Rodney planned a trip down the Muskegon River from just below Croton Dam to Newaygo and invited me along. It's been over a year since I had paddled this stretch, and I looked forward to seeing without all the tubers that use it in the summer. We started below the dam about a mile downstream from where we ended two weeks ago.
The weather didn't look too promising. Forecasts of high winds and rain with mid 40 degree temperatures kept the group small with just the four of us. But except for a little rain while unloading our boats, we stayed dry on the river. The wind only proved to be a problem a couple of times.
There were still a lot of leaves on the trees, and even quite a bit of color. Even though the colors this year were not as good as they usually are, the color season has lasted longer than any in memory, probably due to the lack of a hard frost.
Aside from a few fishermen on different stretches of the river, we had the water to ourselves. The fish were plentiful, but they didn't seem to be catching many. There were more than a few dead fish along the river as the spawning season winds down, and I'm sure a warmer day would have made the smell unbearable.
The shallow waters on the Muskegon caused us to bottom out a few times, and I did have to get out and walk once.
Once we were past the main access spots, we had the river to ourselves. Even the cottages along the river were empty for the most part as they were closed up for the season.
Some trees had lost all their leaves, but the majority of leaves had yet to fall.
All in all, it was a nice trip today.The rain stayed away and we got to spend some time on the river. A day well spent.
Miles paddled today: 14.3. Year to date: 286.1.
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