Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

Home · Articles · News · Features · Hit the Water This Winter
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Hit the Water This Winter

A wintertime float down a frigid river is a far cry from the familiar, lazy July excursion.

Mike Terrell - February 17th, 2014  

The serenity and beauty of the season make the winter float special, according to those who’ve done it. For those who want to take the plunge, there are now winter float trips on the Jordan and Sturgeon rivers.

THE MAJESTIC JORDAN

“That was really special; the solitude, the quiet except for the gurgling river,” said a trio of women from Grand Rapids who had come north to try a winter raft trip on the Jordan River. “We’ll be back to do it again and bring friends.”

That’s the kind of thing veteran guide Scott Harper says he hears pretty often.

“We see a lot of repeat business,” said Harper, who has run trips for 20 years with his wife Kay through Jordan Valley Outfitters. “Many come back with friends. Once they make the trip, they discover winter is a special time. The beauty and peace and quiet this time of year are extra special.”

A favorite time to take clients is when the snow is falling, he said.

“It’s like being in a snow globe,” he said.

“It’s especially beautiful this winter with all the extra snow clinging to the trees.”

Trips begin at Jordan Valley Outfitters in East Jordan, where clients are transported to the Graves Crossing put-in. The trip includes a stop on a little island for a snack and hot beverage. Along the way you will probably see waterfowl and may see beaver, mink, deer and an occasional coyote and eagle.

Take out is two hours downriver at Webster Road.

“The large raft, which hauls up to six people, works its way down the river pretty easily,” Harper said. “I mostly steer and will occasionally ask passengers to paddle for a few strokes around a tight bend. Most of the time they are enjoying the scenery and taking pictures.”

Winter raft trips depart the store Friday to Monday at 10am, 1pm and 4pm weekly through March 16. The cost is $40 per adult and $32 for children age nine and younger. Reservations are required by calling (231) 536-0006, or log onto jvoutfitters.com.

THE MIGHTY STURGEON

Big Bear Adventures in Indian River offers winter float trips on the feisty Sturgeon River, one of the Lower Peninsula’s faster flowing streams.

“We’ve been offering winter raft trips for over 10 years and the number keeps increasing,” said guide Jamie Porter on a recent excursion. “Winter is one of my favorite times of year to be on the river. You see a lot more wildlife because you can see further into the forest and snow highlights their movement. It’s also more peaceful. In summer you have a lot more traffic on the river.”

Porter said raptors and other large birds often make appearances.

“I’ve had turkeys fly over our heads from one back to the other. That’s always good for a little excitement,” he said. “Eagles are often seen in trees along the river during winter looking for food, especially late season when it may be the only open water around.”

The large six-person rubber raft deftly navigates the quick current, tight bends and leaning trees and sweepers the river is known for. Passengers are required to paddle occasionally during the four-mile, 90-minute float to help steer around sharp bends and obstructions.

Big Bear Adventures is located on Straits Highway across from the entrance to Burt Lake State Park. Winter float trips take place daily all winter long at 10:30am, 12:30pm and 2:30pm. Call (231) 238-8181 or visit bigbearadventures.com for reservations and more information.

 
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