The trip filled up almost as quickly as it was posted - and there’s a good reason why - this section of the Pine is one of the finest paddling venues in Northern Lower Michigan. Clear, cool water with plenty of twists and turns and rocks to avoid, but nothing that created any unplanned swim breaks or emergencies. A few empty beer cans were the only items “rescued” from the river yesterday. Our group had the entire stretch nearly to ourselves, passing only one other small group of paddlers and a couple of fly fishers. The weather was overcast and warm, but very comfortable on the water. The heavily shaded areas of the river offered a blast of refreshing cool air as the temperature started to climb. Surprisingly, a family of Wood Ducks tucked along the shore and a large bird of prey flying overhead were about the only wildlife spotted - not counting, of course, the ubiquitous White tail Deer that crossed the road in front of as we drove to the launch site!.
Our group of four men and seven women (Ron Coyne, Henry Eckhardt, John Heiam, Tom Lipps, Jacalyn Anderson, Sara Cockrell, Lois Goldstein, Kathleen Imre, Marlene Puska, Donna Steinebach and Jocelyn Trepte) were outfitted in two canoes and nine kayaks. Sara and Jocelyn were the two solo canoeists, and John, Lois, Marlene and Donna all paddled a Liquid Logic Inuit 12.5 kayak - apparently the boat of choice for this paddling venue! Lots of spirited conversation and colorful stories filled the late morning into early afternoon paddle and lunch break. As we loaded our boats at Walker Bridge everyone thanked each other for a great paddle. A special “Thank You" goes out to Lois and John for hosting this trip, and to Marv Puska for assisting with the shuttle.
Trip Report Submitted by Donna; Photos by John and Jocelyn
A typical stretch of river
The four Inuits gather for a photo
Sara leads the way