Friday, August 12, 2011

Kayaking The Au Sable River

While on our trip to Michigan last month Mrs. Manifesto, the children, and I took a couple days to venture north to visit a few of our favorite haunts in Traverse City, Petoskey, and Grayling.

Since we had brought both our Diablo Paddlesports Chupacabra and LiquidLogic Versa Board along for the trip we decided to spend our last day up north on the water floating the Au Sable River.

Once in Grayling we stopped in at Borcher's Canoe Livery to drop our kayaks in the river and arrange for the Element to be waiting for us when we reached Stephan Bridge.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

We couldn't have asked for a nicer day and both the Chupacabra and Versa Board proved to be very capable river boats.  Melissa even exclaimed that she fell in love with her Versa Board all over again on the trip.  I was really pleasantly surprised how well the Chupacabra handled on moving water since all other experiences so far have been on stillwater.

Throughout the day the children had a great time moving back and forth between the kayaks and we took our time stopping to let them play in the shallow sections of the river while enjoying a picnic lunch.

From the town of Grayling to Stephen Bridge is a thirteen mile float and in hindsight may have been an hour or so longer than what I should have planned for us.  The children were done (read tired and cranky) by the time we reached Burtons Landing but the Element was parked at Stephen Bridge which meant that we had to paddle on.  Oh well...lesson learned for our next planned trip.

Even though this trip may have lasted longer than it should have, I am convinced that there are few family activities that are as enjoyable and relaxing as paddling in our kayaks together.  Like fly fishing, it gives us a specific reason to be outside together and it's neat to see how engaged the children are with it as well.


james deloria said...

Holy water indeed. Nothing cements the relationship with your kids like spending time with them on the water and in the forests.

GFP said...

When I saw a few of these photos a few weeks ago I realized I need a sit on top kayak, so I can take my kids out with me. My sit in has barely enough room for me and a small pack for flies.

You know, the more I read your blog, the more I realize I need to make more money.

namfos said...

Was last in Grayling for a Trout Bum BBQ in 1997. Is the Fly Factory still in business? I'm with GFP, I need to make more money too. ;-)



Cameron Mortenson said...


GFP...look no further than the Versa Board. Great family play boat but excellent to fly fish off of as well.

namfos...the Fly Factory is gone but the Old Au Sable Flyshop took over the building and it is eerily similar inside.


Fat Bluegill said...

Wow you went from Borchers's to Stephen's. I floated from borcher's to Burton's with my two young sons a few years back, and that was in a canoe. My boys were done half way there. You are a brave man. I am glad to read you made it one piece.

Cameron Mortenson said...

Fat Bluegill...yeah...what I really didn't include is that my wife also thought we were done at Burtons Landing as well so she was none to happy. Of course that's when the children started crying and melting down. HA... Oh well...