.....

Here we go leading into the unofficial start of the Ohio River boating season with the fast-approaching Memorial Day weekend. The river is looking stunning and already we have seen the launch of  ski boats, kayaks and more hustling down the river. Love it!

We really plan on hitting the river this weekend in both Kayak and powerboat. Hopefully the weather holds out. The Ohio River is just so beautiful and we wish that all in the Greater Cincinnati and beyond believed in this most beautiful natural resource. With the wildlife, the beautiful hills falling towards the river and stunning sunsets glistening off of the water, we need to get our friends "up on the hills" of Greater Cincinnati to stroll on down to the River. We can't wait to finish work and kick out of downtown for the weekend.

To prepare for the weekend, we checked out Facebook, including  a search for happenings in our new favorite little Village on the water; New Richmond on the Ohio.  We were not disappointed. The Green Kayak is leading the charge with an outstanding lineup of musicians on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. We saw the young country phenom, Tana Matz, who we have seen play in the past, will be at the Kayak on Friday. Her performance is well worth a visit. The True Blue duo sounds fun and the Sunday nigh performer, Steve Free, is an internationally accomplished singer/songwriter that we can't wait to see. How in the world did they ever get him to play the Kayak. Down the road at the Front Street is another cool weekend lineup of music, including the Julie Stithcomb Quintet. This Quintet plays the old "big band-like" favorites---Excellent. We have in the past gone back and forth between the Green Kayak and Front Street to enjoy the music and it looks like this will need to be a regular practice this summer if this weekend is any indicator of the quality of entertainment in this historic Village......

From the rumor standpoint, we hear that the Green Kayak may be opening a B&B above the Market. If that's true, we can spend even more time in the Village after visits to the Kayak, Skippers and Front Street and the oh-so-cool Kayak Ramp. We'll fill you in after we learn more.....

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The River Is Up And So Is The Music...

As we mentioned in our last post, we planned on heading down to New Richmond on the Ohio to check out the music on Friday night. We did so and was not disappointed.

photo lifted from Green Kayak facebook page
The Green Kayak Market & Eatery had Micheal and John (from the band Cheap Thrill)  playing on what they call the "Old Lodge Stage." These guys play (and play well) many of the 60's and 70's classics on acoustic guitar. The harmonies are tight and the guitar playing amazing. We have seen these guys play before and plan on staying in touch to see them again. We truly recommend watching the GK facebook site for when they play again. We did hear that Micheall will be playing solo every Wednesday at the Kayak starting the last Wednesday of May.

We next stopped down to the Front Street cafe to check out the music there. Once again, not disappointed. Cheryl Renee and Shorty Starr were rippin' up the blues. The keyboard and drum  combo was cool, particularly with the killer vocals. Worth the trip and we'll be back.
photo lifted from Front Street facebook page

While walking back to the car, we heard different music coming from the Kayak and stopped back in. The primary band had ended, but in what seems to be true Green Kayak fashion, several other folks took the stage to simply play a few tunes. There were at least 2 or 3 guys who jumped on stage, grabbed the house guitar and lit up several excellent tunes and even had the crowd singing along. How cool is that? We were told that there will be music again tonight at both places. It appears the music never ends in this little Village on the Ohio.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Clean Up And Drop Down...

Well, we have missed a few days down on the Ohio River, but we're back. While we were out, we were told that a group, Tri-State Kayakers, visited the New Richmond kayak ramp for a volunteer cleanup and evening paddle. We stopped down to the ramp and, wow, what a great job on cleaning up the ramp area---it looks amazing. We hope to be able to share some pictures from the clean up soon. (We often (with permission of course) grab information off of the Facebook and other pages of places like the Green Kayak Market, Village of New Richmond page and others).

While the clean up was great, the "drop down" is coming. It appears that the ever-changing Ohio River is rising back up to 35 feet over the next few days. Just last week the river was down near the 25 foot summer pool level and gorgeous for kayaking. And, with the rising waters, comes the drop down of driftwood and other debris when the river recedes.

The driftwood is pretty cool, but the bottles, tires and other debris is disappointing. Contrary to the belief of so many, the Ohio River has really come back from the tainted days gone past and has cleaned up considerably. With interstate Commissions like ORSANCO and other groups purposed to control pollution, the waters of the Ohio River are a recreational asset that should be valued by the citizens of the six states along its borders. That said, we hope the Tri-State kayakers are coming back soon to help New Richmond on the Ohio to maintain this very cool ramp!!!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

More Mystery On The Ohio River....

The Ohio River region is rife with mystery, history and what some call paranormal activity. We have already addressed the "Ghost Boat," the "Underground Church" in Utopia, the "Ghosts" of New Richmond and, now, the legendary "Mothman."

The first reported sighting of "Mothman" was near Point Pleasant, West Virginia (across from Gallipolis, Ohio) on the Ohio River. A few guys digging a grave reportedly saw a "man-like" creature flying 10 feet over their heads. They reported that he had large wings and  glowing red eyes. He was later sighted again by a few volunteer fireman, who provided  similar descriptions of a "large bird-like" figure with red eyes. Reportedly, there were over 100 Mothman sightings, and potentially many more folks who were just too scared to talk about it.

Many believe that the appearance of the Mothman correlated with people having visions of future events (precognition), such as the collapse of the Silver Bridge (killing scores of people). The Silver Bridge connected Gallipolis, OH and Point Pleasant, WV over the Ohio River. The story has it that many of the deceased were related to those persons witnessing the  infamous "Mothman" haunting the region.

While the Mothman has not been reported recently, the legend lives on. The 1975 book, Mothman Prophecies, chronicled the spooky stories of the 1966 and 1967 sighting of the Mothman and the corresponding haunting events. The book was transformed into the 2002 movie, "Mothman Prophecies," starring Richard Gere. Definitely worth checking out....

The legend of "Mothman" is now celebrated  with a yearly festival in Point Pleasant, WV (third weekend of September). The Village also commissioned a Mothman sculpture that graces a Park and provides a great photo op.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Happy May Day...

Here we are rushing into May 2013 with beautiful weather here on the Ohio River near Cincinnati, Ohio. It's May 1 and a date celebrated by so many around the world. This celebration dates back to Roman times and was known as the Festival of Flora. Flora was the goddess of flowers. This was such a popular holiday that the Festival lasted five days!

As for recent times, most people associate this holiday with dancing around the maypole and crowning a queen. The involvement of the maypole also dates back to early tradition . And, as with so many traditions, the Village folks turned it in to a competition. The Village folks hit the forest to find the tallest tree in an effort to outdo their neighbors. The pole is then erected, decorated and then becomes the centerpiece of dancing and celebration.

May Day is a holiday also met with the giving of May Day baskets. May Day baskets are generally decorated baskets filled with flowers. The baskets are traditionally left anonymously on the doorstep of a friend or neighbor. What a wonderful and fun tradition. What a great way to start your day; a basket of anonymous beautiful flowers. Spring is here and natures artwork, with flowers, tree buds and more, continues to highlight the countryside along the Ohio River!

The May Day maypole is a fun and ancient tradition and, at least one reason we like it, is that it gets people outside to play!! Have a great day!!