Wolf Lake Aug 25, 2012

 Visited a friend's cottage today on Wolf Lake north of Baldwin. I didn't expect to be able to paddle due to an upper back injury that kept me in in extreme pain all last weekend. But apparently it was a pinched nerve rather than a torn ligament as the doctor thought. I was able to paddle without pain, so it looks like I cancelled three kayak trips this past week that I could have gone to. At least I was able spend time with the wife and some good friends and do a little paddling on the lake.
Wolf Lake is a fairly small and shallow lake- about 3 miles in circumference.  It is mostly lined with private seasonal cottages with only a couple of areas that are undeveloped.
Boat traffic was low on the lake for a weekend. Apparently not many people came up this weekend, so we didn't have to dodge jetskiis and speedboats pulling tubes and skiers.
I took the Old Town kayak again so Vicki could try it out. She seemed pleased with the way it handled, and said it was much easier to paddle than the Future Beach kayak.
The sky was mostly clear all day, and the temps were in the low 90's again. A strong breeze kept it from being too uncomfortable.

No pain afterward except for a little sunburn. Looks like I should be able to do the Pine and Manistee rivers at the Paddlers Rendezvous at the end of September. The next three weeks will need to be spent preparing for Kelli's wedding.

Miles paddled today: 3.75. Year to date: 177 miles.

Pine River - N Sportsman Dr to Silver Creek State Forest campground Aug 11, 2012

Finally got a chance to paddle the Pine River. Every time we are planning to do this river something comes up that makes us miss it. The last time I was on it was in a canoe almost 30 years ago. But today we made it work out, and I'm glad that it did.
It was a near perfect day with temperatures in the low 70s, a slight breeze, and mostly clear skies. A couple of days of rain kept the water levels high. The river is narrow, winding, and has a very strong current. There are lots of sharp turns and shallow areas that need to be avoided, but there were no portages necessary. Because of the popularity of the river, it is pretty much kept clear of fallen trees.
 Because the river is so narrow and winding, and there are so many shallow spots, places to pass other kayaks are few, and  I got stuck in the middle of the pack for a long time. It also made photo opportunities hard to come by.
I tried the Old Town Loon kayak I bought off craigslist for my Vicki. It paddles much nicer than the Future Beach she had been using. Maybe she will be able to join me more often with this one since it is so much easier to paddle.
There are a lot of riffles and small rapids for much of the way, and very few houses or cottages. Beautiful hardwood and pine forests line the banks, although most of it is private property.
Saw an eagle's nest, but no sign of the eagles. Other wildlife was scarce, too.

We are scheduled to do the lower sections of the river in September. Hopefully it will work out. It definitely is a river we need to paddle again.

Miles paddled today: 10.8. Year to date: 173.25