Letters

Letters 08-31-2015

Inalienable Rights This is a response to the “No More State Theatre” in your August 24th edition. I think I will not be the only response to this pathetic and narrow-minded letter that seems rather out of place in the northern Michigan that I know. To think we will not be getting your 25 cents for the movie you refused to see, but more importantly we will be without your “two cents” on your thoughts of a marriage at the State Theatre...

Enthusiastically Democratic Since I was one of the approximately 160 people present at when Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 in Charlevoix, I was surprised to read in a letter to Northern Express that there was a “rather muted” response to Debbie’s announcement that she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president...

Not Hurting I surely think the State Theatre will survive not having the homophobic presence of Colleen Smith and her family attend any matinees. I think “Ms.” Smith might also want to make sure that any medical personnel, bank staff, grocery store staff, waiters and/or waitress, etc. are not homosexual before accepting any service or product from them...

Stay Home I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read the letter of the extremely homophobic, “disgusted” writer. She now refuses to patronize the State Theatre because she evidently feels that its confines have been poisoned by the gay wedding ceremony held there...

Keep Away In response to Colleen Smith of Cadillac who refused to bring her family to the State Theatre because there was a gay wedding there: Keep your 25 cents and your family out of Traverse City...

Celebrating Moore And A Theatre I was 10 years old when I had the privilege to see my first film at the State Theatre. I will never forget that experience. The screen was almost the size of my bedroom I shared with my older sister. The bursting sounds made me believe I was part of the film...

Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith. She made public her choice to no longer go to the State Theater due to the fact that “some homosexuals” got married there. I’m not outraged by her choice; we don’t need any more hateful, self-righteous bigots in our town. She can keep her 25 cents...

Mackinac Pipeline Must Be Shut Down Crude oil flowing through Enbridge’s 60-yearold pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits and the largest collection of fresh water on the planet should be a serious concern for every resident of the USA and Canada. Enbridge has a very “accident” prone track record...

Your Rights To Colleen, who wrote about the State Theatre: Let me thank you for sharing your views; I think most of us are well in support of the first amendment, because as you know- it gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinions. I also wanted to thank Northern Express for not shutting down these types of letters right at the source but rather giving the community a platform for education...

No Role Model [Fascinating Person from last week’s issue] Jada quoted: “I want to be a role model for girls who are interested in being in the outdoors.” I enjoy being in the outdoors, but I don’t want to kill animals for trophy...

Home · Articles · News · Features · Petoskey whitewater
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Petoskey whitewater

Mike Terrell - August 8th, 2011
Petoskey Whitewater: New Bear River Valley Recreation Area packs spills & thrills
By Mike Terrell
The new 1.5-mile-long Bear River Valley Recreation Area, which splits
Petoskey down the middle, is a natural beauty.
Located just two blocks from the city’s famed Gaslight District, the
expansive 36-acre park features steep terrain, unpaved and paved trails,
boardwalks, forests and open meadows. You can bike, hike, fish, picnic,
nature watch and go whitewater rafting or kayaking in the newly created
Whitewater Park on the Bear River. It’s a real boon for area outdoor
enthusiasts.
The Bear River has the biggest drop of any river in the Lower Peninsula
over the last mile. It drops nearly 80 feet as it rushes from the
highlands to Little Traverse Bay. It made a perfect environment for a
whitewater park. Managed as part of the Petoskey Parks System, the park
was created with the help of a whitewater park design firm and officially
opened this spring. It has drops and rapids from Class I to Class III and
over a dozen features to challenge the paddler, according to Northern
Michigan Paddling Club president Gary Hunter.
“It’s like a section of rapids that could exist in West Virginia or
Colorado,” he enthused. “If you’re into paddling this will be a big
reason to come to the Petoskey area. There’s only one other whitewater
course currently in Michigan, and it’s not as long.
“The lower section of the course is designed for walking, which will allow
a paddler to easily carry the kayak upstream to run sections again and
again,” Hunter explained. “The further up you go, the larger the drops
and rapids. For those new to the sport it allows them to run the easier
rapids several times before heading on upstream to tackle the harder
sections.”

RAPID RUN
The largest features and toughest rapids are located just below parking
area 5 located off Franklin Street. The first third of the of the
whitewater park, which starts from River Bend Park off Standish Avenue,
flows through a natural area that gradually picks up speed through a rock
garden before hitting the larger drops below Bridge Street. Total
distance is 1.5 miles from River Bend and one mile from the parking area 6
off Sheridan Street.
Avid paddler Sara Cockrell of Traverse City, who has participated in a
number of Au Sable Canoe Marathons, said it’s a great training tool for
those that aspire to run rapids.
“Overall it’s an amazing whitewater course for Michigan paddlers, but it’s
not for everyone,” she advised. “Don’t haul your tandem canoe or
recreational 10 or 12-foot kayak up there. If you don’t have a whitewater
canoe or true whitewater kayak with a neoprene spray skirt, don’t try it.
The river will eat aluminum canoes and Old Town Loons.”
She suggests renting Duckies, one and two-person inflatable kayaks from
the local outfitter in Petoskey, Bahnhof Sports. They are pretty stable
with the ability to bounce off rocks. Weighing a little over 20 pounds
they can be easily carried upstream for multiple runs and the open boat
can be easily exited in the event of a tip-over and at take-out. A
one-person Ducky, including paddle, wetsuit, PFD and helmet, rents for $58
for three hours.
For hikers, the recreation area offers a 1.5 mile walk from River Bend
Park down to the park on Lake Street, and you will see little of the
town. You can sometimes hear it above, but along the valley floor –
especially along the river – it remains pretty pristine. A wide paved
trail that passes a couple of picnic shelters runs from the park on Lake
Street to Sheridan Street, but it doesn’t always get as close to the river
as other natural trails. If you start from River Bend the first half-mile
is only natural trail.

HUGGING THE RIVER
I preferred hiking the non-paved trails when I hiked through the valley
recently. They often hug the riverbank offering great views of the wild,
tumbling river, and, if you’re lucky, some kayakers attempting the
whitewater.
The North Country Trail, which starts along the New York/Vermont border,
blazes a path through the park. Just follow the blue paint marks on trees
and signs. They will guide you along a scenic, mostly natural trail, with
great valley and river views. Follow the NCT through the Bear River
valley or to the middle of North Dakota if you like. That’s where the
4,400-mile-long trail ends.
For years the Bear River’s natural beauty had been obscured by industry
and dams that had altered the flow of the river. A few years ago
residents started cleaning up the site, removing some of the dams,
restoring the natural flow of the river and valley. The Bear River Valley
Recreation Area is the result, and it is a “gem” of a park offering lots
of activities and a beautiful natural area for all seasons.

More information
Bear River Whitewater Park and Northern Michigan Paddling Club
www.northernmichiganpaddlingclub.com.

Bear River Valley Recreation Area
www.visitpetoskeymichigan.com/stories/bear_river_valley_recreation_area_petoskey_michigan_biking_walking_kayaking_white_water_rafting.

Bahnhof Sports Ducky rentals
www.bahnhof.com/sports/dept.asp?s_id=0&dept_name=Whitewater+Kayak+Rentals&dept_id=3599
or call 800-253-7078.
 
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