Yesterday evening turned into Rough Riders Reunion 2014. In the wise (and paraphrased) words of Mike Peet: "Paddling like it's 2009!" The turn-out was fantastic (26 boats!), and the waves were apparently the largest of the summer. It was a perfect evening for rock gardening and practicing towed rescues. A bunch of the original Rough Riders were present, including Jeff H, Mike, Steven, Dan, Jeff B x 2, Rita & Garnetta, Sue, Ann-Marie, Nick, Dave, and I. It was also fun to meet some newer (i.e. in the last 3 years, so maybe not so new) members. Matt from Brooklyn was in the area for a couple weeks and recently bought a boat from BayCreek. I'll be in NYC on Monday to visit friends, and he provided some helpful tips for kayaking around the City...
Last night we crossed the Eastern/Central time zone and realized it was much later expected, so we pulled over and camped in the Squirrel Rapids Picnic Area, halfway between the Apostle Islands (WI) and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (MI). We were up early to the sound of lawn mowing all around us. After a quick stop at a farmstand for veggies and breakfast, we drove across much of Michigan's Upper Peninsula (the UP) on Route 28.
At Pictured Rocks we attempted to find a campsite at the Twelvemile Beach Campground (I'm pretty sure this is where Marika and I stayed 3 years ago), but all the sites were full (on a Monday!). Instead, we headed a bit further east to the Upper Hurricane River campground and snagged a big site where we cooked up an extravagant veggie-full burrito lunch.
There are 21 Apostle Islands in Lake Superior (on the southwest corner), which were named by French missionaries after the 12 apostles (they clearly couldn't see all 21 islands). The islands were formed by wind wave erosion between ice ages, and were glaciated repeatedly after that. Terraces and wave cut platforms suggest that water levels used to be higher in Lake Superior. Of particular interest are the sea caves found on many of the islands. The Devils Island Formation geology is a red sandstone that formed from rivers depositing sediment thousands of years ago. The sea caves form when waves erode and undercut the base of the cliffs.
Early morning #5 billion. After a near miscommunication mishap with the Bismarck baggage agents, I successfully picked up (stole? it was so easy...) Jeff’s luggage before heading east to Fargo. We arrived within a few minutes of each other and booked it across the state of Minnesota in an attempt to arrive at the kayak shop by 4pm. 9 hours later, we arrived at Living Adventures Inc kayak rentals in time to pick up Pierre, the yellow Canadian Current Designs Storm. In Bayfield, we grocery shopped and discovered that Wisconsinites don't eat hummus or pitas (disaster!!!). We noted the intense humidity to which neither of us is accustomed. We went for a 2 hour evening paddle, launching from the Apostle Islands Marina and paddling south along the peninsula to Pikes Bay. The sandstone cliffs here are nearly vertical and bright red.
Warning, it's a long one. I wanted to be explicit so I would actually remember the things I learned! See previous post for Heather's account of the trip!
Ok, it's taken me about 15 minutes to figure out how to start this post so as to accurately profess my excitement about the past weekend. I guess I'll just start from the beginning! This weekend, Heather Adams (fellow Rough Rider from Rochester) and I headed up to Bracebridge, Canada, for the first annual Ontario Greenland Camp, hosted by LearnToKayak, Kayak Ways, and The Complete Paddler.
Day 1: The Drive Up & First Impressions
After an overwhelmingly stressful week of classes, work, TAing, and homework, I departed Ithaca on Friday morning for Rochester. Upon arrival at Heather's house, we loaded my boat onto her car and started the 6 hour drive to Bracebridge, Canada! The drive up was fairly uneventful, and we made it to Camp Tamarack around 5pm. We were feeling a little daunted about meeting a whole new group of kayakers, but we were very excited to meet so many Greenland enthusiasts and kayak lovers like ourselves! After a warm welcome by some of the camp organizers, we settled into our bunk beds (a strange experience since I never went to camp as a kid) and headed over to the main cabin for dinner.
Day 2 AM: Yoga-for-Kayakers, Greenland Strokes, and Rolling Demo
The next day I got up super early for some yoga-for-kayakers. Cheri had us doing all kinds of funny maneuvers on the ground to mimic rolling in our boats. I can only imagine how goofy we all looked, but she kept a straight face! After breakfast we headed over to the beach where all the kayaks were ready to play!
This is a blog about exploring the outdoors (mostly by kayak), traveling, trip planning, and coastal engineering. It currently focuses on kayaking in the Netherlands and Belgium, but previous posts cover Upstate New York, California, and much more. See the Complete List of Blog Posts for a history of the site. Looking for something specific? Search the site here.
In addition to the blog, check out the Water Nerd section, where I write about coastal engineering and hydrology.
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Click the "Read More" link at the bottom of each summary for more photos, to see an interactive map of the route, and to read about the adventure.
Maps in each blog post: Click the icons to learn more about the launch site (amenities) and destinations. Click the square in the bottom-left corner to see an aerial photo behind the route.