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Traverse Area Paddle Club

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Trip Reports

August 29 Lower Platte Cleanup

Lois & John  | Published on 8/29/2016
See the additional report from our youngest participant here:
 
This one is from the trip host, Lois Goldstein; Photos by John Heiam and Glenn Bier
 

We began the day with assistance from the rangers at the Dunes.   They helped with the shuttle, and also with hauling the gear and boats, and that was much appreciated. 

 
Staging boats and gear at the put-in
Here's the group, from left to right: Gerald, Sue, Lois, Bob, Elana, John, Tracie, Jackie, Will, Terry, Lindy, Doug, Glenn, Rangers Stephanie & Danielle, Linnaea and Kate 

The cleanup went really well.  Our group got about 6 large bags of stuff, and everyone had a ball.  The weather was perfect, and several of us took advantage of the warm water to go diving for “dollars” - I found a quarter that way!  Both non-members who attended have said they will join the TAPC this week. 

 
Elana and Grandpa Bob

Highlights of our hunt for trash included a couple of nice beach towels, one of which was retrieved for us by a guy who was tubing - he offered to dive down to about 7 feet, since our grabbers, nets and spears wouldn't go that deep.  See the photo at the bottom of this report.

 

Tracie and I were in a tandem canoe, and cleaned out one log jam that was holding about ten pieces of non-native junk.  John found twelve “Jello shot” containers in one spot on Loon Lake, plus a major stash of beer cans downstream from the El Dorado access.  The group picked up one animal trap, tons of beer cans (we wish alcohol was banned on all rivers!), water bottles, a nice net on a stick that will be used in future cleanups, a few yucky tee shirts, several lengths of fishing line (complete with nasty lures), a variety of shoes, a lot of glass bottles and the usual chip bags.

 
Kate and the net she found - to be used on future cleanups!
One of the many glass bottles that the "spearing madams" picked up - Lois & Tracie in a tandem for the first time.
 
One new river-cleaner, Lindy, made quite an impression with her spotting abilities; she found stuff and would remain with it until the retrieval was complete.  And Glenn arrived at lunch soaking wet - not sure what he was doing out there on the lake, but his canoe was filled with a multitude of debris.
 
Jackie, Lindy and Gerry
Doug
 

Tracie hauled in a broken glass bottle while we were cruising downstream.  Then, as various groups of tubers passed by, we made it a point of showing that item to the parents, and reminding them to keep closed shoes on their kids - and themselves - at all times.

 

The most unique find of the day was a double beer bong - several of us had no idea what it was, and when we found out, wondered exactly why people brought it on a river trip, and for that matter, how they could lose it.

 
Two non-drinkers show how it's done
 Lunchtime at the fish weir
 
The trash at our midway point
 
Lois and Tracie entering the fish weir
 
A big snapping turtle we spotted - he tried to hide underneath the log - his head is on the right.
 
Glenn went all the way to the big lake
 
We loaded all the trash into the bins at the Fish Weir and at the takeout right before Lake Michigan.  In total, we removed about 6 large bags of trash, and completed our mission by 2:30 PM.  Then we finished up the day with the obligatory ice cream stop at Papa J’s in Honor.  We shall return next summer!
 
And then we headed home...
 
Our neighbors Justin, Luke and Katie got one of the beach towels we found, after we cleaned it up.

 

P.S. That same day I got a very nice note from Lisa Myers, who used to be the volunteer coordinator at SBDNL.  She left the NPS to return to grad school a few years ago, and now works for the National Forest Service in Milwaukee.  She saw a note in a bulletin about our club’s cleanups on the Pine River, and was pleased to see that we were still in the game!