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Traverse Area Paddle Club

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Trip Reports

June 15 South Branch of the AuSable

Tom Lipps  | Published on 6/15/2020

A group of nine (Lois, John, Suzann, George, Becky, Tom W., Marlene, Donna,and Tom L.) enjoyed perfect weather for the trip down the South Branch of the AuSable. It was mostly a bird day for animal life sightings with several families of Canadian geese and one large family of Momma with nine Merganser ducklings patrolling the river.  A large osprey also flew overhead.  A huge old snapping turtle was also spotted sunning on a log. During our paddle we came upon several fly fishers who were also enjoying the spectacular weather on the river, and one couple who were power paddling the river, leaving us in their wake.  


A lesson in safety was reinforced when the group came across a young couple who had flipped one of their rental kayaks and lost the boat and the paddle downstream.  Having safety ropes on the bow and stern of the boat may have saved them a lot of grief!   Our group was able to recover their equipment while they waited for their outfitter to pick them up.  And to show that no matter what skill level you may have, if you don’t pay attention, you will end up taking an unplanned swim.  Two boats, accounting for one third of our group, flipped, fortunately without  injury (other than bruised egos).  Tom L. said he was just trying to make the couple who lost their boat feel better about their accident!

Photos by John
Marlene and Lois


Tom Lipps - dry

Tom Lipps - wet


Tom Wells and Becky

Tom Lipps


Snapping Turtle