Friday, October 9, 2009

First paddling trip!

Over the past couple of days, my dad and I were able to get the XCR out paddling. This will probably be our only time paddling together before the Watertribe Ultra Marathon this coming March. We decided to split our paddling into two days since the weather here has been so nasty. Well, maybe typical for Michigan this time of year, but still not great for paddling. It has been rainy and low to mid 50s for the past few days. At least it wasn't very windy... :) Anyway, on our first day, we headed west from the canoe launch at Dunton Park, on the east end of Lake Macatawa. We paddled about 6 miles, almost to the end of the breakwater but decided to turn around before we hit the big lake. The waves coming into the channel were 4 to 5 feet and pretty steep. We were able to surf down the face of a couple of these waves which was thrilling. We then paddled back to the launch since we needed to get back home for my daughter's 3rd birthday party. Here is our GPS track:

The second day we started from the same spot, but headed east up the Macatawa River (also called Black River). Just at the mouth of the river, we passed a large lake freighter which appeared to be unloading road salt. Like I need a reminder that winter is coming... We headed up the river about 5 miles before it got a little to small to easily navigate the XCR. We turned around and paddled back down the river, this time taking the canal that runs around Windmill Island. If you are ever in Holland in the spring time, this is a must see! Once back to our launch beach we decided to do a couple more miles (since we couldn't get enough of paddling in the rain!) before heading back home for lunch. Here is our track from day 2:

And finally, here is a slideshow of pictures from both days: