Symmes Creek event attracts faithful for cleanup
CHESAPEAKE — Dark skies didn’t frighten away those who dedicate a Saturday a year to making sure one of the favorite places in Lawrence County of canoe aficionados is clean.
The 17th annual Symmes Creek Canoe Caper brought out 30 supporters who took their canoes up and down the creek starting at the Chesapeake boat ramp to cleanup trash.
“For a rainy day we felt very fortunate,” Grayson Thornton, of the Symmes Creek Restoration Committee, said. “It looked like it would pour down in buckets.”
About 10 a.m. canoes were in the water as those paddling had an eagle eye for everything that was littering the waters of Symmes Creek. That added up to 20 bags of trash and a lot of stunned paddlers when they retrieved some of the debris.
As in the past, an award was given for the strangest item retrieved from the creek.
“The oddest thing was a huge plastic table. A guy came back with with its legs sticking out of his canoe,” Thornton said. “He turned his canoe over trying to get it. He had an old tire too. He worked like the dickens to get this stuff.”
Winners of that honor were Rick Crace and Cheryl Brumfield, both of Proctorville.
Winner of the award for getting the most bags of trash went to Will Johnson and Aaron Johnson of Boy Scout Troop 115, South Point.
Rods and reels went to both winners.
Evan Hunt won the raffle of a new canoe donated by local Longbeards Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation and Cecil Roberts won the raffle of an original photograph by Carson Hunt.
After the cleanup, a lunch of hot dogs was served as participants listened to the music of Terry Duncan and Jim Booth, who sang and played guitar.
“When people came back from gathering trash, they ate their food and listened to the music,” Thornton said.
All the trash recovered was placed at the top of the boat ramp for Rumpke’s to take away.
“They pick it up and carry it off,” Thornton said. “We could not do it without them.”