Michigan Paddlers Rendezvous Friday Sept 28, 2012

The Little Manistee River - 9 Mile Bridge to 6 Mile bridge
 After a cold low-to-mid 30° night camping (in a sleeping bag obviously rated for 35°C, not 35°F), we woke up to brilliant sunshine lighting up the fall colors. Again, the camera doesn't do the colors justice.

 The sun warmed it up rapidly, with temps reaching the mid 70's by the middle of the day.
As more of our group arrived, we decided to paddle the more challenging Little Manistee River instead of the Big Manistee River as originally planned. Most of us had done the Big Manistee earlier this year, and I never like to pass up a chance to paddle a new river. There were seven of us on the river today; just the right size group.
The  Little Manistee is one of the most technically difficult rivers in the lower peninsula. It can be very narrow in places, with a very strong current. The section from 9 Mile Bridge to 6 Mile bridge is the most difficult stretch.
Lots of deadfalls and logjams keep you on your toes the whole way. Low water levels also forced us to keep to the outsides of the curves, which made it more difficult to avoid the logjams. Not really a good river for a 13' kayak, but it's the only boat I brought since I wasn't aware we would be paddling this river.
I took on water in several places when getting caught on fallen logs, once with my stern hung up on a log while the bow was stuck in the sand on the opposite bank. I managed to stay upright, but took on about 3'' of water. The cold water helped cool me down since I had worn a wetsuit in anticipation of cold weather.
I also took a good hit in the chest from the butt end of a log. Luckily, I was wearing my pfd, or I would have some sore, if not broken, ribs.
We didn't have any portages, but did have to duck low under several trees.

Very challenging river. Well worth the effort. Will have to try this again with my 10' kayak.
And no trip to the area would be complete without a trip to Dublin General Store for their great variety of jerky. Good stuff.
Total miles paddled today: 6 miles. Year to date: 221.2 miles paddled.

1 comment:

  1. The best paddles to paddle, are the places just under you're boat - keep on paddlin buddy...