Tuesday, March 30, 2010


There is an event that takes place about a mile or two -probably more like 3 miles perhaps -from my home every year, on the last Saturday of March and it's something that really brings the old village to life!

It's a canoe/kayak race on the stream that runs through the ghost town of Peale down in the woods here!

This race has been happening for I think forty plus years now if I'm not mistaken and it's become really popular and quite well known too. It's one of the better white water races at least in the eastern part of the United States, for sure.

It begins at the bridge in Peale that crosses over the Red Moshannon Creek and proceeds seven miles downstream to the bridge at the foot of Cooper Mountain on Route 53 where the Red Moshannon and the Black Moshannon streams converge and from there, the water goes on to the West Branch of the Susquehanna River.

The son of my neighbors and good friends has taken part in many, many of these events and this past Saturday was no different. As I was coming home from helping at a funeral dinner at our church, I saw the neighbors' son pulling away from his parents home and motioned to him to pull off for a minute so I could find out how he made out this year.

No big surprise to me when he said he'd taken Second Place! So congratulations to you -Howie Pillot -for another race well done!

This year though the race came very close to having a tragedy as one of the participants had his canoe flip on him near the finish line and he was seen floating in the water near the bridge. Someone on the sidelines managed to pull him out and began doing CPR on him and the local EMTs and other emergency personnel were notified. Initially, he was taken to a local hospital and from there transferred to Pittsburgh to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The reports from the local newspaper today say he is in critical condition there. (I was going to link this to the story from the local paper but they don't have archives in place to my knowledge on their website so the story would end up being replaced tomorrow.)

Anyway, the racer involved was George Lockey, a 62-year-old man from Kylertown, a little village about 4 miles from where I live. George is a retired firefighter from Washington, D.C. and since moving back to his (and his wife's) home area, he's been really active in many events of the outdoor variety, especially hiking through many of the forest areas in about a 3-4 county radius. He also is an excellent photographer and has a portfolio of many, many woodland scenes of this region as well as some really outstanding pictures of wildlife in the region too -especially of some of the rattlesnakes he has encountered in his hikes.

I wish I could find his website with his photography posted there so everyone could see some of the fantastic pictures he has taken and also, as a way to show folks the beauty of this region. Words really don't do it justice but George's pictures do just that!

So please, say some prayers for George that he has a full and speedy recovery and also for his wife, Sharon, and their family as they go through the waiting process at the hospital.

(If anyone reading this is on Facebook, you can access a fan page about the Red Moshannon Race via Facebook and see some of the terrific photos posted over this past weekend of various racers running the rapids on this race.)


Anonymous said...

Man rescued from water at Red Mo race
Monday, March 29, 2010
By Terry Whetstone and Tyler Kolesar Staff Writers
GRASSFLAT - A man was found floating face down in the water at the end of the Red Moshannon Downriver Canoe Race Saturday.
Those who were in attendance at the race identified the man as George Lockey of Kylertown.
According to the state police at Clearfield, bystanders pulled Lockey from the water and CPR was performed until emergency personnel could arrive.
Police said they assisted emergency personnel at the scene and investigated the incident, and there was no crime or foul play.
One bystander on the bridge said Lockey floated past the bridge for about 30-40 yards, where a rescuer pulled him from the water and began CPR until the ambulance arrived.
The incident occurred at the bridge on state Route 53 near Grassflat at the Clearfield/Centre County line in Cooper Township.
Police said Snow Shoe Ambulance transported the man to Clearfield Hospital with paramedics from Moshannon Valley Emergency Medical Services of Philipsburg on board.
From Clearfield Hospital, Lockey was flown to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center at Pittsburgh where unconfirmed reports list him in critical condition.
A phone call to UMPC this morning was abruptly ended when the hospital found out the call was from a member of the media, and no official condition report was given.
Snow Shoe Ambulance, MVEMS, Morris Township Fire Co., Grassflat Fire Co. and Snow Shoe Fire Co. responded to the scene of the call.

TechnoBabe said...

There is alot going on in your area. The race sounds like lots of fun. It is sad that an accident like the man's canoe turning over and him being in critical condition has to happen at all. Especially to a man who is so active.

Anonymous said...


Jeni said...

Thank you to the Anonymous poster who provided the link to George's photo site. Anyone who checks out his pictures can see for themselves that I wasn't fibbing when I said he had some great shots!

I haven't had a chance to confirm this report as yet, but someone on Facebook reported this morning that George died Monday night. I will put up more information if indeed that proves to be true.

Also -if you look at the banner photo at the top of my blog, the stream shown in that picture is of the Red Moshannon as it wends its way down to the site where the canoe race begins.

... Paige said...

wow, how scary. thanks a-none-moose :-)

Jocelyn said...

That is terrifying for Lockey. I hope he's recovering. At least he was doing something he clearly had passion for, which is the best way to live a life.

This event sounds like something I'd LOVE. I'm envious you have it right there; I'd be a crazy spectator, for sure.

Travis said...

It seems a bit chilly yet for kayaking, but I guess whatever floats your boat.

Oh...HA! I made a funny.