Muskegon River - Paris Park to Highbanks Park Sept 21, 2013

A small group of paddlers decided to take a short run down the Muskegon river from Paris Park in Paris, MI to Highbanks Park in Big Rapids. It was a typical fall day with temps in the mid 60's and periods of light rain on a variably cloudy day.
I had not paddled this section of the Muskegon before. For the most part it is straight, wide and shallow with more than a few rocks. Several times we scraped the gravelly bottom, and a couple of times had to get out and walk.
There was a good current though, and kept us moving even with a brisk breeze most of the day.

Ron brought a cooler filled with freshly cooked corn on the cob. It is a bit difficult to eat while paddling, but with a wide open river such as this it was manageable, and did add a delicious distraction to the trip.

There are several spots with stretches of riffles, and one section where a dam was removed that provided some interesting although too short rapids.

We had a small group of ten paddlers today, a chance to paddle with some friends I don't see often enough, and even meet a couple of new ones.

Several small islands dot the river in this stretch. We used one to stop for a lunch break.

The leaves were slowly beginning to change, and with the breeze and cold rain definitely reminded us that autumn is here.

Not a bad section of river, but not one I will go out of the way to paddle. Any day on the water is great, though, after a tough week of work.
Miles paddled today: 9.3. Year to date: 210.5.

Boardman River Sept 7, 2013

I haven't had the chance to paddle the Boardman River in the past two years. The Brown Bridge Dam, site of our usual put-in when paddling the Boardman, was removed last fall, and I was anxious to see the difference it made in the river.
A light rain began falling during the car shuttle, and continued for about the first hour of the trip. A light fog drifted above the water much of the along the river. The air temperature was in the low 70's.
The Boardman River was the first river I paddled with the kayak clubs that I belong to. It is where I met many of the good friends I have been kayaking with for the last several years.

Entering the backwaters of the former dam. For the most part, the lake that was formed behind the dam was very shallow and made for difficult paddling unless you were able to stay in the channel. 
There were a few riffles in a couple of stretches of the river, no rapids to speak of.
 The largest snapper turtle I have ever seen. Its shell must have been close to 2 feet in diameter, and the tail was as thick as my arm. There were quite a few snappers along this stretch of the river.

The sun started breaking through as we neared the site of the old dam. We stopped for lunch there.
Back on the river after lunch. The mist over the river had reappeared.

A homeowner had placed a large flag over the river.

The rain began again as we neared the end, and the fog grew thicker above the water.

I decided to get out with a few others Shumsky's Landing. My back was still bothering me after falling off a trailer the previous weekend, and I didn't want to make it worse by continuing to Beitner Bridge for another hour of paddling. Someday I will make it to the Beitner rapids.
Miles paddled today: 10. Year to date: 201.2

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