Jordan River June 7, 2014

 I have been wanting to paddle the Jordan River for years, but haven't had a chance to until this weekend. I was finally able to paddle it Saturday with a group of friends. It was everything I heard it was, and well worth the wait. I can see why Jeff considers it one of his favorite rivers, and he has paddled all over the country.
 
We camped the night before in Interlochen State Park, located next door to the Interlochen Center for the Arts. It has been a lot of years since I camped here, too many in fact. I had spent a lot of summers here as a kid, and recall hearing music from the arts camp all day long.
We had a campsite in the rustic section overlooking Green Lake. Not sure why this campground was chosen as it was still an hour and fifteen minute drive to the river from here. There were plenty of campgrounds closer, but it was nice to visit Interlochen again and see that, except for a couple of new bathroom facilities, it hasn't changed much in the past thirty-five years.

The drive to the river and the area along the river itself is through some of the most scenic country in the Lower Peninsula. Even the drive shuttling vehicles was enjoyable as we drove through some absolutely gorgeous forests and valleys.
The water in the Jordan River is known for its clarity and cold temperatures. It is also very popular, so that means it is usually crowded. Luckily with the cold spring we have had there were only a couple of tubers who braved the water today. But the kayakers and canoeists were out in force, along with the alcohol many feel they need to enjoy the day. That is really the only complaint about the river, and unfortunately the litter that goes along with the crowds.
The trip down the river was absolutely wonderful, the type of day that defines why it is I love to kayak. A day whose memories will live on long after it is over.
The weather could not have been better with clear skies and temperatures in the mid 80s.




There were just enough trees down in the water to keep things interesting, nothing to cause any problems, with our group at least.






Jeff returning a tandem kayak upstream to a young couple who got tangled in a tree and capsized. The kayak was several hundred yards downstream from the pair by the time we caught up to it. Not sure how they expected to get it back since they didn't seem too concerned about the situation. The large boat took a while to flip over and empty the water out of it. It was the girl's first time kayaking, and she grabbed on to a low tree branch as they passed under it. A hard wet lesson learned, but being young they were none the worse for the experience. We continued to paddle with them until their takeout spot to be sure they didn't have any more problems.











This will definitely be on the list of my favorite trips of the year. Jeff and I may just plan an entire weekend around paddling this river.

Miles paddled today: 9 miles. Year to date: 96.3, including the 15.7 miles paddled on a return trip to the Kalamazoo River with Rodney and a short 4.7 miles paddled on a Wednesday night trip where the batteries in my camera died on the Grand River




View Jordan River in a larger map

Lower Rogue River May 26, 2014


Melissa and Matt both wanted to do some kayaking Memorial Day weekend, and since the replacement windows in my house had gone in without too much trouble, I took some time Monday afternoon to go with them down the Lower Rouge River in Rockford.
 Melissa's husband and Kelli had to work, so we went with just the three of us. Vicki's wrist is still bothering her, so she dropped us off and did some shopping in downtown Rockford and picked us up at the park after we were done. We met up in town with a couple of old kayaking friends I haven't seen in a couple of years and put in just below the dam. Quite a few others had the same idea of paddling that stretch that afternoon.
I had taken Jasper along because we originally had planned to do the upper section of the Rogue, which is a lot quieter stretch than the lower section. But a last minute change of plans put us on the lower section, so it would be interesting to see how he would do in the rapids.
The water level was pretty good with the rain we have had. That helps keep some of the rocks covered, although with this river you still bounce off quite a few. It keeps you awake and on your toes.
 This was Melissa's first time on the lower section. She did fine in the rapids, although Jasper didn't appreciate the unexpected baths he got.
 Once we got out of Rockford, there were fewer people on the water. We saw very few the rest of the way.

A warm peaceful afternoon on the water.
Some trees were in the water but there wasn't anything we couldn't get around.

 We paddled casually the whole way, with no where to go it was nice to relax after working on windows all weekend.

Jasper looking back over Melissa's shoulder. Except for the two sets of rapids where he got wet, he seemed to enjoy himself. And at least he wasn't sitting home alone all day.

It was good to get out with a couple of my kids today. Their lives have been so busy they haven't had the time to go kayaking with me. I still need to get out with Kelli and Mitch sometime soon.
Miles paddled today: 7. Year to date: 66.9.