Michigan Paddlers Rendezvous Thursday Sep 27, 2012

Platte River - Veterans Park to Deadstream Road 
This was the weekend for the Michigan Paddlers Rendezvous at Coolwater on the Pine Campground. I got to go for the first time this year. This is an annual gathering of paddlers from throughout Michigan, northern Indiana and Ohio that is held every year at the end of September. It is a great chance to meet fellow paddlers and gather for a good time at the end of a great summer of paddling.
The group decided to paddle the Platte River on Thursday for the people who showed up early. This was great because I have wanted to do the Platte River for a long time, but I had to miss the two previous trips here this year. And being on Thursday, there were only about 18 paddlers present.
 The weather was fantastic for a late September afternoon - lower 60's with clear skies and a light breeze at the beginning.
 Steve was the only person that I knew in the group, but everyone was friendly and helpful.
This is a nice stretch of river that offered a few challenges in the way of sweepers and logjams and a couple of 2'-4' drops that add a little excitement. 

 It was amazing how much the leaves have changed color from just 5 days ago when I was up here to do the Pine River. It looked like it was within a couple of days of being at the peak of color. The color tour scheduled for 2 weeks from now will probably be past the peak.
 Not sure why my camera doesn't show the color as good as my cell phone camera. These pictures don't do it justice.

Saw a couple of young eagles along the way.  Surely can't see such beauty sittting at home.

The takeout was a little difficult to find. Somehow I ended up at the front of the pack again, which is good except that I had no idea what the take-out looked like since I had never been on this river before. I had not driven the shuttle since I rode with Steve so I wasn't able to look it over. Someone mentioned at the beginning that we had to stay to the right as we neared Platte Lake. We managed to find it okay, but it was upstream on a tributary with a stiff headwind. It was a flat, marshy area that made it difficult to see where we were. As we rounded a sharp bend, suddenly there it was. The paddler I was with at the end left to scout another river, so I had to wait an hour before the rest got to the take-out. Spent some quality time exploring the area.

 A wonderful 9 mile paddle today with lots of new friends. Year to date: 215.2 miles including the trip last weekend on the Pine River that was the same as the Sept 8 paddle.

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