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Small Inland Lakes
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Labor Day on the Little Manistee
Monday, September 06, 2010
WHO: John, Lois, Steve, Fred, Gail, Karen, Dawn, and Jack
WHERE: Little Manistee, Nine Mile Road to the weir
BOATS: 7 kayaks and 1 canoe
The rain began as we put in and continued for about 1 1/2 hours making reading the river somewhat difficult. In spite of the recent rains there were many low spots and gravel bars providing lots of opportunities for bottoming out. The real thrills, however, came at the bends which were very tight due to blockages from fallen trees and what appeared to be human augmentation by local residents to discourage paddlers. The current was moderate except for the bends where severe eddies thrust you to the outside. Taking the inside line was frustrated by low water levels. Consequently, many times 4 or 5 vessels were queued up to negotiate the tight turns. There were dumps, near dumps, and some portaging but everyone made it to lunch where the sun came out and some clothes were changed.
Beyond Six Mile Road the river slowed and blockages were minimal with fairly satisfactory water levels. The rain started spitting at the weir takeout with heavy thunderstorms following.
Six years ago I canoed this stretch of river in a rented 17 foot tin lizzy with my dog in the front. The river was fast and flowed freely but was doable. Not any more. The liveries have given up on this section and frequent blockages, both natural and augmented, have disrupted the natural flow of the river and created a hodgepodge of whirlpools, sand bars, and low water spots that is as annoying as it is challenging.
Fred got to show off his new super duper bright red hemi head four on the floor positraction liquid love kayak which prompted one paddler to intone: "That's a pretty snappy kayak for an old guy".
OPTIMISTIC QUOTE OF THE DAY: "The rain is getting brighter"
QUOTE THAT DEFIES COMMENT: "My pants are always wet"
Written by Jack
Added by Lois:
Verdict: The LM will get you if you lose your concentration for a moment.
Quotes of the day:
My pants are full of water.
Don't follow me.
Go grab the boat!
I heard the quote that Jack mentioned as a "snazzy boat for an old fart".
More observations: Back-paddling is your friend. Peeling out is a good way to exit an eddy. Take your dry bag of clothes, especially if the trip host is taking hers. Lean downstream. The pump helps. Paddling friends are terrific! Into each life a little rain must fall, and a lot on the way home. Nobody got hurt. The capsize queen kept her sunny attitude. We had the river to ourselves.