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Letters 10-03-2016

Truths And Minorities While I appreciate Stephen Tuttle’s mention of the Colin Kaepernick situation, I was disappointed he wrote only of his right not to stand for the national anthem but not his reason for doing so. Personally, I commend Mr. Kaepernick for his courageous attempt to bring issues of concern to the forefront. As a white male baby boomer, I sadly realize I am in a minority among my peers...

“Yes” Means Your Rights It has been brought to my attention that some people in Traverse City are being asked to put “no” on Proposal 3 signs in their yards, and are falsely being told this means they do not want tall buildings downtown. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you vote no, you will be giving up your right to vote on future projects involving buildings over 60 feet in height...

Shame On NMC, Nelson The Northwestern Michigan College board and President Tim Nelson should be ashamed of their bad faith negotiations with the faculty. The faculty have received no raise this year, even though all other college staff have received raises. Mr. Nelson is set to receive a $20,000 raise...

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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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