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Novice, meet River
"River, I'd like to introduce you to my friend, Novice. Novice, this is my old friend, River. By the end of the day, you guys are going to be great friends."
Book review: Canoeing & Kayaking Wisconsin
The subtitle, "The rivers, the towns, the taverns," of Michigan paddler Doc Fletcher's latest book,
Canoeing and Kayaking Wisconsin
, tells most, but not all, of it. He came to Wisconsin to explore the dairy state's rivers with a group of paddling friends and put together a list of liveries, campgrounds and watering holes at the end of every trip.
Kayaks vs. canoes
As an owner of seven canoes and three sea kayaks, when I get asked, "Which do you prefer? Kayaks or canoes?" I have some ready answers.
A river for all seasons
As an occasional winter kayaker, I'm always looking for lakes and rivers in the Chicago area that don't freeze over too soon. Two nearby winter venues tend to ice over early. Skokie Lagoons can freeze up in November or December, and Lake Michigan commonly builds a high icy shelf along the Evanston beaches when temperatures plummet in January and February. So, I recently checked out the North Branch of the Chicago River.
Lake Huron's Mississagi Coast
For true kayaking enthusiasts, the northeast coast of Lake Superior is the crown jewel of kayak touring in the Midwest. The Slate Islands are there with their woodland caribou and exotic geology. Lake Superior Provincial Park is there with its natural history and the spiritual presence of Nanabijou. Pukaskwa National Park is there with its rugged beaches and the magical allure of its wilderness coves.
Betsie Bay Kayak
Betsie Bay Kayak. The name may be unfamiliar. If you've been to a gathering of kayakers like the Ladies of the Lake, the Great Lakes or Inland Sea Symposiums, Betsie Bay Kayaks are often paddled by the symposium instructors.
The silent sentries at Sand Point
Sand Point is an aptly named stretch of beach and one of the initial west-end attractions of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Its bars and sandy spits creep out from the mainland in the direction of Grand Island. It seems to designate the dividing point between a quieter Munising Bay and a more rambunctious Lake Superior, the giant that deposits sand on the point at will. It is where hikers and kayakers gear up before they start their wilderness jaunts. It is peaceful and wild and intriguing all in one. It is where rapture sneaks up and overpowers you.
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