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.

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