Grove to South State (US 127)
A perfect autumn day for the make-up paddle of the same trip cancelled the previous weekend because of a heavy rain forecast. All paddled the 5.5 route under 3 hours. Some made it an effort to pick up trash spotted along the route. Because of exceptionally low water it took 30 hours working in pairs out of a canoe prior on the river cutting fallen trees and debris to prepare for this trip. Many gathered after at the Roadhouse for food, drink and socializing.
Hosted by GREAT member and GLP president Jamie Myles, 45 paddlers enjoyed the paddle of Kent Lake in Oakland county. The attraction was the beautiful lotus bloom.
Goose & Goose Lakes
With a day in the high 90's, what better place to be for 53 participants, than paddling a beautiful clear lake! Village president, Jim Ellis gave a welcome. Gary Querferld, a local property owner did a brief presentation of the history of the cement industry which created the lakes while operating from 1898 to 1969 to remove the marl (lime clay). After launch, some looked for flora and fauna along the lakes which have almost no development. A handful, paddled up the inlet, Goose Creek towards US 127 and a few took an intentional dip in the white marl bottom shallows. After take-out many cooled off and socialized at the In Good Company restaurant on the way home.
River (North and Main Branches)
A steady morning rain scared many from participating, but thirty three showed up in spite of the weather. The rain ceased shortly after the put-in and the paddlers enjoyed a nice day. The trip was originally planned to begin at Michigan Center, but the put-in location was changed to Falahee Rd. At High Street/US 127 the North Branch of the Grand River joins the main river and precedes to and through downtown. As a joint GREAT-Dahlem trip, cookout food was provided and prepared by the Dahlem Nature Center at Lions Park take-out.
Branch Kalamazoo River
Fifty-seven participants came to experience a fun paddle from Homer to Albion on a hot day. Most paddlers did the route over eight mile route, one GREAT's longest, in only 3 hours give or take, aided by a swift current. Some paddlers were greeted by an exceptional over friendly deer as shown in the below slide show along with a few successfully paddling over the three foot drop dam. Several went to Cascarell's in Albion afterwards to cool off with some food and drink.
The make-up paddle from the event cancelled two weeks prior because of threatening weather, 35 participants showed up for a nice day to paddle on this very pristine route in the headwaters of Liberty Township. The narrow meandering river challenged paddlers maneuverability skills, but all completed the paddle within two hours of their put-in.
GREAT was one of 24 participating organizations in the sixth year of this fine community event, put on by the Jackson Area Outdoor Coalition. A sunny but windy day, made paddling a challenge for some. GREAT had 152 people go out in GREAT's canoes and kayaks, including a 106 minors. Many people picked up GREAT's brochures and other environmental information at our tent.