Report by Kat Mikula
As new paddler to the TAPC, my anticipation for a new adventure on the Pere Marquette River was optimistic. Approaching the top of Sherman Hill the view of a fog blanket over the valley was an assuring sign of an exceptional day. Our put-in at Bowman Bridge was only a little over an hour from my house and traffic was light at 8 AM.
Access was very easy at Bowman Bridge with parking close by. Restroom facilities were ….not too bad. All new friends to me, the group was welcoming and helpful. Our leader, Lois, anticipated what I needed to do before I could ask. We launched a little past 10:30 with sunshine and pleasant temps. All 8 of us were present: Lois, John, Leigh, Harold, Gerald, Sue, Jocelyn and me.
The Pere Marquette River is scenic with mixed mature hardwood - pine forest. Extensive marshes provide valuable habitat for a variety of waterfowl, as we were treated to a great blue heron escorting us down the river. A light current made for easy paddling and helpful for the 4 hour trip.
Lunch at Rainbow Rapids launch provided great conversations and stories with this group, some of whom have had friendships for 40+ years. The group was supportive and encouraging to me, since I hadn’t had much experience maneuvering river rapids. We all made it through without an incident. The next half of the trip was pleasant and relaxing creating mindfulness for a beautiful area that we had the privileged to experience. A perfect paddle for someone with beginner to intermediate skills. (I slept well that night)
Photos by John & Jocelyn
Jocelyn captures the approach of fall
Gerry's stripper glimmers in the sun - it is for sale!
Harold in the stripper he built
Taking in the beauty of the Pere Marquette
Lois works to avoid a wave
Kat enjoys her first run through Rainbow Rapids
Leigh puts some power into her stroke