Manistee River Hodenpyl Dam to Red Bridge July 20, 2013

We are finally moved into the new house, but we are far from being settled. We needed a break, so on Saturday Vicki and I went to the Manistee River to paddle the run below Hodenpyl Dam. It gave us a chance to use the Wilderness tandem kayak I bought this spring.
Vicki hasn't been able to kayak this year because of a torn tendon in her wrist from an accident at work. It is finally feeling better, but she still didn't want to take the chance of having to paddle her own kayak. The Manistee is plenty wide to accommodate a tandem with no problems.
A shot of us heading into some of the small riffles along this stretch of river. Thanks to Jeff for the picture.
For some reason Vicki didn't want to take pictures, so in addition to doing most of the paddling I had to try to take pictures as we went. It made for some interesting situations trying to keep control of the larger kayak while taking pictures. Thankfully, the river is mostly free of obstacles.
It was a warm mid 80 degree day, slightly overcast. Beautiful day to be on the river. Got a pretty good sunburn since I hadn't been out much this year.
This stretch of the river runs entirely through a national forest, but we didn't see much wildlife today, not even any turtles. Just a few geese and turkey buzzards. For some reason even the kingfishers are scarce this summer.
There were a lot of campers and hikers along the river, and a few people swimming. There are numerous hiking trails along both sides of the river. I may need to check them out sometime.
We had a fairly large group paddling today. With the size of the river there was plenty of room for everyone.

 Val taking a lunch break in a beautiful meadow along the river.


Some kids taking turns on one of the three rope swings over the water. The river was fairly busy today with people enjoying the warm weather.
Paddling the tandem proved to be a good workout in preparation for the trip to the Upper Peninsula. Hopefully my wrist will hold up for a week of touring the waters of Lake Superior.
I've missed being out on the water. There is still a lot of work to be done at the new house, but now that the moving is done hopefully I can get back to more kayaking. The work can be done on weeknights.
Miles paddled today: 11.5. Year to date: 151.1.

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July 4, 2013 Kalamazoo River D Ave to Plainwell

I needed a break from packing, so I signed up for what is becoming our annual Independence Day trip down the Kalamazoo River.
It was 80 degrees and mostly cloudy, about 20 degrees cooler than last year. Four of the five paddlers from last year were here, along with about 10 others. Matt also came along today, his first trip with us in almost a year. It made for another nice day on the river.
A good strong current kept us moving briskly, and we were in no hurry, so we pretty much let the river take us at its own pace. Somehow we still managed to get way ahead of the others.
There were a lot of trees in the water, but the river is plenty wide enough that they didn't cause too many problems. There was one that spanned most of the river, but with a little branch trimming with my saw and it was made passable. The saw has come in handy several times already this year.
There was very few houses along most of the river so it is a nice quiet stretch to paddle.
More deadfall in the water.


There was a lot of shade to help keep us cool.
A few spots had some little riffles, nothing too spectacular.


One of several herons we saw along the river.
And another one taking off as we approached.

An old caboose sitting alongside the river.
As we near the site of an old dam, the banks flattens out and the banks become more marshy.
Just below the broken dam. Rodney was again the only one who went over the dam rather than around. It really wasn't that difficult, but by the time we walked around to get a look at it from below, no one else cared enough to go back and try it. Maybe next year.

Just below the dam the trees got thicker again.



A stop at the ice cream store along the river for a break before we got to the takeout. Now back to the realty of moving. Looks like I'm going to lose a lot of kayaking time this year.

Miles paddled today:8.5. Year to date: 139.6.