Independence Day on the Headwaters of the Manistee:
The day began with a rough start when Harold's trailer had an issue. One of the shock absorbers failed, the tire bashed through the fender and Marcy's kayak was full of tire rubber. Harold and John G assured us that the damage was fixable. Fortunately, they were still close to home, where he had the parts needed for a quick repair. Marcy went home.
The gang moved on to the put-in site, where various acrobatics were seen as paddlers tried to enter their boats with as little muck on their feet as possible. The river began as a serene stream surrounded by tall grass with abundant watercress. It gradually turned into a twisty jumble of downed trees, where we were able to use all of our river-paddling skills, and then some. We had to climb out of our boats at one site, but nobody went for an unexpected swim, and the river really was a fun challenge.
Eventually, it widened and became easy to paddle (except for the overly ambitious beaver, who had taken up the whole span of the river at one point). We spotted baby birds crying for food in a nest close to the river, and it was generally a nice, warm, perfect day to be out on the river, in the Land of the Free! Thank you to all of the veterans in the paddle club for your service!
Trip report by Carrie
Photos taken by John H, Jocelyn and Harold
Lois on the Beaver Dam
John Heiam crossing the beaver dam - he was sure he would just shoot right across
Pam skootching underneath a downed tree