As a teenager my brother and his friends would take a week every year and kayak over a long weekend on the AuSable camping along the way. Even after we went into the Army he would come home for those trips with his two closets friends. Now he lives in Colorado and camps all over the place out there
I thought of him and his friends many times over the 4 hour journey my husband and I braved on the AuSable. Braved might not be the right word….drifted is probably better. The AuSable is beautiful. Deep enough to dive or jump from a tree in some parts and shallow enough to beach your kayak in other parts. We went on a Saturday in early August and the weather was perfect. We rented from http://www.oscodacanoe.com/ just inside Oscoda, MI. We arrived about 20 minutes early and checked in. The driver was ready right on time to take us and another small group up the river. They had kayaks already there and got those in the river for us.
<—– that’s my handsome hubby.
The first half of the trip was quiet and serene. The second half is where they drop the tube floaters off. It was like running into floating parties all along that part of the river. And yes they actually rent floating coolers to attach to your tubes or boats as you float along.
At one point we found a quiet place to put up our kayaks and play in the water. We took some fun picture of the little fish that kept swimming up to us. If you stayed still for a few seconds they would surround your ankles!
The trip was wonderful! An inexpensive and relaxing way to spend an afternoon. We probably spend more than 4 hours on the river since the last half we had the wind whipping into us. More than once when we would stop paddling were pretty sure we were going backwards.
We were not nearly as sore the next day as we figured we would be. I attribute part of that to playing in the cold waters of Lake Huron the next morning.
Ran away from home last weekend! We took off Friday and headed over to Honor where I found a cute little motel, aptly called the Honor Motel, http://www.honormotel.com/ . This was a good spot to be. Not far from the National park, has a mini-fridge and microwave. To save $ I took hard boiled eggs and pre-cooked sausage patties with us. It has the decorated in the 80’s charm that most older motels do. It was comfy, in a good local and not too expensive. Perfect for our last minute plans.
On Saturday we headed to Glen Arbor to see about renting some kayaks. We found Crystal River Outfitters http://www.crystalriveroutfitters.com/ where you can rent kayaks, canoes and bicycles. Having only a day to play we opted for the 2-3 hour kayak trip on Crystal River. It was beautiful although you have to be careful because it can get very shallow in spots. My husband and I got stuck more than once on a sand bar.
There are three points where you need to walk the kayak over the road. One is optional as the drainage tubes are large though to slide through. They call this shooting the tube!
We had lunch at a deli next to Crystal River Outiftters and then hit the beach at Good Harbor Bay on Lake Michigan. We blew up a new toy and lounged on chilly but refreshing Lake Michigan for a couple hours. We also learned a valuable lesson, tie your toy off or anchor it. Trying to drag the new toy back towards the beach after drifting pretty far out was quite the chore. Or so my husband tells me. Honestly I kept offering to help! 😉
Lastly, because we are nuts we did the dune trail at Sleeping Bear http://www.nps.gov/slbe/index.htm. If you don’t know it, it’s up and down sand dunes for something like 2.5 miles and then you have to turn around when you reach the lake and do it again. *ow* I am not ashamed to admit I was ready to quit 3/4 of the way to the lake *L*. My best recommendation, is do what the guide notices say, take a snack (or two) and plenty of water. Next time I will keep my bathing suit on to cool off before we head back from the lake. The background image of sand and water on my site is the view from the top of dune #1.
Then it was time for cold beer and doing nothing.
**We saw a few people on the dunes in bare feet. This seemed like a good idea to my sand weighted tennis shoes, but each person we spoke with said their feet were burning on the sand and it got to be like stepping on sand paper after that long hike. Except for one little girl whom my husband over heard saying she hoped the sand exfoliated her feet!