A forecast of a sunny day with temperatures in the mid 30's couldn't be wasted, so we scheduled an end of the year trip down the Muskegon River. Nine paddlers drove up to Croton Dam to take advantage of the good weather. We were only taking a short run today, getting on the river by 10:30.
The cold weather made the water a lot darker than it was when we were here in October. There were quite a few people fishing in the river today, but they were not catching much.
The sun was a wonderful change from the typical cloudy weather we usually have this time of year.
The day was even warmer than we expected, reaching the mid 40s by the time we got off the river shortly after noon. I was even able to paddle most of the way without gloves.
We saw several pairs of swans in the river today. Some ducks and kingfishers were also out enjoying the warm weather.
A great day to spend to spend on the water with some old friends I hadn't seen in a while.
After the paddle we returned to Kimble Park. A couple of people tried seal launches down the boat ramp at the put in, with varying degrees of success. Then we visited a local bar to reminisce about past trips we've taken. It was a pretty good year considering all the trips that were canceled.
The new year may not start off as early. Our annual New Years Day paddle will probably be cancelled with a forecast for a high temperature of only 15 degrees. The cold air is supposed to stay a while, so there may be a lot more ice on the rivers this year than there has been in the last few years.
Total miles paddled today: 6.4. Total miles for the year: 322 miles.
View Muskegon River Croton to Thornapple in a larger map