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Traverse Area Paddle Club

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Trip Reports

August 23 Pine cleanup, Peterson to Low

Linnaea  | Published on 8/23/2021
 Report by Linnaea Melcarek

Club members Lois, John, Wayne, Henry, Roseanne, Linda, Linnaea and Mitch, as well as Lois and John's friends Deb and Russ from Moab, plus outfitters Mark Miltner from Pine River Paddlesports Center and Tom Willard from Sportsman's Port gathered for another successful Pine River cleanup.

From Peterson to Low Bridge is the most popular segment of the Pine and is used both by experienced paddlers and those who could use a little more practice. Consequently, there tends to be a fair amount of unintended trash dumping on this river due to many boats tipping over and folks losing their possessions. This was the second cleanup the club has done of this section this year, and it certainly needed it. At first, we were surprised at the relative lack of trash. But by the second half of the river, we ended up finding plenty.

Most of it was stuck in large log jams along the riverbanks. It was necessary to get out and climb on top of the logs to find all the debris lodged in there. Mitch was the king of this activity: he ended up gathering 28 unopened beverages (a record for him for a single river outing, although one beer may need to be deleted from the count as it ended up leaking all over the back of Linnaea's car on the drive home!).  Editor's note: YUCK!

But everyone found their fair share of garbage. Some of the highlights included a kayak paddle, a mostly full bottle of whiskey, a nice fishing net, a tank top, cutoff jean shorts, a bluetooth speaker, and prayer (or Mardi Gras?) beads. Mark impressed us as usual with his expert paddling while standing up in his canoe, and even doing some overhead lumberjack with his chainsaw.  Note from Mark: I was so glad Tom came along to help, and to learn what an amazing collaboration you facilitate.

At our lunch break spot, a raft from another livery got stuck on a sand bar right in front of us, and they were having trouble getting off it, so Mark went over to help them. The weather was perfect-- mostly to partly sunny and not too hot; a nice break from the heat wave we've been having lately. There was only one unintended swim break, by Mitch early in the trip, but he recovered quickly with the assistance of Linnaea and her bilge pump. I couldn't imagine a more perfect day on the water, having fun while doing good work!
Photos by John & Linnaea

The special sign made for us by Pine River Paddlesports Center

The crew

Sometimes you have to get out of your boat to retrieve the trash.

Sometimes you can stay in your boat and fish it out of the logjam.

A grabber stick helps a lot

Mitch displays his climbing skills going after trash.

Balancing on floating and moving logs is not easy.

When climbing on logjams, it helps to have someone to take the trash you find.

Sometimes you encounter wildlife

Sometimes getting an item is a stretch

Sometimes the trash hides in the bushes behind a beach.

John displays a unique find - an almost full bottle of whiskey.

This is what happens when your trash bag is not tied to the canoe, and you capsize.

Someone lost a good pair of shorts. Were these prayer beads used to try and avoid a capsize?

The crew displays their trash before putting it in the dumpster.