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Traverse Area Paddle Club

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Trip Reports

September 2 Upper Pine River

 | Published on 9/2/2018

Participants: Lois Goldstein, John Heiam, Jocelyn Trepte, Fred Swartz, Jack Kurtz, Harold and Pam Lassers


The weather forecasts kept changing on us, but as the date grew closer, the weather gods smiled, and gave us a beautiful day. Few people want to paddle this section because you have to go through 6 miles of private land without stopping, so that makes it perfect for a holiday weekend.  We saw one other couple in kayaks and about a dozen people in tubes. Everyone was sober and in good spirits. When Lois and I arrived at Briar Patch we found a smaller tree had come down in the storm the previous week, and it partially blocked our access.  So we pulled out our pruning saw, and removed it. The river was up, and running at 300 cubic feet per second (cfs), when the normal is 200 cfs. It meant many of the rocks would be covered, but the river was going to be fast. We found eight trees that had come down partially blocking the river, so we had a day of quick decisions and fast maneuvers.  A couple of us got wet, but it was a warm day so it was not a big problem. Fred, Jocelyn, and Harold picked up whatever trash they spotted, so we left the river cleaner than we found it. Another participant learned not to be in the lead when you are not sure what the take out looks like. As we get older, the lessons pile up, and we get smarter.

Photos by Jocelyn, Harold, and John