Sunday, April 11, 2010

Kayaking Shiawassee : Holly to Argentine

We Made It! Holly to McCaslin Lk. Rd. past Argentine.

Google Earth view - detailed gps map

Shiawassee River detailed gps map

Willi and I left Waterworks Park just after 8:00 AM. It was a clear
brisk morning with the temperatures in the high 20's The sun glinting
off of the frost was a preview of the beauty that we would see. The
water is very high! Beware the 3 tubes at this water level. I became
fully awake when I did a gear check in the middle tube. My equipment
for the day included my new Prijon kayak, my new drysuit, and the skirt
from my Dagger. The Prijon is a lot longer and narrower than my
dagger. When I tried to duck low and shoot the tube my control was
minimal. Between the high current and my lack of experience in this
boat I ended up practicing my half roll. The positives of the incident
are. My skirt held even if it is not a perfect fit, and my drysuit
works well. A little bit of pumping and chasing down a runaway thermos
put us back on the quest. There are several passable but annoying trees
down in the next 2 miles so it was a bit of a slog. For those who
want to explore you can go down several channels not normally open.
From Fish Lake Rd. to Fenton it was a smooth paddle. That may change a
bit with lower watter levels. In Fenton we picked up Steve for the rest
of the trip. Steve also thought swimming was a good idea. He tried a
commando launch below the Fenton dam. After a little bit of pumping we
were on our way. From the dam to Strom park is a wild and fun ride.
It's most of a mile of solid class II rapids. Be sure to duck at the
bridges. There are 2 trees down near Bush Park and another half a dozen
or so down behind the apartments. Two of which involve a portage. Lake
Ponemah was a high energy paddle. There was a steady 20 MPH Southerly
breeze and the associated white caps. We ordered carry out from the
Linden Hotel from Tupper Lake. This gave us a nice rest while sitting
in the terraces looking at the Linden water wheel. From Linden to Hogan
Rd. it was a great paddle, wide fast and smooth. Past Hogan Rd. there
were more trees down. We would have been portaging if is wasn't for the
flood. The waste water plant is having an issue. "The Digester process
has experienced an upset." is a quote from Joe Goergen from Genesee
Drain Commissioners office. In short at the moment it stinks. Once we
left the woods past the sportsmens club It was a smooth paddle for the
rest of the day. We pulled up at McCaslin Rd about 7 PM. It was a full
day. 21.8 miles with a lot of trees down. Time to fire up the chainsaws.


Shiawassee River : Holly to Argentine

Click on link above to see detailed individual photos in high resolution
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