Saturday, April 4, 2009

Charlie's 2008 Odyssey XVIII

Continuing with Charlie's Final Report:
Thursday April 24
Back on the water about 9:30 we started paddling for the Gale Road boat launch. The river was still full of log jams but we never had to get out for any managing to get around them all somehow. We saw deer, turkeys, ducks, geese, blue herons, turtles, red tail hawks and many other critters of the forest as we did every day of the journey. The Grand River begins to get bigger as you get closer to Tompkins with the Sandstone Creek and a few others that come in along the way but we could not tell where they were coming in because of the river being flooded.....There is a lot of flood plain in this section of the river.....probably the most of any section of the Grand from what I have seen. It was an easy day of paddling and enjoyable. We stopped for lunch at the Tompkins Road DNR boat launch. We paddled thru to the Gale Road boat launch just enjoying the rest of the day. We got there about 5:30. Doug dropped me off and headed home. It was nice having him along to share the trip with.
Friday April 25
Back on the water at 8:00 after Amber my daughter dropped me off. Paddling alone again but not for long.....I paddled to the Smithville Dam and portaged around on the right. I see they are doing some more work on the park....It looks very nice what the Eaton Rapids Fire department has done with it.....I only wish the people who go there and fish would clean up their messes.
Paddling downstream to Eaton Rapids and taking out and portaging with Jim Woodruff's wheels....Wow what a difference.....His wheels having the bicycle wheels pulled so much easier than my canoe cart. I know which cart I will be buying now. Portaging thru Eaton Rapids and getting the same stares and looks from people when I pulled into QD for a pop and a paper and after reading the article by John Schneider about the Ultimate Hugh Heward Challenge I headed downstream. The water was moving and I took a little paddling break and just let the river do the work. 

I arrived at the English Inn where Chuck Amboy made reservations to buy a group of us. Jim Woodruff, Doug McDougall, my wife Deb, my friend Gordy Martin, Chuck and myself for lunch....Very nice.....a huge thank you Chuck.....very generous and kind....After a long lunch and interesting conversation Chuck Amboy and I paddled together to Dimondale....another nice afternoon with a short rainstorm near the Waverly Road bridge....where we sat out the storm under the bridge. We paddled into Dimondale and took out at the Fire Barn. We shuttled Chuck and his boat back to his car, said our goodbyes and each headed for home.  Thanks again Chuck....great to meet you and paddle with you.

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