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Traverse Area Paddle Club

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Trip Reports

April 6 - Boardman Forks to Brown Bridge

 | Published on 4/8/2019

Forks to Brown Bridge is a rite of spring, but is usually postponed until Brown Bridge Road has had its potholes filled.  Undeterred, Ron, Jackie, and I welcomed new member, Kathleen, at the Forks put-in, where we carried her play boat, my canoe, and Ron and Jackie's "fidget spinners" down the icy steps.  With bad Brown Bridge Road reports, we ran our shuttle via Supply Road and Hobbs Highway to avoid the muddy bumps.


The weather was in the 40's and 50's, and cloudy, so we set out down the river early to avoid predicted afternoon rain.  Attempts were made to help Kathleen feel comfortable with our club, including goading her into taking sketchy shortcuts around islands and playing bumper boats with one another.  Beaver lodges were numerous, and a couple mergansers led us down the river from a distance.  Mallards and other birds were not plentiful.


Shortly, SOMEONE began picking up cans, which had mostly been discarded above the shoreline, but when we began spotting glass bottles, everyone became involved!  Kathleen found the first croc (clog) of the season, and "the boys" picked up broken glass under a bridge and at the Scheck's lunch stop.  With so much fun, we forgot to recheck the radar, and we'd already been on the water two hours.  ONE of us (nearly) cussed when s/he looked at his/her radar report, and we departed Scheck's with fanfare!


Getting rained on and cold, however, was not to be, as we made Brown Bridge in about an hour.  There had been only a couple new trees partially blocking the river, but the beavers are working on felling a handful more.  Forks to Brown Bridge, however, is "officially" open, and it was great to welcome our new member, Kathleen, on a mostly clean river and essentially dry day!