Wednesday, August 6, 2008

More Manistee

The Manistee River defines river paddling in the mid-west. A gem of a river. There are some technical sections that really require your full attention and lazy sections that allow you to take in all that is Michigan by canoe.

The Manistee river moves pretty good. Lots of riffs, sweepers and strainers to navigate. Keeps you on your toes. A couple of mis-calculations found us scrambling a couple of times. Gets your heart pumping and the blood flowing.

We paddled till dark and camped. So we didn't do any night paddling as I didn't want to be chasing gear and children down the river if we dumped it.

As it turned out, everyone camped. We thought we would be dropped from the pack with plans for paddling straight through by other participants. In the end everyone decided to pace instead of race.

The kids were all smiles. We hadn't had the opportunity to go out paddling as a family this summer. We took the SS Badger acrosss from Manitowoc to Ludington. Nice 4 hour cruise across lake Michigan. Sure beats driving through Chicagoland. The ferry is coming across in the background.

The SS Badger ferry is like 450 feet long. So it is a pretty smooth ride going across. Movie theater, dining area and even a cruise director to keep things interesting. Food and drinks are priced fairly, which I was impressed with. None of the price gouging you might expect.

It's nothing fancy, but I would recommend the ride over.

We are getting ready to push off at the start of our Manistee River adventure. We left on Friday night to get a few hours of paddling in so we would finish with the racers. The rest of the participants started early on Saturday morning.

With further review, it ended up being the smart thing for us to do. The campground at the start was kinda noisy, so nobody got much sleep. Plus we could take our time and feel pushed or like we were playing catch up the whole time.

We were loaded for bear, which is great down river but paid dearly on the portage. Half the stuff we brought we didn't use, but if rain or cooled down, we were prepared.

This is one of my favorite pictures or the trip. Mark and Michelle ghosting up to us in the early morning mist. Didn't take them too long to catch up to us. They were somewhat sleep deprived an hungry for a real breakfast. We were fully rested and had dined handsomely.

Emily pretty much took charge of the camera on this outing. Here is a shot of day 2 early morning just before Mark and Michelle arrived. RiverJohn and Graham came through minutes before with Darin was sneaking through the backwaters while I chatted up the boys from Canada.

Here is a shot looking down river. Great weather the whole trip. Wind to our backs and puffy clouds to challenge the imagination.

Shot of Emi and Boo just in front of a pile of gear. Making a third seated position in the cruiser made for some interesting and creative packing. If we would have dumped we would have lost some gear if we wouldn't have mesh netted everything. Gear everywhere "kapakahi" Hawaiian for everything out of place.

An over the shoulder shot. Are you catching the smile on Emi's face? Hmm, the power of green.

More smiles from the girls on the ferry. We had some very happy campers on this trip.

It was incredible, but all good things must come to an end at some point. Or do they?

Here is a shot of Mark and Michelle while we wait for Mark's dad Joe to pick us up at Red Bridge take out.

We were all salivating for some really good food and a few cocktails. Mark kept us entertained with his very descriptive banter of jalapeno poppers onion rings and the many offerings of entries. Steak, ribs, french dip, burgers and the clincher, the wet burrito with extra salsa and sour cream.

Let's eat- The Capt'n

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