Posted by: thewhimsicalbee | June 21, 2010

One last kayak hurrah

This past weekend Hubby and I went to our “summer house”, this time just the two of us. We wanted to go kayaking one last time before Little Miss makes her world debut and to just get away for a couple of days.

I wanted to take the scenic route, so we went up M-37. I had a hankering to stop at this one bakery we pass on that route, so to Hilltop Bakery we went! We arrived just before 4pm, but the pastry selection was still pretty decent. I purchased a snickerdoodle, peanut butter (for Hubby), and sugar cookie, then noticed their little tarts and also purchased two of their cherry ones. They also have what they call dumplings, but look like handpies to me.

Since we would be passing through Newaygo, we decided to stop at an outdoor store we kept saying “We need to go there someday!” Well, that someday was Friday. The gentleman in Powers Outdoors was quite knowledgeable (always a plus!) about the products they carried. We wanted to find a comfy seat cushion for my kayak and some type of cover for Hubby’s sit-in kayak (to keep out the water while driving). Found both of those items, as well as a nifty little guide-book, Paddling Michigan, by Kevin and Laurie Hillstrom. Wonderful information, from what class and skill level the rivers are, as well as potential hazards, if permits are required, and how many miles are between the various launch points. The book came in handy, since permits are no longer available for the Pine River, and we were not interested in the Pere Marquette (both are usually packed on the weekends).

We consulted our handy guide-book and (along with the other couple we were kayaking with) decided upon the Little Manistee. Great choice, as it was only the four of us and a couple of anglers with their dog, besides people watching from their property. The Little Manistee is a calm, clean river, and surprisingly deep in spots. Beautiful trip and Saturday was a gorgeous day for kayaking. Due to some trees being down across the entire river, we had to limbo under them about three or four times. The last one I was really afraid my belly was going to scrape! But all was fine. We saw birds, ducks, and a few decent size fish. We basically felt like we owned the river that day. Our route was from Bear Track Campground to Nine Mile Bridge, a seven mile journey. According to the guide-book, beyond Nine Mile (to Six Mile Bridge) is one of the roughest sections of river to paddle in Northwest Michigan. I would try it when I am not pregnant! With two stops (one for sunscreen re-application/snack and one for lunch), it took us approximately 3 1/2 hours. We thought that was great time, and it was just enough for us. (Much better than five hours! See previous post for details.) About when I was going to ask “How much further?” we were done. Little Miss Sweet Pea was moving on up into my ribs, and combine that with the Braxton Hicks and I was done for the day.

For dinner that night, I had packed supplies for camp pies. Hubby had no idea what they were, so he was initiated that evening. I made pizza pies, with fresh mozzarella, green peppers, onion, and pepperoni. Needless to say, Hubby thought them delicious (even though his first one burned–he had hotter coals than we thought) and worth repeating. And I had packed a special surprise for s’mores: Reese’s PB cups (Hubby’s favorite way to have a s’more). After that, we just relaxed around our campfire, enjoying the evening and the stars.

What a wonderful way to end a couple of hectic work weeks!

P.S. We had tried a set of Malone kayak mounts that we ended returning to the store after our first kayak trip. Too much wind noise and almost losing a kayak on 131 made us change our minds on those! Hubby and a buddy of his decided to purchase the material and make their own. Hubby’s custom roof rack and J-hook mounts only cost us about $30 in supplies and are MUCH better than the ones we saw in the store. Hardly any wind noise and those kayaks did not budge one bit while driving. Hubby’s next project is adapting them for our Jeep (we tow that behind our truck & camper). And I think ours look better than what you can purchase in the store. I could be biased…

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