We kayaked the Au Sable River today with Jan and Bill, their first kayak experience. We had a nice, sunny day, after a couple of days of rain and drizzle. Plus, all the vacationers have gone home so the river wasn’t crowded.
Note: Be sure to read Jan’s blog on our day. She has a little different point of view!
Instead of using our own kayaks, Don and I decided to rent a kayak for two. It was $28 for the rental and portage back from the take-out place, or $10/person just for portage. So, for the difference of only $8 we thought it would be fun to try one out.
Jan & Bill seemed to enjoy it.
They got into a few scary situations, and ended up going backwards a time or two.
And had an occasional encounter with a fallen tree.
But they got into relaxing and enjoying it pretty soon and we started seeing big smiles.
Having a two-person kayak was nice. Often Jan and I just let the guys take over the paddling.
I think Don was singing to me.
We stopped for a snack at about the halfway point. All of us managed to get out of and back into the kayaks without falling in the water. No camera shots were allowed during the process, however.
We saw lots of ducks.
A few turtles.
I think this was an eagle.
I had a hitchhiker.
Other kayakers and canoeists passed us by.
And we caught up with them when they stopped for a snack.
After about 3 hours, having covered 8 miles, we stopped at our take-out point at Burtons Landing.
Jan and Bill were still smiling!
And we were all happy to let the strong, young guy from the outfitter hoist the boats onto the trailer.
And take us back to our car in the van.
We had Famous Spikeburgers for lunch at Spike’s Keg ‘O Nails, the place recommended by the locals. They’ve been serving this area from the same location since 1933, even though the building burned down twice.
The Army was well-represented beside us, so we knew the food would be good.
Jan and Bill were still smiling! Maybe it was because the paddle was over?
Since my waterproof camera isn’t working, I dug out my Nikon CoolPix S630, that I haven’t used for a few years. It’s small and easy to tuck into a pocket. Although it doesn’t take as good pictures as the Canon G15 and it has no viewfinder so it’s hard to see the LCD in sunshine, it wouldn’t break my heart if it got wet. The only problem is that I can’t find the battery charger for it! But I did find the spare battery was charged up enough for today’s use, and I later ordered a battery charger on Amazon.com for $2. Shipping added $2.98, but it’s still a bargain for having an alternate camera to use. All of the above pics were taken with it, then I went back to the G15 for the next ones.
Later, we enjoyed dinner outside, with no smoky fires for a change. All of the weekend campers have gone home! Bill greeted us with a big smile because he could finally breathe freely outside.
The sausages that Bill grilled were great, served with fresh corn, baked beans, onions, tomatoes, etc. done by Jan. And what a treat to have sunshine and clean air for eating outdoors!