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Old 03-31-2011, 10:50 AM
 
Location: Loving life in Gaylord!
4,121 posts, read 7,951,929 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyInGreatLakes View Post
The Pine river is narrower so trees are more of a problem (simply less room to dodge them). Ausable from Mio to Alcona is pure river until you GET to Alcona, then you have to paddle across the backwaters to the pick up spot.
True...and this is arguably the most beautiful part of the Au Sable from these areas on.... for quite a while. The pines, the steep banks and sand dunes are absolutely awesome! But in trade, there are a lot more people here. I remember going to a little store in "Rollaways" many years ago when I was a kid and looking at all the pictures of the fish caught in these parts. There were pictures of pike 5' long....maybe longer!
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Old 04-01-2011, 06:19 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
27,759 posts, read 65,587,794 times
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Anyone know anyhting about the Sturgeon (or is it Spurgeon?) river? I was told that is the fastest moving river but they did not know much else about it. I have not started looking into it at all.

I eliminated Tahquamenon. Two different canoieing places that I contacted said that it is slow, boring and buggy. Boardman looks like it would be a nice trip, but it is a one day trip. I was told that the paddel accross the AuSable backwater is painful, but there is a pull out location about an hour into it, so that would not be too bad. I was also told that the Pine river and AuSable do not have much problem with blackflies or other biting bugs, except normal levels of mosquitoes. I was told that Ausable has better camping sites and is easier with less obstacles, but the Pine is faster, more exciting and a bit prettier.

I still need to look into Jordan, Manistique, Fox, and Muskegon. It is really neat to have so many choices, but makes a lot of work to try to choose the best option. Maybe we can make this a yearly thing for a while and try a bunch of them.

So at present we are considering Pere Marquette, Pine, Manistee, AuSable, and possibly Sturgeon or Spurgeon. We are looking mostly at late June or Late August. Early June is still cold, early August is reportedly the busiest time of year. We have too many commitments in July.

I was also told that carrying your camping gear with you is unpleasant becuase it makes the canoes sluggish and unresponsive. I have only done that once and the canoe that we had was huge, old, heavy, and already sluggish and unresponsive. I thought that it would be a neat experience to rely on only what we bring and a good lesson in thinking ahead and planning.

Any further comments or suggestions are welcome.
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Old 04-01-2011, 07:07 AM
 
2,790 posts, read 5,799,652 times
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There used be canoe liveries along the Thunder Bay River in Atlanta. I have done some day trips.
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Old 04-01-2011, 07:37 AM
 
362 posts, read 619,893 times
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You wouldn't want to canoe the Sturgeon we canoe. It is full of log jams and just above the flowing well camp ground lots of shallow spots you have to read well or get hung up. We carry lite back packing type gear. for cookng we use a old grill grate over a bed of hot coals.

I've heard the cass river is nice as well as the Chipawaw.

Michigan Canoeing Directory - Pure Michigan Travel

http://www.canoeingmichiganrivers.com/1/149/index.asp

http://www.munising.com/canoeing.html

A good book to invest in if you canoe a lot.
http://www.amazon.com/Canoeing-Michi.../dp/0923756213

Al

Last edited by alleyyooper; 04-01-2011 at 07:46 AM..
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Old 04-01-2011, 07:41 AM
 
Location: Charlevoix
750 posts, read 2,544,550 times
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Yup, we did Thunder Bay also, but I didint care for the paddle across the lake to get back to the livery...the river part was nice. The best time to go on any river is the Spring, when the water is up and rivers running faster from the snow melt. We usually go in June. We go with full gear; coolers ,tents waterproof bags....dog a few years...sure isnt a sluggish experience for us!

Love nothing more than to camp out on the side of a river after a long day on the river....pure heaven. I wouldnt go on the Pine unless ya'll have been on a few others, work up to that one. We were on it and passed a novice couple and they had a VERY hard time....canoe tip and pinned them against the bank on a fast turn....we had to paddle fast as not to slam into them and current was so strong we couldnt get back to them.

We saw them at the take-out....they were very tired and bruised and not happy! We had to work on that river.
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:53 AM
 
Location: Loving life in Gaylord!
4,121 posts, read 7,951,929 times
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You may even want to research the Watersmeet area. I have been reading up on this area lately and it sounds amazing! there are like over 300 lakes in this area, along with rivers and streams. There is also the "Cisco Chain" of 15 interconnecting lakes and I guess the scenery is amazing!
Watersmeet, Michigan Upper Peninsula of Michigan Visitor Information
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Old 04-01-2011, 02:53 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
27,759 posts, read 65,587,794 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michigansnowflake View Post
Yup, we did Thunder Bay also, but I didint care for the paddle across the lake to get back to the livery...the river part was nice. The best time to go on any river is the Spring, when the water is up and rivers running faster from the snow melt. We usually go in June. We go with full gear; coolers ,tents waterproof bags....dog a few years...sure isnt a sluggish experience for us!

Love nothing more than to camp out on the side of a river after a long day on the river....pure heaven. I wouldnt go on the Pine unless ya'll have been on a few others, work up to that one. We were on it and passed a novice couple and they had a VERY hard time....canoe tip and pinned them against the bank on a fast turn....we had to paddle fast as not to slam into them and current was so strong we couldnt get back to them.

We saw them at the take-out....they were very tired and bruised and not happy! We had to work on that river.
We canoe pretty much every day in the summer, but it is just in the Detroit river, so no challenges except wake. We have all the room in the world to make turns. However most of our kids can handle a canoe reasonably well as a result, not sure about other guests. I have canoed on rivers with class 3 and 4 rapids, and it was not difficult, but the river did not have a lot of sharp turns. Maybe I will bring my older son and try out the Pine on a day trip. We would probably just rent Kayaks insted of canoes for a day trip, but that will allow us to get a feel for its difficulty.

I really like the idea of just bringing everything with us. Camping from a car kind of feels like cheating. We will have to buy some newer lighter gear, but we have to buy a new tent anyway. We will have to get some foam pads. Air mattresses do not seem practical and I am too old to sleep on the ground. We will have to get a lighter smaller stove as well and perhaps some more compact cooking gear. That is all good I want to try some backback camping as well, so we can start acquiring the lighter wieight gear for that. Time to start combing Craigslist and E-bay.

Not sure about briniging the dog or dogs. It would be fun to have them along, but they are big (150 and 170 and the smaller one may be 200 by then). That would require a lot of extra food, leashes, poo bags. . . .

Did you have touble having your dog along? Did you end up wishing that you had not brought the dog?

It is really neat how many good options are available. Sturgeon sounds like that awful experience that we had while camping at Silver lake Dunes. I do not rememeber the name of that river. THanks for all of your help.



I have another quesiton for y'all. I intend to buy another canoe (possibly two, and a couple of kayaks) this summer. I normally prefer aluminum (fiberglass and plastic are expensive and fragile, Kevlar is too expensive). Since there are many experienced conoeists here, what do you think? Aluminum, Fiberglass or plastic and why?
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Old 04-01-2011, 07:08 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
12,083 posts, read 34,951,872 times
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Canoe? I have an Old Town Discovery 16'9" that I bought used in 1987. I would hate to guess how many river miles I have put on that old thing since then. It has been run over by a truck once, had a block of ice come off a roof and smash it flat another time, it has been wrapped (literally) around a rock on the Penobscot River in Maine once as well. put it in the sun and it pops back into shape just fine. I did have to replace a gunwale after the wrap on the river. I'll always own an Old Town. I've used aluminum, fiberglass, and the ABS plastics. As long as the ABS isn't too thin like a lot of the cheaper ones are, I love them. It did take a few trips to get used to it though. Slower it seems, and the bottom is very flexible so it is kind of weird after using stiffer canoes for decades before.

I have used, and would own, a Scott Canoe in a heartbeat as well. Either Fiberglass or Kevlar models are offered. I've used the fiberglass ones and was VERY impressed. Super tough, and super stable.

I wasn't using it when it got run over, or wrapped on the rock. The ice incident was 100% my fault.

Last edited by Bydand; 04-01-2011 at 07:52 PM..
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Old 04-01-2011, 07:36 PM
 
Location: Beautiful Niagara Falls ON.
10,019 posts, read 10,926,214 times
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Did you ever consider going to Sault Ste. marie On. The canoeing in that area is outstanding!!!
It's 5 hrs from Detroit so I don't know how long from your place.
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Old 04-02-2011, 08:37 AM
 
362 posts, read 619,893 times
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My gear.
Most is coleman bought in Birch run at the coleman outlet. Much was bought before high fuel cost so we used to do a lot of jeep trecking and camping.
3 years old
Coleman - Elite Montana 8 Tent - (http://www.coleman.com/coleman/colemancom/detail.asp?product_id=2000004679&categoryid=11073& brand - broken link)=

I like the air beds best as they dry fast if they get dunked. Had 3" foam pads once that got soaked during a really windy rain storm along lake Superior east of Deer Lodge. took days to get them fully dry.
about 6 years old
Coleman - SUV QuickBed Airbed - (http://www.coleman.com/coleman/colemancom/detail.asp?product_id=2000002846&categoryid=10079& brand= - broken link)

The pump. Runs a very long time on one charge. I've done as many as 4 air beds for 5 days.
3 years old
Coleman - Rechargeable QuickPump - (http://www.coleman.com/coleman/colemancom/detail.asp?product_id=2000000834&categoryid=10079& brand - broken link)=

the stove. A Christmas gift. I carry extra fuel in old water bottles.
15 years old
Coleman - Feather 442 Dual Fuel Stove - (http://www.coleman.com/coleman/colemancom/detail.asp?product_id=442-725&categoryid=2005&brand - broken link)=

I carry one 10 inch fry pan it isn't non stick so I can scour it with beach sand. One 2 guart pot and a 8 quart stock pot. A roll of foil can make all types of cooking surfaces.

Our canoes are a 17 foot Coleman I bought many many years ago at the Kelly spoorting goods store near Pontiac lake.
First time out it came off the truck at 70 MPH with only a couple of scratches, I since then will not use any type of cord to fasten them down, plus I got rid of those pads that allowed them to slide around and use a roof rack (*** rack).

The second is a Coleman 15 foot I bought from Kellys in Drayton Plains when they were closeing that store. It is a good canoe but isn't used a whole lot since I perfur the 17 footer. the 15 footer is left for guest.

Most of the gear I aquired over time from the out let in Birch Run. For example the tent was bought in the fall of the year late Oct. It was less than $125.00.

I found the fall of the year was best to buy the gear although when I wanted a stove they had none that triped my trigger. I was givin mine as a Christmas gift from Rockies Out doors in Burton.

The air beds pack smaller than my old foam pads did.

The daughter and I try to do at least one day canoe trip a year, just the two of us. Even the grand children know not to ask to go with us.

Al
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