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Hoosier Canoe & Kayak Club

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  • July 17, 2024 2:48 PM | Dave Ellis (Administrator)

     HCC NEWSLETTER --- MAY 1972


    For quite a while, the HCC Executive Board. has been discussing ways in which we -could offer canoe training to our members, One or two recent past attempts have fizzled; and yet we get constant inquires from new members on training sessions. Now we will have another opportunity for some good, basic river canoeing training and practise. Elmer and Gwen Mackison and Howard Young attended a two-day course in Pennsylvania' recently and will share their experiences with us soon. Below are articles by Elmer and Gwen telling of their weekend, followed by the specifics for our training course.
    Red Ridge College of River Canoeing — Elmer Mackison
    On Friday, May 5, Howard Young, Gwen and I arrived in eastern Pennsylvania just in time to register for a very interesting, exciting and informative weekend. I had. written to Bob McNair, author of "Basic River Canoeing”, over a year ago inquiring about the Red Ridge College of River Canoeing only to find that it would not be held until this year. I wrote again this spring and received information and application blanks. Two weeks later Howard Young and I received confirmation of our acceptance. Gwen decided to go along for the ride and was able to fill a last-minute opening,
    From the very first evening the emphasis was on cutting down on mileage and learning more canoeing by playing the river. This was brought out by some excellent home movies of the Buck Ridge Club on theLehigh River. It seemed that in most of the movie everyone was paddling upstream — surfing and attempting to surf on waves and in general playing with the river.
    Rolling out of bed at 6:30 in the morning in 30-degree weather isnt exactly the easiest thing to do as we found out on Saturday. Gwen and Howard were in one of six groups, and I was in still another. We were told ahead of time that we would constantly be changing partners expected. to paddle in both ends of the canoe and on either side. We also were expected to always paddle on our knees. This was somewhat hard to take not being used to paddling on my knees except for very brief periods. But after two days, I found that I didnt mind. but rather enjoyed this position. Not to mention that it kept me from falling out on my head at least once.
    As soon as the shuttle was taken care of Pete Hellier, one of my instructors, gave a demonstration of paddle strokes and commands that we would be using for the next two days, The water was fast with slight riffles in the current where we put in, we were told to stop and assemble in an eddy that was along the far bank about 30 yards downstream. As soon as everyone was in the eddy we were shown how to do a forward. ferry. After practicing this a couple of times, we were told to change positions and then we repeated the process. Next came the back ferry using the same procedures, learning both bow and stern positions. After a half hour of paddling, we were still only maybe 35-40 yard downstream.
          These were manoeuvres that come in handy on any stream as we were to soon find out. The stream that we were on, Catawissa Creek, was narrow, windy, fast and lined with trees on both banks. In other words, a typical Indiana stream, the high water had caused many trees to fall into the stream making knowing what you are doing and quick manoeuvres important to the lead canoe. The manoeuvres were the same for the rest of us, but not nearly as unexpected. In the next few hours, we must have portaged. around, lined through and maneuverer around fifteen or twenty trees.
    Later in the day we were introduced to the correct way to do an eddy turn. This is a manoeuvre that is fun to do one. Also serves a very practical purpose. It is one way of stopping your downstream motion very quickly to look over what is ahead of you downstream. It is also a quick way to get into a haven of safety (an eddy behind a rock) until help can arrive or until you can figure a way out.
    When the day was over everyone was tired and ready for bed. But first, everyone went to town for dinner and then back to camp for classes. There were many nodding heads during the lectures that evening. Finally, a little later, we were all in a very sound asleep
    The next day started out much the same but as soon as we got to the river, we could tell that it was going to be a very different day. The stream, the Big Nescopeck, was wider, faster and instead of trees, mostly rocks. There was some delay getting started because several other groups were wanting to use the same two mile stretch of the stream that we were going to use. Yes, two miles, but we spent over five hours on the water. We undoubtedly could have paddled this stretch much faster, but we probably would have lost a canoe or two. Or at least swamped several because the water was class III rapids and met some of the qualifications for class IV. By working the inside of the curves, back ferrying through the rapids, and by playing the river smart, we didn’t have that first canoe turn over (several took on some water)
    The only near casualty that my group had occurred during one of the most unusual accidents that I have ever seen happen along a river. We were stopped along the bank looking over difficult stretch of the river when I saw the bowman of the canoe in front of me look quickly to the side and drop forward. Almost in the same instant, a dead log about ten feet long and fifteen inches in diameter fell on him. This tree had stood there undoubtedly for years seemingly waiting for this precise moment to fall, striking, luckily, only a glancing blow along the back of the bowman.
         This same tree served another purpose. While we were waiting on John to recuperate. It floated downstream much as an unguided canoe, only to slam broadside against a boulder about fifty yards downstream. It pointed out very well the importance of not letting your canoe turn broad side in the current. A short time later we passed. Gwen and Howards group, after one of their classmates had put a canoe broadside against two rocks. We later saw the owner of this canoe paddling home in the remains, a shell tied together with ropes and bent like a banana.
               When we finally got back to camp it was time to take our final exam. We have yet to receive the results of this test.
    Much praise and admiration are due to Pete Hollier, Bud Vye, Lew Hopkins, my instructors for the weekend, for their patience, encouragement, and enthusiasm. I am sure that the other instructors, who all donated their time were equally fine and understanding, I feel that the weekend was well spent. It was educational in that I could see how these skills could be used. here In Indiana as well as in the rougher waters of neighbouring states. These were skills that we should all know and be ready to use when an emergency arises and the only way to be ready to use them is to be constantly practising by playing with the river. For a more fulfilling and safer enjoyment of the rivers join in and learn more canoeing.
    And in Another Group — Gwen Mackison
    In our class it was brought our quite dramatically that you are not much better than the poorer partner in a canoe team. In our group we had quite varied abilities. One girl had never been in a canoe before, and one gentleman was 70-mile marathon racer who had travelled and raced across the country. The rest of us were spread out between the extremes.
    We had two instructors who paddled with the weaker canoeists. The first day one instructor and his partner had a serious spill. Even though he was a very capable canoeist, the water was so forceful that he could not avoid getting broadside to a log. After standing in the cold water for some time, the men finally recovered the canoe. After the spill we spent about an hour playing around this obstacle, ferrying and doing eddy turns.
    After the first day, I was a little disappointed because I felt that I could handle everything that was presented to me. It wasn’tuntil the second day, that I realized how important this preliminary training was. The water was really rough and what had seemed easy on the slower water became quite tricky.
    Most of the women in our group were either good or poor canoeists (no in-betweens). Rather than put two women together, our instructor avoided changing partners as much as possible, but we did change places. Let me tell you it is really an experience to paddle stern with 195-pound inexperienced bowman! Especially when you have to paddle on your weaker side and he sits so big and wide that you can’t see around him
     On the second day our group had a very serious spill which may have been avoided if our group had stayed together. The lead canoe got far ahead because he thought the group was in front of him. He had passed us while we were sitting in an eddy shortly after we put in. The second canoe tried to catch him, and in doing so lost sight of us (We were the third canoe). We had to hold back for the canoe behind us (It is the responsibility for one canoe to look after the canoe behind them).  Anyway, the lend canoe spilled, recovered, and. was on the bank when the second canoe came along. The second canoe got broadside on two rocks at the top of a fast chute. The girl was quite shaken and was pulled ashore and left while the others tried to free the canoe. About this time, we come around the bend and I saw the man standing in the middle of the stream. I quickly decided. this should be looked over, so I drew the bowinto the closest eddy, jumped out on a rock and signalled all boats behind me to come into the eddy.
    We then walked downstream to see what the problem was. I found the girl lying on a rock scared to death. She didn’t make much sense so I changed her clothes and got her something to eat and drink. By the time the others arrived she could talk sensibly and wasn’t shaking so badly. They had lost their dump bag and spare paddles which were recovered downstream.
    We ate lunch while the men got the canoe out. It was really twisted. and all the thwarts were broken out. They jumped on it to straighten it the best they could and then tied it together. The owner took the canoe on alone with the escort of the lead canoe. The girl got in with an instructor who was paddling alone because of first-day dropout. We became the lead canoe. We were running late and had to hurry back to take our written tests, so the instructor told me to take the lead and not stop until we reached the end. This was quite an experience not knowing what lay ahead and having the responsibility to lead the others.
    Everything ended up fine, with many happy memories of the past two days. With very sore muscles we headed home with 13 hours of driving ahead of us.
    DATE: Two one-day sessions (choose one day), June 10 & 11 (note the change from the schedule. This is being substituted for the Graham’s Creek trip.

    FEE: $1.50    

    To Cover the cost of Bob McNair’s Basic River Canoeing. If you have a copy, no charge.


    Call Gwen and Elmer Mackison as soon as possible.


    Friday, June 2, is the last day for registration. Register as individuals (you may not paddle with your spouse!). Registrations will be taken on a first—come—first—serve basis since the group

    •     will have to be limited to a workable size.
    DETAILS:          Available from Gwen & Elmer when you pre-register. Stream will depend on water and weather conditions that weekend. It will be held as close to Indianapolis as possible.
    MATERIAL COVERED:      Basic canoe strokes, ferrying, eddy turns, river reading, etc

  • March 14, 2024 2:15 PM | Dave Ellis (Administrator)

  • March 10, 2024 2:39 PM | Dave Ellis (Administrator)

    The CLUB has a trip scheduled April 8TH to coincide with a solar eclipse. We've done this before.  Way back in March 1970 Cindy and I sponsored our first HCKC trip - about 6 months after we joined the club.  Below are the trip announcement for that trip. The after-trip write-up. And maybe a few photos from that event --- if i can figure out how to include them here..

                           HOOSIER CLUB CLUB  MARCH 1970 TRIPS

    DATE:                              Saturday, March 7, 1970

    ROUTE:   Brownstown Covered Bridge to g. R. 235 Bridge near Medora (approximately 10 miles)

    STARTING: 11:00 A.M. cars will be left on the road            

    approaching the closed covered bridge at Brownstown.

    SPONSORS: Dave and Cindy Ellis

    DIRECTIONS: I 65 south to US 50. US 50 west to S.R.35

    in Brownstown, S.R. 35 through Brownstown, across (West, Left) RR, to Closed Covered Bridge.

    TRIBUTARIES & BRIDGES (in order)

    Unnamed Stream (UNS), US 50 concrete bridge., Hough

    Creek, UNS, UNS, UNS, county road steel bridge, Wayman Ditch, UNS, Baltimore and Ohio RR Bridge, McMillan Ditch, UNS, S.R. 235 steel bridge.

    SUGGESTED EQUIPMENT: Canoe & paddles, Change of clothes, thermos of coffee & a light snack.

    NOTIFICATION: Please notify the trip sponsors, Tel. 253-5709, or the Yeoman 786-5394, the week of March 2nd you plan to attend.

    CAMPING FACILITIES: Jackson County State Forest and Starve Hollow State Recreation Area.


    I could imagine a foot of snow, a frozen river, and two sets of thermal underwear when Dave told mwe wore going to sponsor a float trip the first weekend of March. But on the 7th, with the sun bright in a hazy sky and the anticipation of watching a solar eclipse from the river, 11 canoes and 3 kayaks embarked in two groups on the East Fork of the White River from the old, unused covered bridge outside Brownstown, Indiana. In about three hours we put out at the covered bridge outside Medora.

    The river was up considerably due to the heavy rains earlier in the week and had overflowed its banks. Each group decided there was only one possible place to pull over for lunch, but since we ate in two different places, there were probably more. Tho low woodlands along the shore were swampy and a myriad of northerly-migrating ducks flapped out of inundated corn fields at our approach, obviously unhappy at being disturbed at their feeding. The water also neatly covered many protruding. Limbs and branches, much to the DeBoys consternation as they started their swimming season a bit early. Afire at lunch time and dry clothes must have bolstered their spirits, for they were smiling when I saw them at the end.

     of their trip. So was Chuck Conklin, who had his ' shiny new kayak out for the first time and did an admirable job of staying upright the whole trip.

    We enjoyed planning this trip, hope everyone had fun, and thank the Raineys, Tilestons and Flexmans for leading and sweeping for us

    P.S. those on the trip were the Andersons, Annises, Citrons, Chuck Conklin, Ellises, Flexmans Fredericks, Lankfords Mackisons, Jim Parnell, Raineys Tilestons DeBoys , 3 guest.

  • February 09, 2024 4:16 PM | Dave Ellis (Administrator)

    Some of the newer Board members had no concept of our Pirate Paddle/Party that we've done a few times in past years.  We're considering the possibility of doing something like that this fall or in some future year.  for the newbies benefit I said that I would post to my Pirate Albums so they could see what they are like.  while collecting links, i just got all HCKC albums for you amusement. (You REALLY don't want to binge watch these.)

    Pirate Cruise 2009
    Pirate Party 2009
    Pirate Cruise 2012
    Pirate Party 2012
    Pirate Cruise 2014
    Pirate Party 2014
    Pirate Cruise 2016
    Pirate Party 2016
    Pirate Cruise 2018
    Apostles 2010
    Apostles 2011
    Apostles 2012
    Apostles 2014
    Apostles 2015
    Apostles 2017
    Apostles 2018
    Beaufort NC 2014
    Beaufort NC 2014 by Earl King
    Beaufort NC 2014 by Louganski
    Beaufort NC 2015
    Swansboro 2023
    Charleston 2017
    Charlston SC 2016
    Chesapeak 2017
    Chesapeak 2022
    Door County 2021
    Greyson 2012
    Greyson 2016
    Manitou 2010
    Manitou 2011
    Sleeping Bear 2017
    Pictured Rocks 2011
    Pictured Rocks 2019
    Beaver Island 2019
    Buffalo 2016
    Eagle Ck Introduction to Paddling 6/21, FWD stroke videos
    Florida Kays 2013
    Fontana Lake 2016
    Isle Royale 2018
    Lake Erie Islands 2015
    Lake Jocassee 2021
    Massasauga 2013
    Nova Scotia 2016
    OLD HCKC Slides
    Panache 2013
    Rogue 2014 by Earl King
    Tybee 2011
    Reggie Baker Collection
    Sprandel by Louganski

  • November 15, 2023 3:34 PM | Dave Ellis (Administrator)

    So, if you missed our 11/11/23 Annual Meeting,  it was really a good one.  Thanks to John Gates, Linda Decker, Mariann Davis and all others that made it happen.

    Here are the Officers and Board for the coming year:

    Skipper -------- Dave Ellis

    Exec Officer --- Tim Owens

    Yeoman -------- Lauralee Hites

    Purser ---------- Kaleena  Wright

    Board Members --- Andrew Bredemeyer

                                   John Carlson

                                   Mariann Davis

                                    Linda Decker

                                    Jeremey Giddens

                                    Toni Harris

                                     Anthony Pascuzzi

                                     Jan Rugaber

                                    Roger Starring

                                    Jeff Stejskal

                                    Judy Thompson

                                    Kyle Wills

    We now need to decide on our "To Do" list.  I know we need to Complete the transition to a real not-for-profit.  To set up the traditional board transition meeting for early December. To schedule the Trips Planning Meeting.  To firm up the Wilderness First Aid / CPR certification class.  To assure  continuing weekly pool sessions.  To develop new trip leaders, ACA certified instructors, and Club leaders to carry on into 2025 and beyond. Please let any of us know any other things we should be working on.

    2024 will be the Club's 61st year or activity.   GO HCKC!

  • July 21, 2022 2:39 PM | Jeff Stejskal (Administrator)

    Welcome to Summer Paddling! I just got back from co-hosting with Toni a Beginner/ Intermediate Whitewater Kayaking Workshop in Southeastern Tennessee, and it was amazing weekend for both the weather and seeing newer paddlers enjoying the sport we all love! I was showing the lines on the Hiwassee and after I would run the rapid, I would turn around and see the faces of the paddlers with huge smiles and cheers of enjoyment. It was an amazing feeling for them to conquer something that just a few moments before had been an OMG moment that they thought they couldn’t do before. It was also amazing watching some experience paddlers who I lead down the Ocoee breakdown a rapid and figure out exactly what angle to hit a certain wave and what speed and power was needed to help them get to where they want to go. But the bottom line to all this we were out paddling in a beautiful place and had amazing weather over our heads! I hope everyone get out on one of our club’s trips and recharges your soul with a paddle in your hands. 

    Your Skipper,  John Gates

  • May 31, 2022 8:42 AM | Jeff Stejskal (Administrator)

    Greetings from a fellow paddler. I hope you are out paddling your local stream or a distant paddling trip to your favorite paddling spot. I have been out paddling and of course helping new paddlers get started in the pool and I can honestly say; I’m so happy to be paddling. We all are truly doing something that makes the soul happy! Something I love seeing is my fellow paddler gets excited about something they have been training hard for and succeed in that task. Examples I see are new paddlers get comfortable being underwater and able to do a controlled wet exit out of a boat. Another is running a rapid and not just surviving it but be able to control their speed and able to hit an eddy that seems impossible just a few minutes before. What inspires you? 

    Your Skipper,  John Gates

  • April 06, 2022 8:56 AM | Jeff Stejskal (Administrator)

    Skippers Note The other day I was driving down to Cincinnati for the Annual Cincy Paddle Swap, and asked my Mom to ride along with me. As I was driving I said to her, “How many times over the years have we driven down I-74 to go paddle somewhere?” She responded with a laugh and said to me “Too many times to count!” I just smiled and the memories of those trips started flooding in like when the Ocoee Dam opened. The memories I have of paddling in different places with my mom are ones I cherish. My point in telling you this is that paddling is a lifelong experience that you and your loved ones can share all your life. I was blessed to have parents that got me involved when I was 7 years old and I plan on paddling until I can no longer do it. The HCKC was formed by a few families that wanted to get out and paddle as a group. Over the years our club has expanded from that and continues to grow, spanning several disciplines and several different places. We continue the tradition of creating memories of paddling adventures. I hope you have and continue to create memories of your own and I hope they include paddling! I would confidently say that my adventures paddling are some of my most cherished ones - Are they for you? See you on the water John Gates

  • February 17, 2022 1:15 PM | Toni Harris (Administrator)

    Paddling Season is here and I can’t wait to get back out on the water.  I hope everyone is ready for the season to start like I am but have you checked out your boat (S) and gear?  I was thinking the other day when I was rolling my Antix and how loose in the hips I was and I need to put a couple of paddes in there to make it so I “wear” my boat.  I also have on my list of gear checks is my camping gear to make sure my stove for example is working and I’m not eating cold chow after a day of paddling.

    Something I hope everyone thinks about is brushing up on their skills by taking one of the many classes we offer in the club.  If you have a certain skill that you would love to learn or brush up on ask the Safety and Training Committee to look into it and see if we can put it on the schedule.  When I was going through my Kayak Instructor Course, my Instructor Trainer kept telling my class that the first stroke you learn is the forward stroke but it is the last one you master!  I hope everyone has a great month and I also hope to see everyone on the water. 

    Your Skipper, John Gates

  • February 16, 2022 4:51 PM | Toni Harris (Administrator)

    Skippers Note As we finish up the Trips’ Planning Meeting and start our 2022 season with training, I sit and wonder what type of year we will have. Will it be dry or wet? Will we have enough training events or trips to keep our membership interested? As I think about all those things, it all boils down to involved membership. If you as a member of this club do not get involved we can’t sustain what we have built over the last 50 years. I encourage you to lead a trip or volunteer at one of the many events the club sponsors. I promise you this, the time you spend being involved in the club; the enjoyment you will reap! Looking out to the future, Linda Decker has once again organized a Wilderness First Aid Class. The last time this was offered it was an outstanding event and I look forward to attending it the first weekend of February. Thank you Linda for organizing this event. Another coming event I’m currently helping organize is one of our biggest outreach programs of the year and that is the Ford 67th Annual Indianapolis Boat, Sport & Travel Show February 18th – 27th, 2022. This one program showcases the whole club so please be sure to stop by and say, “Hi!” to our volunteers who will be working the booth. I leave this as my final thought for this month…. I would like to send out a huge “Thank You” to the 2022 HCKC Board Members! I’m so happy and excited to be a part of this board and look forward to the amazing things we as a group can execute! As always, if you have concerns or comments about the club, please call or email me and I would love to hear what you have to say, John.

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