Wanted Kayakers for Mon River Floats

-- Last Updated: Feb-09-08 11:15 AM EST --

At the end of August me and a buddy are going to take an eight day trip from Fairmont WV to Pittsburgh Pa on the Monongahela River, 128-130 miles. We will be doing scouting trips to look for camping locations and to get some experience using the 9 locks that we will have to go through. We are hoping to find some locals along the route that would like to join us on these scouting trips. All are welcome to join us. The first trip will be the third weekend in march and we will be putting in at Fairmont and floating to the first set of locks. We will be doing a trip every other weekend there after working our way from Fairmont to Pittsburgh.
I will be posting the outcome of each scouting trip and when we finally do the whole ball of wax, I will be posting a story about it.
If you are interested in joining us please let me know and we will arrange the meeting time and place. Happy paddling. MonRiverJoe

Course and Gear

– Last Updated: Mar-06-08 10:06 AM EST –

Well I guess there are no kayakers along our route that want to help us out. So, I will then have a running diary that keeps track of our trip for your reading enjoyment.
So far, we have mapped out our course and have decided which boats we are taking.
We will be going from Pallentine Park in Fairmont West Virginia to Point State Park in Pittsburgh Pa. 128 mile
The boats are as follows:
1) Preception America 11.0 Kayak
2) Old Town 9' Kayak
3) TU Colorado 9' Modified Pontoon
We will be using the pontoon as a main platform for our camping gear and as a means of stretching our legs. we will be trying this summer to get a feel for what will work for the 28 mile trip. We will have to watch how wide we are when we are going through the 9 locks that are along the course. We will be removing the pontoon seat and replacening it with a plywood floor that will be 28" wide and 7' long, so we will have plenty of space to bring EVERYTHING that we will posssably need for this trip.
Our first scouting trip will be from Fairmont to the first set of locks and locking through both ways then back to Fairmont . We will be doing a scouting trip twice a month until our 128 mile trip putin date of August 22th.
We have a web site that we are working on, http://mysite.verizon.net/vzey5pyx/fairmon2pgh/
Please stop by and let us know what you think.
Our main purpose of this trip is to experience one of the last great waterways in the east and to visit as many historical site along the way. Then to compile the photos and notes from our trip to write a story documenting our experiences.
I will be keeping both our web site and this postin up to date with our progress.
Agian if you would like to help us with this trip please let me know. This length of a trip is new to me so any info would be helpful.

Trip web site UPDATE
We have done a little work on our trip web site. Please check it out and let us know what you think. http://mysite.verizon.net/vzey5pyx/fairmon2pgh/

We will be adding stuff as we get it done. We will also be looking for as much info as possible on the Mon River and the towns along it.

Please come and join us on our scouting trips. We are going to show the paddling world that the Monongahela River is a river worth exploring. There are so many interesting places along our route and writing about them will be an accomplishment long in the making for me.

We are starting a paddling club that is for us flatwater folks in the Pittsburgh Area. Please see the web site for upcoming trips and meetings.

Thanks Again,

Joe & Shawn

Towing the pontoon
You might consider using a sea kayak tow rig for this. With a light rope, usuallu 30-40 feet long and a built-in shock absorber it should reduce the “yanking” sensation.

I’ll keep an eye on your site, too soon to see if I can join for a day paddle.


Trip Update

– Last Updated: Mar-06-08 10:09 AM EST –

I hear what you are saying about the sea yak, But we already have the gear listed and really don't want to spend alot of cash to do this. My buddy and I have done several 2-3 day trips, so we have alittle experience overnighting it. The length of the trip is one of major concerns. Mainly because I have had 3 back surgeries and have to make sure I can sleep on a cot or an inflatable mat. Also since we will be on the water 6-9 hours a day I want to make it so that the pontoon has a little deck surface to stretch my back and legs out on. We will be uploading our scouting dates, kayak-pontoon rig and our trip schedule.

Right now we are getting the small things, like a port-a-potty, cooking stove style and others worked out. We try to leave as little of a trace as possible camping & yaking, so we are looking for gear and tactics that will accomplish this.

For food, we are dehydrating fruit & meat. We will also be using a seal-a-meal to make our first 3 days of food. For water we will be taking 5 gal to begin with but will eventually have to purify some along the way. Hopefully there are a few places, campgrounds ect, to get water also.

Nice thing about the pontoon is that it is rated for over 400lbs, so we can pretty much take what we will need. Cheating alittle I know.

Anyone got Ideas for a potty. We were going to fasten a Toilet seat to a 5 gal bucket and use a paper bag that gets either burned or buried away from the water table.

We are also looking into attaching a sail to the pontoon and are looking for ideas on that.

When we know for sure our scputing dates I will post them and PLEASE if you get a shot come out with us.

Thanks for your post

What is the weight on that pontoon?

Weight Mod Trip Schedule

– Last Updated: Mar-06-08 10:10 AM EST –

Toon is rated at 400 lbs and weighs 46lbs
Gear 70-80lbs
I weigh 170 lbs soaking wet.

The Mods we are doing are as follows.
1)Mounting a 28"x84" piece of Marine Plywood for a deck.
2)Mounting a 14" swivel pedistal seat.
3)Mounting an Oar lock on the toons motor mount to use as a tiller. that way we can drift down the river like HUCK FINN. Seriously the tiller will allow us to control the rig with little effort.
4)Mounting a sail or a sun shade. ANY IDEAS.

Our web trip web site will soon have schematics of how we will be cofiguring the toon and the yaks. So check it out and tell us what you think.

Here is our tenative schedule. What we are trying to find out is the average flow of the Mon River during August. I realise that rain or drought will affect the rate, but knowing the flow rate will help us know the amount of paddling we MUST DO each day.
This schedule is based on a 2-3 mph flow rate and a putin time of 9am

Day Paddle Time Miles Done Camp Site
1 2-3 hrs 6-7 Rivesville WV
2 7-8 hrs 17-18 Hildebrand
3 7-8 hrs 15-16 Point Marion
4 7-8 hrs 16-17 Palmer Mine
5 6-7 hrs 14-15 Brownsville
6 7-8 hrs 16-17 Monesson
7 7-8 hrs 16-17 Clariton
8 5-6 hrs 11-12 Kennywood Park
9 5-6 hrs 12-13 Homestead

The total trip is 128 Miles from Put In to Take Out. We are starting August 22 Ending August 31.
With this schedule we will have a full day to explore. Any IDEAS or places we gotta see? Please let us know.

Thanks for your post.

First scouting trip March 29&30
We are doing our first trip of 08 on March 29th & 30th. We will be exploring the mon & yough rivers. We will be camping overnite at Dravo Cemetary Boy Scout Camp on the yough the 29th, then break camp and explore further up the yough and then return to the put in at McKees Point in McKeesport. We will be gathering at 9am for a lazy weekend of paddling. Everyone that wants to join us are welcome. Please contact us through our web site http://mysite.verizon.net/vzey5pyx/fairmon2pgh/

Anybody interested in this or any of our upcoming trips are responsible for their own needs. Also we practice LEAVE NO TRACE Camping and anyone that comes with us must abide by this ideal.

Thanks. Happy Paddlin

MonRiver JOE

WE just got done updating our clubs web site check it out http://mysite.verizon.net/vzey5pyx/fairmon2pgh/index.html

Not sure you understand
I think what he was suggesting is NOT using a sea kayak but getting a sea kaykers rescue harness and line—these can either be attached around your waist or, in some models, attached to your boat. They are used by sea kayak guides and others to tow kayaks where the paddler is too weak, to tired, or too sick to paddle himself–they cost around 50 dollars or less and would be just the thing for towing your pontoon.

thanks for the clarity

– Last Updated: Apr-04-08 3:22 PM EST –

Yep I did misunderstand the post. But we will be using the pontoon as the tow vehicle sort of. Since we will be mostly floating and not constantly paddling we will just use it as a tie up for 1 kayak while the other gets to enjoy a little exploring and scouting the river ahead. The whole point of taking the pontoon is to have a way to haul everything needed and to allow us to stretch while still on the move. My buddy was joking the all we need is a Porta John and we would not have to dock.
I am hoping this week to work out the sail and/or a bimini top, as well as working on the tiller for the pontoon. For the tiller we are planning on mounting an oar lock on the motor mount and using one of our spare kayak paddles.
Check out the web site for our ideas and to share yours.
Thanks for your help.
MonRiver JOE