Memorial Day on the Manistee
There were nine of us today – Gary Faria and Patty Mallon (new to the club and their first river ride ever, under the excellent supervision of Lois, John and Tracie), Caralee Giuntoli, Lois Goldstein, Mark Gottsleben, John Heiam, Tracie Lord, Vickie Moran and Mark Smith, on the section between Hodenpyl and Red Bridge.
It was an absolutely gorgeous day on a gorgeous river. A little snafu (a seat repair gone slightly awry) threatened to delay our start, but it didn’t and it all worked out, and we were off for a warmer than predicted, and very sunny, day. I’m sure we new paddlers slowed down the rest of the group, but they didn’t seem to mind. We still moved along well (up to 6 mph according to my Garmin in a couple spots), at least until we all seemed to want to slow down near the end to make the trip last longer.
There were some pretty impressive swarms of butterflies, some turtles in the water and out, some birds to distract some of us (mostly Caralee) from what we needed to steer around, and some good size trout visible in the water, although not near the fisher people we passed. I saw only three other paddlers all day, and two of those went by while we were having lunch. But there were a number of friendly hikers and campers, some with beautiful dogs, to wave to.
Other than the beauty of our surroundings and the very pleasant people and conversation, the highlight of the day was a big tree falling just as we were passing it. Had it been closer to the water, we would have had a hard time avoiding it, and it would have had a hard time avoiding us. But again, it all worked out. Great section of the river to which I will definitely return.
Photos by John