Canoe do this?

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Canoe do this?

Postby Enzo » Fri Sep 07, 2018 2:26 am

In honor of the other thread about kayaks, many years ago now, some of the guys at work asked me to join them on a canoe trip. I have never camped out, never enjoyed the outdoors where I couldn't come indoors from it. I had zero experience, so of course I said "Sure, I'll go."

I contacted a lady friend who had a tent and some experience as a companion. (Experience and a tent, not experience as a companion) We were to rent a canoe on the Au Sable river in Michigan. I was looking forward to a trip down a river in the wilderness. I traveled heavy. Hey, I'm a novice. A case of beer in a cooler. But I also brought stem glasses champagne, and some caviar.

Kroger is a major national grocery chain. Their generic products went under the name of Cost Cutter. I kid you not, in the fish cooler they had big bowls of "Cost Cutter Caviar". SO I bought a little tub of the stuff. Also a loaf of the tiny rye breads, and some sour cream. I like caviar, but when camping, just how good does it have to be?.

One thing I noticed about my journey down a wilderness river is that if I thought I would be isolated, I was naive. The river was like a busy highway, endless streams of canoes sailing downstream. Oh it is still beautiful country through the forests on the water. But it was rush hour on the river. We'd wave to one another. People pulled up on shore for breaks. We'd wave to them, they'd wave to us. One big wavy river. I thought we'd be out there wondering if there was anyone else left on earth.

SO at some point we pulled up and took a break on a bank. I spread out a cloth, we poured champagne into our stem glasses, and ate caviar with sour cream on rye breads. We'd lift our glasses to paddlers-by. Several times we heard from afloat, "Now THAT is the way to do it."

It was a two day trip downstream. There was a major landing at the mid point, and a campsite. We paid for a spot there and tented. I decided that if I ever do this again, I will pull up my boat, then drive to a motel for the night. Tenting in the forest is damp and buggy.

The canoe company was great, they knew their stuff. We start at the major campsite, journey mid-point. They pick us up in a van, haul us upstream and we get a boat and paddles, and push us out into the current. WHEE. Paddle all day and voila, we are at the camp site. Next morning, we sail off and at the end of the day, we are at another major point. They pull out the boat and drive us back up to the camp. Works pretty well.

I was surprised. I never use paddling muscles, so after paddling all day long, I thought I would seize up. But really, the next morning I felt fine and continued on paddling that day as well. Who knew?

At one point we were ashore snacking, and a professional canoe ran by. It was fancier than the plain old canoes we all had. Pointy-er, moulded-ier. Two guys in canoe suits - like cycling suits, all spandex and form fitting. They had helmets. They were racing downstream. They were organized. Row row row "HUP" change sides row row row "HUP" change row row row... Another HUP or two and they were out of sight. It surely did not take then two days to go our distance. HUP HUP HURRAH...

Downstream a bit it got a little more civilized. We had left the nature wilderness, and people's homes had lawns down to the water. Some folks sat out in lawn chairs waving to canoers.

Not sure I need to do it again, but I had fun.
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Re: Canoe do this?

Postby tubeswell » Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:42 am

As I'm sure a famous scotsman probably once said - Ach' canoo.

Used to enjoy kayaking when I was a kid in the local sea scout troop in my home town where I grew up. Think I would make those old kayaks too top-heavy if I tried it nowadays.
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Re: Canoe do this?

Postby Lance » Fri Sep 07, 2018 5:01 am

That sounds like a great time!
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Re: Canoe do this?

Postby Heid the Ba » Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:05 am

Now that sounds like an I'r'U outing we need to do!
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Re: Canoe do this?

Postby Lianachan » Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:20 pm

Heid the Ba wrote:Now that sounds like an I'r'U outing we need to do!


Tents in the woods are my preference over motels. If you’re still near accommodation, or anywhere, you’re not doing it right!
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Re: Canoe do this?

Postby Enzo » Sat Sep 08, 2018 2:31 am

More power to you. I can only sit around a campfire strumming a guitar for so long. On my canoe trip, I had the lady with me, and we had like four other boats in our armada. SO we had a group. But at my age, I don;t hang out in groups any more. I enjoy the city, as both of us like to people-watch. Mosquitoes here in Michigan have their own condo associations and a powerful lobby.

I enjoy the woods, we have plenty of wild blueberries in the woods up there. In MAy we have delicious morel mushrooms. I watch may apples growing in the forest as I drive along the road, and I watch for them each year, but somehow I have never actually harvested any. And I doubt there is a more pretty flower than a trillium. I just don't want to might over there. There were woods around my rural home for the last 40 some years, so I could walk out there whenever I liked. Deer, woodchucks and muskrats, fox, coyote, turkeys, sandhill cranes. I never saw one, but there are a few bears in lower Michigan. And once in a blue moon, a panther. I had my wildlife pals. And coons, who are not really my pals.
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