Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Canoe Trip

As I mentioned in an earlier post, we have just returned from a vacation. We were in Ludington where we have a little place on Hamlin Lake. Being creatures of habit, we like to do the same things each year......one thing is that Tom likes to fish. I'll go out fishing with him once or twice but I'm not really that into worms or other slippery slimy things. And he gets annoyed with me really fast and usually doesn't even ask if I want to go with him after that first time! Hey, it works for me:-) We also like to spend some time on the beach. Well -- that's not really Tom's thing but he'll tolerate it once or twice just so that I don't complain about him fishing all the time. We also like to ride the Hart Montague Bike Trail. We like to go about 10-15 miles at a time. We took a shorter ride last week due to dark clouds and windy conditions.
But the favorite thing that we like to do is our annual canoe trip!! When the kids were little we would canoe up near Sleeping Bear Dunes and it was quite a production, let me tell you! The past few years we have gone to Baldwin Canoe and taken a couple of different trips from there on the Pere Marquette River. The river is clean and COLD (that's another story!) and the canoe livery is first class all the way! This year we were wanting to try someplace new just for variety and so on the way to the aforementioned bike trail we passed a canoe livery in Scottville which is a LOT closer than the one in Baldwin so we made plans to return there a day or two later.
We should have known when we saw the sign hand painted on the wall of the office that said "door" with an arrow pointing to the door! Anyways this place was such a dump! But really - all we needed was a canoe so whatever! The canoe man was telling us some of the features of this particular portion of the river and mentioned that we would be crossing over some buoys that were installed near the weir to keep the lamprey out of the river. He proceeded to tell us that although the signs indicated that you were not to cross over the buoys but rather to portage your canoes at that point, he felt that as long as we didn't touch the slightly submerged electrified wires running between the buoys that we would be able to get by without a problem. Seriously! There were a few tense moments as the buoys appeared around a bend but we held our breath and aimed between them and held our paddles way out of the water and lived to tell about it!
The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful. As you can see in the photo the water was pretty muddy still - from all the rain in June. Also there were a lot of trees and plant debris in the river as well. I like it when I can see what is in the water and usually this river is crystal clear. So it was pretty important to me that we NOT tip over. Especially after we saw a snake slithering slimily in the water. (Pineapple!)
Did I mention that the man driving us to the place where we launched drove us there on the wrong side of the road?? The wrong side of US10!!! Did I mention that Tom forgot the cooler? And that the man had to take him back to town to buy some water and that they left me alone in the middle of nowhere by the river to wait for them??? Did I mention that we had a blast??? Did I mention that we've already picked out our trip for next time???

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