Posted by: buck_flicks on Jul-26-12 10:22 PM (EST)
I'm probably too late, but just in case you're still able to check tonight:
The lower half of the river should still be relatively paddle-worthy, just not very exciting. I would stay away from anything in the upper third for sure, as it will require a lot of boat-dragging through gravel bars and over or around low rapids. For the future, your best bet for exciting water is the upper third in late April or early May when the river is fed by spring storms. I would definitely avoid putting in above Pruitt, and would recommend going even farther down stream for your starting point this late in the year. If you start at Grinders Ferry, you will miss the inevitable cluster of activity that takes place at Tyler Bend State Park, and you'll be ahead of the hordes of larger groups that start their trip there.
As far as a 'liesurly pace'... we've easily covered 15-18 miles in short days (sleep late, take our time packing up camp, start paddling around 10 or so, start looking for ideal campsites around 4:30 or 5:00 and stop when we find one.) If you really want to slow it down, you can probably shoot for 7-10 miles per day, stopping frequently, take a long lunch, stop early and enjoy an early evening campsite. If you travel TOO fast, you may find yourself at your destination a day ahead of the shuttle service dropping off your vehicle. That happened to us our first time, we paddled way faster than we thought we would, reached our last day's take out point the night before, had to spend the night at the noisy Maumee campground. So my advice is to end your day early if you have reached your day's mileage. Better to spend the evening relaxing in your private campsite than to hurry and push yourself for maximum mileage and wind up reaching your end point 18 hours early.
Great Products from the Buyers' Guide: