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Traverse Area Paddle Club

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Trip Reports

September 27 Main AuSable

Glenn Bier  | Published on 9/27/2020
Report by Glenn; photos by John, and Glenn

The AuSable River is an appropriate platform for all but beginning paddlers.  Lois Goldstein and John Heiam aren't beginning paddlers, and neither are the seven other TAPC members who met them at Penrod's Canoe Livery in Grayling on Sunday.  Lois had, once again, somehow avoided the cold rain of the previous day.

After social greetings, being a "hull fanatic," I had to peruse the scintillating boats.  I immediately noted that (almost) everyone had brought very fast boats to the paddle, a mix of kayaks and canoes.  Even so, after our shuttle, which was led by Lois and Marv P., we started out at a tranquil pace.

Our nine non-newbies, Donna S., Marlene P., Pam & Harold L., Jackie A., Ron C., John H., Lois G., and I, probably assumed the mild upper AuSable would be a "routine" paddle down to the Stephan Bridge take-out, estimated to be a four hour "float."

On the water, however, it became apparent that whimsical pixies, dressed in scarlet and tangerine, would rule our psyches, as tinctures, this day.  Our initially slow pace reflected a renewed awe of nature's canvas, and, while art is often credited to the artist, our panoramic showpieces are courtesy of nature's dramatic theater.

Leading our flotilla were John and Harold, who successfully got ahead of everyone to capture the visions of the day.  The backdrops of their effigies feature deciduous mutations, but we also were able to photograph a static blue heron and the frenzied flight of a mallard duck.  Two mischievous mink, however, successfully avoided our antics and optics.

Mark Miltner, of Pine River Paddlesports Center, recently referred to persons who clean the rivers as "angels."  Like Mark, we attempt to pick up cans, bottles, and styrofoam during our outings.  We were happy to see that this upper section of the AuSable is, overall, quite clean, revitalizing our hopes that efforts to protect Michigan waterways aren't in vain.

After an early stop on river left, Canoe Camp, for lunch, our pace continued increasing as we regained pre-meal strength.  Everyone seemed extremely content, and the river miles passed, perhaps too quickly.  Our enthusiasm seemed in direct response to the panoramic vistas all around us, and we remain beholden to our waterways' artistry.

TAPC paddlers endeavor to sustain and preserve our "appointment with this landscape." (Albert Camus).  Lois' TAPC outings help fulfill this craving to baptize ourselves in Michigan's unspoiled moors.

Our total time on the AuSable was just under two hours and 45 minutes, quite quick for a group of "senior" romantics, these friends I truly revere.  

Report written by Glenn B.

I thought this young man fishing was iconic