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Traverse Area Paddle Club

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Trip Reports

August 8 Pine River cleanup - Dobson to Peterson

 | Published on 8/8/2019

Pine River Cleanup: August 8th, 2019

After a car ride filled with building anticipation, verdant Michigan landscapes, and detailed kayaking instructions from John and Lois, the seasoned paddlers, we arrived at Dobson Bridge River Access for our Pine River cleanup expedition.

Martin, Elliott, and I quickly unpacked our gear, eager to start our 6 mile journey. We readied our boats, practiced with the grabber sticks and applied our final layers of sunscreen and bug repellant. Finally, we set out.  Within seconds, the swift current and erratic log jams proved to require skillful maneuvering, but with some technical lessons from Lois and Kathleen, I quickly found myself paddling with ease.  Elliott and Martin had no trouble adjusting to the river and immediately began spotting and collecting trash.

Mark, another seasoned paddler, even managed to paddle his canoe while standing upright, ensuring that he wouldn’t miss any neglected bottles, paddles, or street signs!  With a crew of 14, we expected the work to be light, but even after a short time on the river, we discovered that the ecosystem was in great shape.

When we stopped for lunch, no one even needed to offload their collection into Lois’ canoe! Despite the slim pickings, our group managed to find German liquor bottles, bed sheets, unopened beer cans, and even two pairs of boxer shorts! Before we knew it, we found ourselves at the end of the trip.

As we marveled at our loot and dragged our kayaks to the car, I couldn’t help but feel proud of the work our group accomplished. From climbing over logs for a small find to participating on their birthdays (shoutout to Jocelyn), my 13 other crew members demonstrated a level of environmental stewardship and care that made me optimistic about the future and the condition of the beautiful land we get to call home.

Report by Macy Fouch

Photos by John & Jocelyn

The group at the beginning: Bob, Marlene, Sue, Elliott, Martin, Macy, Lois, John,
Kathleen, Jocelyn, Jacqui, Mark, Gail

Mark on the prowl for trash

Martin with an interesting find.

56 selected botanicals cold macerated in essence of oak - 70 proof.

Elliott with cardinal flowers in the foreground


Sue spotted the sheet, and Elliott went into the river to get it.

A tie-dyed sheet courtesy of the Pine River

John and Kathleen team up to clean out a "mother lode" of trash

Kathleen goes deep into a log jam for trash

Macy - the author

Martin claims to sample one of his finds

Lois and Elliott

Some of the wildflowers seen during the day - 
Joe-Pye Weed, Woodland Sunflower, Cardinal Flower
Nightshade berries, Bee Balm

Our load of trash