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Traverse Area Paddle Club

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Trip Reports

July 4 Boardman - Forks to BBL

Lois Goldstein  | Published on 7/4/2020
I had scheduled this trip with just a couple of days notice, and got 3 other takers.  The plan was to be on the river by 8 AM.  Due to circumstances beyond my control (and also theirs), I ended up doing the trip solo, and it was fabulous.  The other three managed just fine without me. 
I did learn some good lessons today:
1.  If you have a brand new fancy clock radio, don't count in it going off at the right time.  Set your travel alarm too.
2.  Eat a good breakfast, and then you won't have to stop for a break - you can finish this trip in 2:20 hours without working too hard.
3.  There is good cell phone reception on the old Brown Bridge Pond, so you can call your hubby and tell him to head over earlier than planned.  What a wonderful shuttle bunny!
4.  There is not good cell reception on Williamsburg Road, so when the others call you to let you know about their delay, it goes directly to voice mail.
5.  I got my solo canoe off the roof of my Subaru alone, very slowly, and brought it down to the water.  There were no other people around, even from the campground.  I hadn't planned on that move, so I didn't have a rug handy to place on the rear hatch.  As I said, I went VERY slowly. 
6.  You don't want to hang around too long at the Forks on July 4 morning; the mosquitoes were delighted that I was there, but I do keep insect repellent handy.  That did the trick.
7.  I saw virtually nobody else until I reached the hiking area at Brown Bridge Quiet Area.  I was passed by 4 guys in racing canoes; they had also passed the 3 other folks on this trip, way behind me.  They were not particularly polite.
8.  Wildlife is abundant: geese, lots of birds, a great blue heron.  I thought a deer was moving around behind me while I was calling John, but it turned out to be a golden retriever.
9.  I will never again try to launch from the downstream side of the platform at the Forks - I slipped right down the muddy slope, landing on my butt in the water.  It was a hot day, so no big deal.  I much prefer the upstream entryway.
10.  I launched at 8:23 (after determining that I didn't want to wait around and get all bitten up), and was off the river by 10:40.  The parking lots at both BBL and at the Forks were totally full and lots of folks were about to use the river.
11.  I saw very little trash, but who knows what it will be like after this weekend.
12.  I found a kayak paddle as I was departing the river - anybody lose one?  Let me know what it looks like.  I put mailbox letters on all my paddles, with my name and phone number.
13.  I would do it again, and maybe even start earlier - with a more reliable alarm clock!
Lois Goldstein