Another activity we have enjoyed wherever we travel and workamp is kayaking. There are several options here in Northern Michigan near us, including the Platte River and the Crystal River. We kayaked the Crystal River over the July 4th holiday when Bill’s daughter, Sarah, visited from Los Angeles. At that point, the river level was low and there were many, many people with the same idea! The trip was beautiful, yet slow, as we had to maneuver fallen trees and debris from a major storm that had occurred in August 2015, not to mention the other kayakers of all ability levels. We haven’t taken the plunge yet to purchase kayaks so we rented through Crystal River Outfitters in Glen Arbor. They take you on a five-minute drive and deposit you and your kayak at the river and then it is a 2-3 hour trip, ending back at the starting point!
Today’s journey was quite different. It was a picture-perfect day with an azure sky, temperature in the mid-70’s, and wispy clouds. The river was high and running quickly. At one point in the trip, kayakers are able to “shoot the tube,” which means you duck and go shooting through a metal tube. We were able to do this in July but today the water was too high so we had to portage. As a result, there were a total of three portages throughout our total trip. All in all, we only saw four other kayakers on the river and one fisherman. There were many times where we just stopped paddling and let the current take us, and the river was so “crystal” clear (no pun intended) that we were able to see a plethora of fish and even ruffled two beautiful blue herons out of their resting spots. There were, however, also several segments of the journey where the wind served as our resistance and we therefore had to paddle hard – thus being our workout for the day! All in all, it was a truly magnificent day on the Crystal River!