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Traverse Area Paddle Club

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Trip Reports

May 17 Jordan River

 | Published on 5/17/2019
Photos by John & Jocelyn
With a weather report that showed sunny weather (but chilly) on Friday, and rainy weather all weekend, Lois and I decided at the last minute to list a Friday trip on the Jordan. We checked with the outfitter at Graves Crossing to be sure the river was clear. In the spring, the Jordan is lined with marsh marigolds so it is really beautiful.


Everything went as planned until about 15 minutes below Old State Road. There we found a tree totally across the river. I tried the "paddle like hell" technique hoping I could slide over the log. It worked, but just barely, so I knew others might have a problem.  So I stayed close by.  Marlene made a valiant attempt, but got hung up.

I paddled up to the downriver side of the log, and Marlene was able to throw me her bowline. I wedged my kayak into some logs, and I was able to pull her over. Tracie was next. She was paddling her whitewater kayak, which has the perfect bottom profile for sliding over logs. She didn't quite clear the log, but got far enough over that she was able to free herself.

Next Lois gave it a try, and really got hung up. Going back would have wedged her sideways to the upriver side of the log which is a dangerous place to get stuck. Lois had her bowline stuck up under a bungee near her bow so she couldn't reach it. With the placement of the logs, and my 12 foot kayak I couldn't get close enough to get a hand on it.

Meanwhile, Ron portaged the log jam, and with his whitewater boat ,he was able to reach Lois' bowline. He attached a rescue rope to it, and from shore I was able to get enough power to pull Lois over the log.

She was very glad to she didn't have to swim in that cold water.  From now on, Lois and I are going to keep the end of our bowlines within reach.