June 18 proved to be a beautiful summer day in Northern Michigan. The morning was warm and the sun shone bright in a clear sky as the TAPC crew converged on Peterson Bridge. The plan was clear: clean the river, and have fun doing it!
Mark (listed first due to river prowess), Lois, John, Carrie, Jocelyn, Kathleen, and Nikolaj launched around 10:30 am and began scanning for refuse. Early finds included a bucket hat and a 1978 Portland Federal Credit Union pocket calendar/interest rate chart. A patterned beach towel caught in submerged brush proved to be a very challenging retrieve, and Mark was up to the task. Within the first half hour, an exciting stretch of rapids provided hoots and hollers and wet butts.
After two hours of paddling and collecting, the leaders found a shaded nook and broke for lunch. The sun was hot, the river refreshing. Sandwiches were eaten, water was drank, bags of trash were consolidated into Mark's and Lois’ boats. The search began anew. The group spent time in a large debris jam, the motherlode of trash and unopened beers. Ahead, Jocelyn snatched a kayak paddle from deep within another jam:
The afternoon session was long and fruitful (in terms of trash). Just after 4pm, the group arrived at Low Bridge access. Smiles were all around as boats were emptied and trailered, all were impressed by our haul. Such a beautiful day with beautiful people, and fantastic paddling by all!
Trash included: two canoe paddles, one kayak paddle, four boat cushions, an smart phone, two five gallon buckets, and many many beer cans - both full and empty, water bottles, a beach towel, and assorted shoes and flip-flops.
Credits: Narrative by Nikolaj Brons-Piche, photos by Jocelyn and John