Rain Raises River, Fills Boat, Soaks Us and our Hats
October 14, 2017 – Dixon Road to Tompkins Road (northern Jackson County, west of Rives Junction)
Tom Writes . . .
Today we paddled a deep-country stretch, about as far into the boondocks as it is possible to go in south central Michigan. A few farm fields on the banks, including an interesting place on the left bank, where somebody has machinery for pumping water out of the river for irrigation. But mostly today, the river was flanked by woods on both banks.
We paddled with two experienced Grand River people. Don Nelson is a true Rivermaster. He recently had cruised this same stretch with chain saws and chains and spud-bars, to clear the paddling path. Jack Ripstra knows the whole river. They both had kayaks. We paddled our canoe, the Billie V. And, I am proud to point out that Joe and I kept up with them very well. They did not leave us in their wakes.
It rained like Noah the whole time. And, I was dressed wrong. I wore my regular summer canoe expedition clothes, and I got drenched. Even my hat was utterly soaked. By the
end, the hat kept direct rain out of my face. That was its only benefit. Otherwise, it just channeled rain onto my head.
We saw a couple of wet herons flying in the rain. We saw a deer. We were lucky that the rain water was warm when it hit us. I plan to get an old-timey traditional New England fisherman-style foul weather hat, and a real foul weather jacket, before I head out on the river again.