Trip report by John, Emma and Lois
Besides the above three participants, we also had experienced litter pickers Leslie, Sue, Norm, and John M. The age of the group ranged from 20 to 83. The pickings were slim, with several shoes, old water bottles, one inner tube plus only one unopened beer can. The fine folks at Pine River Paddlesports Center provided kayaks for Emma and Leslie, and Mark Miltner did the shuttle for us.
This trip had been postponed twice due to rain storms, and it was definitely the correct call, since we had absolutely bright blue skies with a few puffy clouds. Our bird sightings included an eagle (while driving down US-131), cedar wax wings, at least one vulture, and numerous wood ducks. We also almost hit two deer during the shuttle ride.
Everyone arrived on time, despite some accidents that people encountered along the way. There was a serious collision near Holiday Road and US-31 that backed up traffic for over a mile. (Note: A guy claimed the sun was in his eyes - so he ran a red light and hit a BATA bus!) And the folks who took M-37 were forced to take a detour when a semitruck loaded with fresh cherries overturned. Norm thought about picking some up, but John M put the kabosh on that idea.
The water in the Pine River was a bit cloudy due to recent rains, so it made it hard to find anything on the bottom. Norm provided some amazing retrievals using his gigantic grabber sticks. The group stayed together most of the day, and we were done by 2:00 PM, after a leisurely lunch at a side stream. The water in the side stream was icy cold, so after lunch time, several members pulled their feet out of their kayaks to warm them in the sunshine.
We had the river to ourselves all day, and this was a perfect clean up. It came close to the minimal amount of stuff we have ever found on the Pine.
Special thanks to the rangers from the Huron-Manistee National Forest, who provide us with free parking and watercraft permits for every cleanup.
Photos by John & Norm
Lois carrying some of the gear down to the landing
At the beginning: John H, John M, Leslie, Sue, Lois, Emma and Norm
Emma (entering her junior year at the U of M in environmental science)
Leslie (who moved up north this year) - also using a borrowed kayak from PRPC
John M always looks serious
Norm and his Grumman
Emma and Lois
Norm was giving out tee shirts from the BRCS
John M and Mark hauling boats
John H is returning to paddling mode after a 5 1/2 hour back surgery this spring
Lois providing backup while Norm retrieves a water bottle
All smiles at the end! Notice that we barely filled a bag. Success!
It is a long hike up the stairs to the cars at Dobson. This is the first set
This is the second set, and there is another set after this! Lois warned us about this.