Sunday, January 24, 2010

January 2010 - A Winter Paddle on the Shiawassee River

Written by Doug Lanyk -

Great day all. Saturday Jan . 23rd '10 was a spectacular day to go for a paddle.
Jimmy, Kieth, Willi and I left Holly for Fenton just after noon. It was
a challenging start. Jimmy put his canoe near the launch and went back
for another load of gear. When he returned the canoe was down river.
The melting snow was quite slick. Willi was a nice guy and did a quick
recovery from his kayak.

Then I made a mistake involving Kieth (a novice).
We tried a controlled seal launch in my canoe. Oops!
Kieth went for a swim in the ice cold Shiawassee River at Waterworks Park.
He was worried that his sopping wet condition was going to screw up the
plans for the day. The cold water was quite the shock too. He never
imagined doing a polar bear plunge. 5 minutes later we had him in dry
clothes and were launching once again. What a trooper.

We saw quite a few water fowl, and a selection of other birds. The deer
were easily visible against the snow field, and one poor muskrat was
frustrated when he couldn't find his den. We chased him down the river
for 50 yards. The ice shelves were at multiple levels above the river.
I think that was evidence of several ice dams occurring in the past
couple of weeks.

There was 1 tree down forcing a short portage,
otherwise the river was clear. The low water levels did expose a lot of
bottom bumpers to give us many surprise jiggles. YeeHaw. The small
pond half way down the river was surprisingly clear of ice. We all
pitched in to break the ice blocking our way,.Many thanks to Willi and
Jimmy for cutting a path for the big green canoe.

Get out and paddle.Doug.



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