It was a spectacular day for paddling down one of my favorite stretches of river in northern Michigan, from Briarpatch to Walker Bridge. The weather was sensational: warm enough to dive for old beer cans (we found lots of those), and a nice breeze to keep bugs at bay. Scenery - fabulous! Other river users said they didn't notice any trash, but our eagle eyes managed to find almost 5 large bags, plus one kayak paddle. That item got left for the kind folks of Pine River Paddlesports Center, since we ended at their livery dock.
Participants included three guys named John - Walton, Heiam and Gerty, plus Gerald Wilgus. Women were Susan Wilgus, Gail Hastings, Marcy Maller and me, Lois Goldstein. The water level was fine for our hunt, and the clarity was superb. Jumping into the water to grab stuff that eluded our grabber sticks was comfortable as well.
I got some assistance from a group of canoeing women, when I went in to retrieve a large (18" by 24") metal sign that had escaped from the land that Ne-bo-shone owns. One lady held my wrist as I stood in waist-deep water so I could reach down and grab the sign. Sue managed to haul the kayak paddle all the way on the deck of her kayak. John W served as the garbage scow, taking most of the morning stash in the large bags in his solo canoe. In the afternoon, Gail stopped to attempt to grab an old beer can, but the water was up to her chest. I parked my kayak, tied the front line around my waist (one reason we require ropes on both bow and stern), and held onto her as she mucked around in the water.
It was a long day, but tons of fun with a terrific crew. Special thanks to Gail and John W, who served as "shuttle bunnies". Some of us celebrated a job well done with dinner at Olive Garden. On to more adventures!
Narrative by Lois, photos by John H
Sue, John G, Gerald, Marcy, John W, Gail, Lois