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Day 4: River Log

Superior Pond to Lower Huron Metropark

16 miles
4.5 hours moving
3s portages

Laura Rubin joined us last evening for a few hours, we had a lively and very informative discussion on a wide variety of topics all river related. Peaceful night, no bugs. Up early again and on the water by 8 am, a short paddle to our first portage– Peninsula Dam. This portage is pretty straight forward and fairly easy, but lack of maintenance has led to deterioration of the landings making it hard than it should be.Back on the water a fairly fast ride through Ypsilanti. We all remarked on the waterfront potential of this town and could envision an active vibrant face to the river with the restaurants, shops and boardwalks.

On to Ford Lake, our weather karma continues with cool temps, overcast skies and no wind– perfect paddling conditions. Here we leave the second phase of the river leaving behind the glacial moraine features and enter the glacial lake bottom evidenced by the high clay or gravel banks that the river has cut through on it’s way to present day Lake Erie. Portaging the Ford Lake Dam took some effort and teamwork of the group but we were soon back on the water headed for Belleville, stopping for lunch at Van Buren Park where Willow Run enters the river.

Did I mention Belleville Lake was long? Seemed to on for ever and the motorboat wakes reflecting off the breakwalls didn’t help. But we did eventually arrive at French Landing, tired but not beat. The portage here is difficult if not impossible so we used the backup plan– Kay was called and helped us with a car shuttle into Lower Huron Metropark.

A short paddle brought us to the canoe camp which is now part of the new Walnut Grove Campground, causing some confusion. Al Heavner joined us for awhile with more lively discussion about the river in general and education in particular including the No Child Left Inside Program. We were all excited by another visitor, an all white bird that flitted and perched around the campground causing much speculation. We determined it was a white phase Kingbird, something none of us had ever seen.

Long day ahead tomorrow, 25 miles to Lake Erie.

Ron



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