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Traverse Area Paddle Club

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Trip Reports

August 26 Upper Manistee River

Lois Goldstein  | Published on 8/26/2018
People: Lois and John, Bob, Ron, Jackie, Tracie, Jocelyn (and Max), Marlene (plus shuttle bunny Marv)
Report by Lois

Soon after we launched, John & I encountered a combination logjam, so John bashed through first, and then directed me to what he thought was the best route.  I took it, and was clear.  Since nobody was right behind me, I thought I would pull over and cut some of the branches that were blocking the way.  Good idea, except that the river had other plans for me....suddenly I was literally wedged sideways between a log and a hard place, namely a small tree on the other side of the river.  Did I mention that my solo canoe is only 13' long?  Bob and Ron came to the rescue, wading into the water to get me unhinged, and help the others through.  Eventually they cut some of the woody debris so that future paddlers (probably us) would be able to pass through a bit more easily.

But we weren't out of the woods yet - there were still quite a few trees that we had to scotch over, slide under or generally maneuver around.  This went on for about an hour.  Nobody got stuck for too long, and we all came through smiling by the time we reached the confluence with a side stream that doubles the current.  From that point on, we still had to pay attention, but it was a lot more mellow.

Two semi-exciting things happened at our lunch stop at Deward, the site of an old logging camp.  Max, the 17.5 year old dog, decided to forgo his chicken lunch for a few minutes; he went off exploring.  Fortunately, Jocelyn caught up to him just as he fell into the river near our boat landing.  There's a little drop-off there, so naturally he couldn't climb out of the water.  I wonder h ow many of us will still be climbing when we are super-senior citizens?  Max's age is people years is about 122 years old.

As we were launching - after lunching - Bob decided to remove his shoes in order to rinse off some muck before continuing in his solo canoe (borrowed from Jocelyn).   Suddenly one of his shoes was gone, not in his boat, nor anywhere nearby!  Everyone is an experienced river-picker, so it took only a few seconds for "Eagle-Eye" Marlene to find the errant shoe floating in the water right at the edge of the landing.  Whew!

The rest of the afternoon was fairly uneventful; we saw only 3 other kayakers, and nobody at the takeout access.  Some of us took a swim break about 45 minutes before the end - that dip felt wonderful!!!  Tracie, Jackie and Ron busied themselves by picking up the very few pieces of trash that we saw - thanks, you guys!

It was a gorgeous day on one of very favorite summer weekend streams; we all had a great time!

Photos by John and Jocelyn

The upper river is very serene, and you may wonder why other people don't paddle here.
This is the view from the put-in; we call it "John's Landing"


Just downstream, it is still very inviting.


But soon the obstacles start, and sometimes people have to get out of their boats to help each other get through.


Sometimes only one person will fit in the slot.  Here's Marlene slipping through.




Lois doing some serious skootching


Jackie powers over a log. This is no place for delicate boats!


President Tracie shows us how it' done


Here comes Ron!


Once the other fork comes in from the east, the stream becomes more mellow.  Here's Bob, looking mellow.


Along comes Jocelyn, with Max hiding underneath his lanai.