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Traverse Area Paddle Club

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Trip Reports

June 21 Pine cleanup, Peterson to Low

Abigail & Evelyn  | Published on 6/21/2021
This trip report was written by two young ladies (Abigail and Evelyn) who were my students in calculus classes at TC Central HS, they graduated earlier this month and are both heading to the U of M in the fall.

It may have been the first day of summer, but Mother Nature sure wasn’t making that obvious. The temperature was about fifty-seven degrees when we launched at 10:45 am and fifty-three degrees when we ended. While it poured during the car ride to Peterson Bridge, the rain let up as we arrived, and held off until about the last twenty minutes of the trip. Unfortunately, the sunshine promised to us in an earlier weather forecast decided not to show, and it remained cloudy throughout the duration of the trip.

Despite the crummy weather, we had a blast! Most people were well prepared for the weather, and those of us who were less prepared sucked it up in favor of embracing what we were given! It was the first time Evelyn and I had paddled like this, so we were the newbies among pros. She and I were in sit-in kayaks along with Emma, John, Donna, Tom, and Brad. Wayne, Lois, Mark, and Jocelyn opted for solo canoes.

At first it was a challenge for us novices, navigating the fast rapids and hidden logs and rocks. However, we quickly figured things out and only had one incident in which I got stuck on a rock as Evelyn got turned around by an eddy. We both remained calmed and righted ourselves at the same moment, amazing Lois (who was watching us from further upstream).

Most of us arrived at the lunch spot and ate around 1 PM. As we finished, we wondered where Emma, Mark, and Jocelyn were, as we hadn’t seen them in a while. While we got ready to relaunch, they arrived, and we waited for them as they ate a quick lunch. They had been collecting tons of trash, Mark and Jocelyn exhibiting their incredible skills and agility as Emma acted as the spotter.

About twenty-five minutes from the end of the trip, Lois spotted a can tucked in a log jam. After finding that she couldn’t reach it with her grabber stick, she decided to make use of her spear. Evelyn and I were about twenty yards downstream, waiting in an eddy, when we heard what sounded like a firecracker going off! The beer can had exploded when Lois impaled it, and she was grateful for the distance the spear put between her and the can.

We finished around 3:30 at Low Bridge, slightly damp but very happy. In the end, we had collected three giant bags of trash. There were many cans and bottles, but some of the more notable items included an unopened bottle of Fireball whiskey, a pair of shoe insoles, a power drill, and a towel, which Lois adopted as the newest addition to her river towel collection.

It was a successful day for all. Evelyn and I learned so much and made a lot of amazing friends. We can’t wait to come back for another paddle later in the summer — on a day that is hopefully a little warmer

Photos by Jocelyn and John

The group before we ran the shuttle, courtesy of PRPC: Back row: Donna, Tom, Brad, Mark, Wayne, front row: Emma, Jocelyn, Lois, Evelyn, Abigail; behind the camera: John


Emma came along last year, and was eager to get out on the Pine again.  She just finished her first year at the U of M.


Mark is a pro with his spearing technique


Jocelyn approaching lunchtime


She has a bucket full of stuff in front of her.


Preparing to launch again after lunch


Evelyn and Abigail showing off the Fireball


Heading into the rapids


It was a bit chilly for the first day of summer, but we all had a great time


Lois reaching out with her grabber; thank goodness for high gunwales on that canoe


Got it!  I used my knife to cut it open to remove the liquid before tossing it into my trash bag.


Brad getting a bottle off the bottom


Donna had to dig down the find this can, and then empty the mud


John sent Lois into this log jam to retrieve a Bud Light can; it exploded!


Mark getting out to explore and look for old cans and bottles, and maybe even shoes


Mark gets one off the bottom with his spear


Evelyn and Abigail were a bit cold at the end; one is wearing John's shirt.  We took the girls to Bob Evans afterwards for food and hot chocolate.


All the stuff at the end; Wayne had already left after helping with numerous boat carries. Mark took the picture and he still had 6 loaner kayaks to load on the trailer.
Pictured: Donna, Evelyn, Abigail, Emma, Lois, Brad, Tom, John & Jocelyn