River or Sea Kayak?

This past Saturday I took out my 10′ river kayak to go up the Portage River also known as Hell Creek. There were heavy rains in the past week and the river was up and current strong. Hell creek lived up to it’s nick name, paddling was hard going up river. I was glad I had my shorter kayak for the river part. We could only go so far as there was a tree down that stopped us from going farther, it was late in the day and no dry way around, the current was too strong to get out on the tree and portage over it. This is also where our paddling buddy made his escape, for 30 minutes we had a swan that we came across down river paddling up river just in front of us for about 30 minutes. We had more paddle surface area but the swan was better at going though the down trees. The swan left us behind and the downed tree. Turning around I thought it would be easy going back, but the current was so strong, the speed of the river taking us into the sides of the river and into the fallen trees made the trip back even more of a challenge until the river widened. The trip back down took a fraction of the time up. Long story short, the trek across a lake to get to and from the river made me really appreciate my 17′ sea kayak. For anyone that plans to paddle lakes and large rivers who is new to kayaking, I recommend you bypass the small kayak and find a stable sea kayak instead. You will enjoy the sport of kayaking much more.

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  1. Bob, You are doing a wonderful job sharing these stories and showing with videos on Facebook how beautiful Michigan is from the water. I love to see your passion for kayaking. It makes me want to get a group together and go out there this weekend! Congratulations on a fantastic job!

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