Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

Home · Articles · News · Features · Going with the flow
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Going with the flow

Robert Downes - April 7th, 2008
Wondering where to paddle that new kayak this summer? In Northern Michigan, your biggest problem will be trying to choose from among the many spectacular rivers.
Here’s a rundown on some of our favorite rivers in the region, based on hours of exploring fun. Needless to say, there are many others worth exploring: the Platte, the Bear, the Fox and the Grass rivers all come to mind. But these will get you started:

The Betsie River -- Benzie County

The Betsie is noteworthy as a wildlife river: chances are good that you’ll see deer along the route, and certainly many birds and wild flowers.
There’s a place to put in on the Betsie at the bridge just down the hill on River Road to the west of Benzonia. You can spot your car about three miles downstream at a parking lot where the river crosses another bridge. It’s a short enough stretch by road that you can pedal a bike back to the launching area.
If you wish, you can paddle farther on to Elberta; but be forewarned: hefty kayakers may get stuck in the shallow mud flats just before the harbor... Bonus: a side-trip to Gwen Frostics fabulous print shop on River Road.

The Boardman River -- Grand
Traverse County

There are two great options for paddling the Boardman, which is the river that literally “built” Traverse City back in the lumber era when saw logs were floated downstream to the town’s lumber mills.
Option one: Jump off from Ranch Rudolf, located 12 miles southeast of Traverse City. The rustic resort offers canoe trips, with put-ins available upstream where the river is at its wildest and most scenic.
Option two: Put in at the Keystone Road parking lot on the Boardman near Chum’s Corners in TC. Be sure to wear a helmet and have your wits about you, because heavy rapids and dangerous rocks lie just 100 yards downstream. Beyond that, however, its smooth paddling all the way across Boardman Lake to downtown Traverse City and West Bay. Be prepared to portage around three dams, and possibly wade for a bit across one of the shallow sections just past the rapids. A shorter alternative is to put in at Sabin Dam.

The Crystal River -- Leelanau County

A jewel of a river and a fun option for friends and family who want to enjoy one of the many restaurants in Glen Arbor for an after-paddle get-together.
Take a right turn off M-22 on the road just north of Glen Arbor and follow the winding river about a mile to a put-in parking lot near a small dam.
The Crystal provides a beautiful, serpentine paddle back to the north end of town, with a good exit point being the landing across from the Shell station. Its shallow waters provide its shining “crystal” appellation (but may also necessitate some wading in spots). There are three short portages along the river, but you can bypass one of them by shooting a tunnel that provides a whooping slide under the roadway.

The Manistee River -- Wexford County

Opportunities for camping present themselves on the broad Manistee, which is Northern Michigan’s longest river. A good jump-off point is just south of the rest stop on US-131 (the former Chippewa Landing). Paddle west for fabulous views of the bluffs which tower for hundreds of feet along the north bank. There are designated campsites along the route, but some choose to simply pull in wherever looks good (although you run the risk of encountering teenage partyers who wander down the two-tracks to the river). A good place to exit the river is the parking lot on Summit City Road, southeast of Kingsley.

The Sturgeon River -- Cheboygan County

The Sturgeon is the fastest-flowing river in Northern Michigan, dropping an estimated 17 feet per mile. Put in at the park in Wolverine and hold onto your hat for a wild ride all the way to the town of Indian River.
Be sure to steer far clear of the many log jams along the river banks: kayakers, especially, can be swept into these traps and pinned underwater. And bring a change of clothes in a waterproof bag, because chances are good you’re in for a dunking. A more stable option is paddling the Sturgeon in a canoe.

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