Flat River Whites Bridge Road to McPherson Road Bridge Apr 12, 2014

Jeff had recovered from shoulder surgery, so he scheduled a short paddle on the Flat River to get back into shape. It was also the first paddle of the season for one of our clubs, and several of our members.
 We put in at the site of Whites Bridge, an old wooden covered bridge that was burned down last July. A group is trying to raise money to rebuild it. This was a section of the Flat River I had never been on before. I wish I could have been here when the bridge was still here.

The weather was cloudy and cool, with temps in the mid 40's.  The river was running a little high from the snow melt, which was good as this section of river is usually pretty shallow.
A few  patches of snow remained in the woods along the river. A few ducks were the only wildlife we saw.
The river is quite wide in this section. Lots of room for our group. There were seveeral other groups of kayakers out today as well.
This is my least favorite time of year when everything is drab, gray, and muddy. Until the leaves start to come out and grass starts to grow the scenery is not very interesting.

A short paddle of just over an hour, but fairly close to home. We got off the river just in time as the rain predicted for evening arrived earlier than expected. Seeing as I didn't bring any rain gear, I was glad to get off the water when we did. Several large storms passed through a couple hours later, causing a lot of wind damage. Ron lost his car to a large tree falling in his yard. Fortunately it missed his house and he wasn't injured.

Miles paddled today: 5.1. Year to date: 39.5.

Thornapple River McKeown Park to Airport Road March 29, 2014

March 29 brought five of us to the Thornapple River near Hastings.This was a section I had never been on before.
 The temperature was in the mid 30's, and a dark gray sky prevailed the whole day.
 It was good to paddle with some old friends I haven't seen in a while.
 The river itself was rather unspectacular, not helped by the dark skies and muddy river banks of early spring. But a good current and just being on the water made it a good day.
 There was still a fair amount of snow on the ground in some places, especially at the takeout.
Quite a few geese were passing through on their way to points north.
 The railroad bridges provided the biggest obstructions of the day. Trees were piled up under the bridges, providing only narrow passages through the tangle. We were able to get through safely, although I came close to swimming when the current swung my kayak against the pilings.

Miles paddled today: 12.3. Year to date: 34.4 miles.

Kalamazoo River Allegan Dam to New Richmond Park Mar. 22, 2014

Rodney and I took our first weekend of spring trip Saturday down the Kalamazoo River.
The sun did come out a few times, but for the most part it stayed cloudy all day with temps staying in the mid 30s. A few snow flurries popped up toward the end of the paddle.

One of several eagles we saw along the river. One was the largest eagle I have ever seen.
We also say several deer along the water, and heard some coyotes yipping not too far in the woods.
The only spot we saw ice on the river. There were three large pieces floating downstream, but none of them posed any problems.

Miles paddled today: 15.7. Year to date: 22.1.

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