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Letters 07-25-2016

Remember Bush-Cheney Does anyone remember George W. Bush and Dick Cheney? They were president and vice president a mere eight years ago. Does anyone out there remember the way things were at the end of their duo? It was terrible...

Mass Shootings And Gun Control The largest mass shooting in U.S. history occurred December 29,1890, when 297 Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee in South Dakota were murdered by federal agents and members of the 7th Cavalry who had come to confiscate their firearms “for their own safety and protection.” The slaughter began after the majority of the Sioux had peacefully turned in their firearms...

Families Need Representation When one party dominates the Michigan administration and legislature, half of Michigan families are not represented on the important issues that face our state. When a policy affects the non-voting K-12 students, they too are left out, especially when it comes to graduation requirements...

Raise The Minimum Wage I wanted to offer a different perspective on the issue of raising the minimum wage. The argument that raising the minimum wage will result in job loss is a bogus scare tactic. The need for labor will not change, just the cost of it, which will be passed on to the consumer, as it always has...

Make Cherryland Respect Renewable Cherryland Electric is about to change their net metering policy. In a nutshell, they want to buy the electricity from those of us who produce clean renewable electric at a rate far below the rate they buy electricity from other sources. They believe very few people have an interest in renewable energy...

Settled Science Climate change science is based on the accumulated evidence gained from studying the greenhouse effect for 200 years. The greenhouse effect keeps our planet 50 degrees warmer due to heat-trapping gases in our atmosphere. Basic principles of physics and chemistry dictate that Earth will warm as concentrations of greenhouse gases increase...

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Lake Dubonnet

Mike Terrell - April 5th, 2010
Lake Dubonet offers a great pedal-paddle combo
By Mike Terrell
Last spring in early April it was one of those picture-perfect days for outdoor activities: warm and sunny. The only decision to be made was would I go mountain biking with my labs or opt for a paddle in my kayak minus the dogs.
Fortunately, there was a solution that would satisfy both – a trip to Lake Dubonet where I was able to ride the seven mile Lost Lake Pathway and paddle the scenic lake afterwards. Both my dogs and I were happy. The pathway runs by the boat launch and shaded parking area, which is located within the state campground. You bike and paddle from the same spot. What could be easier?
The Lost Lake Pathway has always been one of my favorite area trails for a nice, easy outing with great scenery. About a mile of the trail hugs the Lake Dubonet shoreline, and the remaining six miles of pathway meander through a landscape of transitional sinkholes created by glacial debris and melting ice deposits. It’s typical of how the glaciers helped form our regional topography.
The trail passes a couple of large blueberry bogs along the back part as it goes around the Lost Lake basin. They were, at one time, completely covered by the small lake remaining at the north end of the basin. In just a couple of centuries the water will probably completely disappear, which is the fate of small pit lakes that were created by the last glacier passing through here 10,000 some years ago. It’s hung on for quite a while.

RAILWAY BEDS
At times the trail follows old railroad beds created during the logging era, a little over a century ago. Some of the beautiful red pine stands that you pass through are at least that old. They somehow managed to escape the logger’s ax.
At one point, the pathway had interpretive markers placed along the trail explaining the history, topography and nature of the area, but most are now long gone. Unfortunately, the DNR in cost-cutting moves never replaced them, but maps and post markers do still exist at most trail intersections. The well-worn pathway is fairly easy to follow, but you do have to pay attention. Forest roads and other trails do pass through the area.
The Shore-to-Shore horseback trail also passes through here crisscrossing the Lost Lake Pathway at least a couple of times. Luckily, horses weren’t have been on the hiking trail. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. The DNR needs to put up “no horse trail” signs at all the intersections. Horses are not permitted on the hiking/biking trail, but no signs detail this, and they sometimes stray onto the trail.
The earthen dam you cross a couple of times during the ride was created in 1956, forming Lake Dubonet. The stream flowing away from the dam is the formation of the Platte River. Prior to the dam there used to be two small lakes – Big Mud and Little Mud Lakes – that formed into one large lake when the dam was erected.

FISHING TOO
The lake is fun to explore by kayak or canoe. It was created to improve waterfowl and fishing habitat, which has proven to be successful. Dubonet is one of the best pan fishing lakes in the region. The north end of the lake, covered with old “ghost” forests, offers some interesting paddling as you work your way through the silent, gray trunks and small islands created by the flooding. There’s even a floating island.
A pair of loons has nested here for years and you can often hear their eerie call echoing across the lake in late afternoon. That wild call and mostly undeveloped shoreline could almost make you think you’re on a lake in the Canadian wilderness.
You’re not, but it’s a nice touch so close to Traverse City and Interlochen. Once you leave the campground on the hiking/mountain biking trails you won’t see any signs of development.

 
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