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Fallen trees that require quick turns are the biggest challenge when they are near one another and come from different sides of the river. Again, the current does not give much time to get turned and around the next tree after you pass the first. There are only two instances of this 1-2 punch, though. Bud's Canoe Trips in Honor can rent canoes and both SOT and Otter kayaks.
Two days later, I did the lower Platte, which is not at all challenging but very lovely. This stretch starts at the M-22 Bridge and ends where the Platte empties into Lake Michigan. I began the trip at 9:30 am and pretty much had the river to myself. The entire 1 1/2 hour trip moves through the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore, and pristine is the word to describe both the stream and shoreline.
The Platte River moves through Loon Lake and continues northward. During this week, salmon were moving upstream and were being commercially harvested at a weir below Loon Lake. The first few thousand are allowed to go past the weir before it is closed every mid-September. Because the harvest was in progress, the weir was closed and a 7-yard portage was needed, but the getting out and back into the kayak is easy because the shoreline as these points have been modified to accommodate this. Several thousand mature salmon were massed just below the weir and it was fascinating to move through them and see them up close.
On downstream, they are less thick, but I still saw several dozen more--sometimes surprising them with my presence. No fishing is allowed below the weir during this period, so I saw no other people but did see herons and ducks as well as more deer drinking in the stream. The river's bottom is often sand.
The river's last quarter mile moves through beautiful sand dunes. It was a magnificent end to my trip. Riverside rents canoes and kayaks and is located right at the M-22 bridge. They have Otters, Twin Otters and Loon 100s as well as SOTs.
PFD's (Life Jackets)
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