Escanaba in Da Moonlight - Trip Report

We left Bay City 9:00 (on time!) last Thurs. June 16th with coffee, cinnamon roll in hand and high spirits despite the rainy morning.   Made a quick stop in Gaylord at Jays where some of us made a dent in our wallets.  Next stop lunch in Mackinaw City for tasty whitefish and of course, the world famous fudge.  Over the bridge we go, high-ho-high-ho, grabbing some pasties, a UP staple for our lunches the next day.

Arriving in Gwinn around 5:30 p.m. and meeting up with a couple more of our group we now numbered 10 strong.  We made our arrangements to camp, $5 per tent & unloaded our boats, setup tents and made the shuttle to Boney Falls Dam.  We found some good UP grub at Jack’s Hideaway Tavern while enjoying watching a local Horseshoe league & listening to some great songs on the Juke box.

We awoke to a beautiful Friday morning grabbing some coffee and grub packed up and on the river about 10:30 after a little snafu wrestling with a too big sleeping bag or a too small dry bag not sure which but thx to John Neal and his loan of a extra large dry bag & help from Deb & Bob we were on our way. 

We enjoyed lunch on the river of cold Pasties that we had boughten the day before.  Went exploring and Deb T. spotted a flock of yellow and black butterfly’s that entertained us as we ate lunch, let us know what they were Deb.  We made a couple more stops on the river exploring the beauty and doing a little fishing.  Jack S. and Fred K. have some unbelievable fish stories to share if you are interested in the unbelievable :o))). We pulled into the Sawmill to camp for the night around 4:30 after 14.8 miles on the river.

We setup camp at the confluence of Sawmill creek and the river for a beautiful camping area and an extra bonus of rushing water for background sound.  Gathering for our all paddlers pizza party we chopped, cooked and chowed down…mmmmmmm, washing it all down with the nectar of the Gods. 

Settling down around a great campfire thx to Fred K. for braving the bugs and others for sawing.  We enjoyed gourmet Samore’s made with Mackinaw Island fudge & mammoth marshmallow’s as we waited for the full moon to come up and we waited and waited until Bob S. informed us it wasn’t coming up until 11:15!  Some die hards stayed up to howl at the moon but most of us went to bed listening to the Whipper Will croon us to sleep.

Saturday morning another beautiful day on the river with varied wildlife sightings… fish, deer, eagle, Osprey, misc. birds, otter, beaver, tons of dragonflies’s, & butterflies.  The river was low in some areas on this portion of the river causing some to get out and walk their boats in a few spots. On both days we had rapids class 1 & II with many rocks thrown in for fun, right John?  Let’s just say we left a little plastic in the Escanaba River from the bottom of our boats.  After 13.2 miles we arrived at Boney Falls Dam about 4:00 with rain clouds threatening so we took Fred up on his gracious offer to let us crash at his place for the night and get freshened up for the trip home the next day.

Thx everyone for making this a great trip…Karen

New to Kayaking?

Don't know how to get started? Which boat to buy? How to learn without embarrassment? What if it tips over? Do I have to roll the kayak?

We were all beginners once and we'd be happy to help you with the basics. Before you even buy a boat, why not stop in at our monthly meeting (see the Paddlers Calendar) for some friendly advice from experienced paddlers. Whether you're interested in calm afternoons on one of Michigan's beautiful lakes and rivers or two weeks in the wilderness, we can help - we've been there.

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