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Traverse Area Paddle Club

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Trip Reports

October 7 Pine River, Walker to Dobson

Lois Goldstein  | Published on 10/7/2020
Some folks have asked what's involved in the planning process for an outing.  We are writing this since nobody offered to write up a report for the trip.  That isn't a difficult task, although some club members have flat out refused to do one. It is much appreciated when someone does offer - as is assisting with a shuttle, helping to haul boats, sharing photos afterwards, or being the sweep paddler on a river trip.  This was the 51st trip that I've led this season, and I've done the reports for over half of them. (The club total for 2020 is 86 outings.)

First, I post the trip on the club website.  This typically takes about 1/2 hour working on the computer, checking the narrative, capacity, dates and times, making sure that the reminder note goes out on the right day, verifying the driving directions, and praying that the weather will be decent.

Secondly, I see who registers for the outing.  In the case of this particular Pine River trip, I need to verify that all registrants have suitable skills and equipment for a narrow twisty river in cool weather.  In this case, I knew everyone who had signed up, so that was not a problem.  If I had seen an unfamiliar name, I would call the person right away to make sure they knew what they were signing up for.

Then the trip filled up.  Someone called and asked me to add 3 new registrants.  I knew that those 3 people could be helpful in a dicey situation (and one might bring home-baked goodies), but I was aware that the group was really a bit too large, both for the shuttle vehicle and for accesses, including our lunch spot.  By the way, thinking about an appropriate lunch spot for all trips is something that most participants don't concern themselves with, but we need to have room to park all the boats, spread out to eat, and have somewhere that folks can relieve themselves.

So John & I opened up more slots, and added the new people.  They assured me that they would register sooner in the future.  There are a few club members who often wait until the last minute, and then ask us to make room for them.  We like to keep our trips relatively small; we think it's safer and more fun for everyone that way.

Next, I had to text Val, and ask to use her private property to launch.  It's important to us to maintain a good relationship with her, and we request permission every time we use the Walker Bridge access.  In this case, I assured her that we would be launching there, but that no cars would be there all day.  One person asked why we couldn't leave a car there like we had on some previous outings, and I explained that this time, that was not part of our agreement.

Next, we emailed Mark to arrange for a shuttle van for the number of drivers: 9 vehicles this time for a group of 13.  This year, many people have not been sharing rides, so we end up with a lot of cars.  Mark is always happy and eager to help us out, in return for our services cleaning the Pine all summer long.  In this particular case, Marv would have done it, but we had too many to accommodate in his truck.  Marv has been a huge help all season long.

A few days before the trip, we were looking at the weather and contemplating changing the date.  We sent an email to everyone, and asked if the alternate date would work.  We waited for responses (some arrived quickly, others never responded), and eventually decided to keep the original date.  Then we sent out another email telling everyone the decision.

We had lovely weather, though the fall colors were not as vibrant as we had expected.  They were best on the drive from TC to the river.  A few folks picked up trash without falling behind, and that was good.

Participants: Jackie, Glenn, Ron, Lois, Gail, John H, Kathleen, Harold, Pam, Linda P, Marlene, Mike R, Jocelyn

Photos by John & Jocelyn
Ron "helps" Jackie rig her boat

Mike helps Pam launch


Lois and Gail

Jocelyn, Lois, and Mike

Harold and Mike

Jackie, Marlene, Kathleen, and John

Mike collects some trash from the river

Jocelyn, Mike, and Linda

Glenn, Jackie, Kathleen, and Ron



Trash Mike, Jocelyn, and Glenn collected from the river