Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Behold the Forbidden Wave!

I know no one wants to read a blog to hear someone complaining.  And I can't stand those people who complain about how cold it is all winter, then bitch about how hot it is all summer.  But I gotta say - I really hate the last half of November thru the middle of December. 

The sun comes up just before I get to work, and sets before I get off.  That's what really gets me.  Maybe I need a set of night vision goggles to wear.  Not that it would do any good this year - I'm still laid up with my head injury.

About that - the doctor said to wear the cervical collar for six to eight weeks.  Today is six weeks.  So TECHNICALLY I could take the thing off today and be done with it.  But I'm only going to take it off for sleeping at first, and try to wear it during the day for the full eight weeks.  We'll see how that turns out.  I'm itchin' to get out and have some adventures.

Had a LOT of rain here, with even more in western Pennsylvania.  This is rain following previous rain, so the ground is saturated.  And looking at the gauges, with more rain today - I can tell that Deer Creek will definitely be runnig tomorrow.  That's one of my favorite Allegheny gorge creeks - maybe THE favorite.  It's only about 3.5 miles run but has something like 24 class II to easy class III rapids.  I love this run and have paddled it a couple dozen times over the years.  And I've never seen another boater here, except the few times that I've brought someone else along with me.  I compare it with the dam release run on the North Branch Potomac - it's about the same level of difficulty and fun, but actually has more rapids.  And it has a pair of really cool surfing waves down near the end - deep, long ones that can give you a great ride, or grab you and kick your butt.

And here's the kicker - TECHNICALLY I'm cleared to go do stuff as of today.  So TECHNICALLY I could load up my car with gear and head over there first thing in the morning tomorrow before heading in to work.  I can not express the amount of frustration that doing the smart thing is causing me.  I am going to be going nuts tomorrow while sitting at my desk working, knowing that the creek is running and I'm missing it.

One more thing with there being so little daylight - it's hard to get any decent pictures if there isn't any sunlight when your only picture taking opportunities occur.  So I headed out to Mill Creek Park again today at lunch to take pictures of the forbidden wave at it's absolute best.

The forbidden wave is a great little surfing wave on Mill Creek.  It's usually nothing, but at the right flow it looks like you could have some fun.

It's got a cut stone wall along one bank at the picnic area, with woods on the other side.

This is the only whitewater creek in Mahoning County and it's closed to paddlers, on the authority of the Mill Creek Metroparks - even though only the state of Ohio has the authority to do that.  And if they see you paddling, they will call the police and have you arrested.  Pretty bogus.  Just another case of the man trying to keep a brother down.  Anyway, I promise this is my last post criticizing Mill Creek Park.

It looks like the weather is taking the turn towards winter this week.  We're going to have some snow flurries tomorrow (no, that's not a reason to stay home from paddling or riding) and it's going to be staying below freezing at night.  If that keeps on happening it won't take long before the ground freezes and trail work pretty much comes to a halt for the year.  Hopefully it will hold off for at least a couple of weeks so that I can get this neck brace off and do some work.

Man, I swear - I'm soooo close to heading out to go paddling tomorrow.  Must.  Do.  The. Smart. Thing.

EDIT:  I did the smart thing and went to work and am none the happier for it.  Such is life.

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