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Traverse Area Paddle Club

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Trip Reports

May 22 Boardman River - Brown Bridge Landing to Beitner

Lois Goldstein  | Published on 5/22/2020

We posted this Friday trip at 8 PM on Thursday, and five people arrived, all early - or as our TAPC president used to say, “They were running on Lois time”.  One registrant didn’t show up.  Marv helped with the shuttle, so that we were able to enjoy a nice 3 hour paddle from Brown Bridge Landing to Beitner, and have all our cars at the takeout point.  It was my first river trip this season that required real maneuvering skills, and I enjoyed getting back in the groove of ferrying and aiming my boat exactly where I wanted it to be.  Even though it was a gorgeous day (temps in the 70s), we didn't see any other paddlers on the river.  It had been at flood stage earlier in the week, but the water level and volume had moderated over the past couple of days.


At one point, I was hanging back evaluating the situation as we approached the lowest bridge after Shumsky.  Harold was paddling his Wee Lassie home-built canoe, and he didn’t slow down enough as he approached the bridge.  Lesson learned: do not touch the bridge above you, and get WAY down so the water doesn’t spill over the sides. it helps to remove your hat too.  What was really quite remarkable was his ability to remain upright for about 30 yards, while the boat was totally filled with water.  Thank goodness it was a warm sunny day, and the water wasn’t very deep.  So when he leaned over just a little bit and fell out, he was able to walk over to the riverbank and empty the boat quickly.  It was the slowest capsize I have ever witnessed; too bad we didn’t get a video.  Meanwhile, Marlene retrieved his water bottle; everything else was tied in.


John & Jocelyn missed the excitement, since they had decided to spend time looking for trash while we paddled downstream.  There was very little non-native debris during the first 2 hours, but after a short break at Shumsky, they obviously found quite a treasure trove.  We will have to go back in a week or two to get some larger hunks of trash that will require a tandem canoe to haul.


Special thanks to Jackie and Tracie, who had cleaned all the Boardman landings last week.  All three that we encountered were spotless, and it was also nice to have such a clean potty at BBL.  Thanks, ladies!   Next time you will have to join us on the river itself!

Report by Lois, photos by John & Jocelyn

Shortly after we launched at BBL; no major obstructions even though the water level had been up about 18" earlier in the week.

Jocelyn finding trash

"Save the Boardman Brook Trout" sign made from corrugated plastic

John insisted on getting out to grab this one

Jocelyn heading into the fray

By this point she had been instructed to stay low; note the legs of the lawn table upside down in the canoe

Geese, and little geese

At the end; Marlene had found the kayak hatch cover; anybody lose one? 
John got the kneeling pad.

I just led the group, and provided the bag (I always carry them!)