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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Manistee River Canoe Trip

 I'm breaking one of my personal blog rules today and posting too many pictures. But they tell the story of our INCREDIBLY AWESOME day. It was darn near perfect. This was an activity of the Spirit of the Woods Chapter of the North Country Trail Association. Yes, we usually, hike, but we sure aren't opposed to other kinds of adventures occasionally.

canoe on car

Thanks to Ellen's equipment, Loretta and I got to go, but we had to get the canoe with my car. Then another friend of Ellen's brought two kayaks in her truck. Other people brought their watercraft by various methods.

group of people on paddle trip

Here we all are- nine of us. We had six kayaks, one canoe, and one rubber raft.

Manistee River below Hodenpyl Dam

We put the boats in the water just below Hodenpyl Dam on the Manistee River. The rubber raft had no hope of floating/paddling as fast as the canoe and kayaks, but the guy using it knew that, and he was content to just have a lazy day. Having some way to get his car spotted at the downstream end was worth it even if he couldn't keep up. (He made it safely- the leaders called him later.)

Manistee Suspension bridge

Right away we paddled under the Manistee Suspension Bridge. This was built as a joint venture by Consumers Energy and the Manistee National Forest. It's a footbridge, but it's the second-largest suspension bridge in Michigan. The largest, of course, is one of the largest in the world, the Mackinaw Bridge

riffles in river

Early in the trip there was quite a bit of riffled water. You couldn't really call them rapids- nothing that difficult. You just needed to make sure you were avoiding the standing waves where the big rocks were, and then they were just fun. Loretta took this picture, but we didn't get any really good one, since we had to be ready to steer as soon as we got near them. It was just enough to be fun.

lunch in the grass

At some point we pulled out on a meadow-y bend and ate our lunches. Most of us took a swim after that. Even though the sun was hot, the cool water, and getting our clothes wet was wonderful, because the afternoon was more in the sun, and on slower water.

kayaks in Manistee River

This is a typical scene from later in the day. It was wonderfully quiet. A double-crested cormorant dove right under our canoe, and then surfaced before going back under- hunting for fish. I've never seen one swim so close! We also saw geese and ducks, fish, crayfish, kingfishers, swallows, and assorted other birds. Someone else saw a mink, but I missed that.

taking canoes out at Red Bridge

We reached Red Bridge in good time. Our vehicles had been spotted there, so we just needed to load up. Leaders Loren and Dave brought watermelon and sodas for us.

This is definitely one of the best days of my summer so far. The weather was ideal, the company was great, the activity level was good, the ambiance was absolutely perfect.



Don't unplug your hub said...

I wish I could have been there. I am going to get myself a kayak.

Ann said...

Well I'm glad you broke your rule and posted all the pictures because I love pictures :) It looks like a perfect day.

Duxbury Ramblers said...

What a great day out, loved all the photos.

Grandma's Goulash said...

It's good to break the rules sometimes. I truly enjoyed both the pictures and the narrative. Felt almost as relaxing as your day must have been.

Brenda said...

It looks like a very great day! I really enjoyed all the pictures.

Ratty said...

I love the idea of canoeing, but I can't swim very well, and deep water scares me more than a little. I tried to learn to swim well, but it just never worked. I do like the idea though a lot.

Ferd said...

Fantastic day! :-)

Sharkbytes said...

John- you are welcome to join us, but your travel time might be extreme!

Ann- It was SO perfect- glad you enjoyed it.

Carol- no time for much botanizing, but lots of other fun. Tilia grandifolia in bloom

Grandma- thanks for coming by. it was indeed relaxing.

Brenda- thanks! They do tell a story.

Ratty- I'm so sorry, because water things are a lot of fun.

Ferd- sure was- wish I could have pictured the cormorant, but it all happened too fast.

RNSANE said...

It all sounds just fabulous - nothing like an activity you enjoy, in the company of good friends!

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