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Gem Of The North

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
12,845
52
80
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
#1
last week, four of us voyagers were out on Michigan's Au Sable River. Here is a river that combines beautiful waters with beautiful terrain. Her water is clear; shucks, you can read the date on a quarter in 10 feet of water. Land around here is part of Michigan's gently rolling plain, punctuated with a few ridges.

It was was once heavily timbered. Large white pines were here, some still are. Most of them, though, were harvested off by robber lumber barons, floated down rivers to sawmills, and on to ports on Lake michigan or Lake Huron. Cities were built and rebuilt from it. Now, Wirehauser owns and manages much of the land. They grow trees for pulpwood.

We pulled into Grayling about lunch time. Went to Penrod's Canoe Rentals, and put our gear into an 18 footer. We camped at Canoe Camp the first night out, as it's an easy 2 1/2 hours out, allowing a later start from home. Canoe Camp has a nice, low retaining wall tha makes landing and losding operations moderately easy. Some sites are down near the river. Others are on ground 20 feet higher. We camped high because weather was to be a chilly 38 degrees that night. I let the cold air settle below me.

Back in Camp Grayling, the Michigan National Guard were doing training. They train with 105mm howitzers and chain guns. Howitzers are loud, and chain guns are fully automatic. What a deadly duo - and they train until about midnight. But, by 10pm I was long gone. Thank god for down sleeping bags!

We spent two nights at the next camp, Whitepine Campground. Clear blue skys, light breezes, temps in the 70s. We couldn't order any better weather. Conversations with other paddlers are always interesting. People on the river this time of year are pretty much serious river users.

With lots of good wrather surrounding us, we set off for the last camp, Parmalee Bridge. Just after we pulled in, another fellow joined us. Turned out that he lives only a mile and a half away from us here at home! Sonofagun. We all walked a half mile up the road to a gas station/convenience store, and got an ice cream cone. Aye god that was tasty.

Wednesday morning our pickup guy arrived, and we rejoined the "civilized" world. sigh
 

mike

Well-Known Member
Jun 29, 2009
625
1
TEXAS!
#7
Wannabe said:
..... I'll be retiring in a couple of weeks so maybe I can do some of that after I get some things done around the house.
Bob
Best thing I ever did.

Strangely, I seem to have less time than I did when working.

Mike
 

mike

Well-Known Member
Jun 29, 2009
625
1
TEXAS!
#9
Kayak Jack said:
WELCOME BACK, Mike. Long time no see. Stick around; we'll open up a keg o' nails.
Thanks, Jack!

The truth is I'm here everyday. I just haven't had much to say lately. :wink:

Mike
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
12,845
52
80
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
#13
Thanks, Mick. We were going to stretch the trip an extra day and paddle to Australia. But, didn't have enough water along. Maybe another time.

We know that we're going to pay for having such petfect weather. On the other hand, it makes up for two trips whete I bailed out early because of constant, repetitive, overbearing, steady drizzle. ;-)
 

NWDad

Well-Known Member
Oct 4, 2015
51
1
#14
Kayak Jack,

Thanks for the trip report. It brought back many memories of my trips down the Au Sable River way to many years ago. Between Boy Scouts and family vacations I have been down that beautiful river many times. It is nice to hear that Penrod's is still in business. Have stayed at some of the same places along the way.

Kevin