Day after “Day after Turkey” Paddle

The “Day after Turkey” paddle is a bit of a tradition around here, and my original plan was the run the Lower Millers on Friday. Unfortunately, I got half way there and realized that I forgotten my dry suit - bummer! Fortunately, the crew from CT was doing a trip at Tville on Saturday, so I had another option.

Looking back I was surprised to see that it has been over a year since I paddled at Tville. Temps were in the 30’s as we put in at Tarrifville Park. We had 9 boats –two canoes and 7 kayaks. The river starts off easy with the few small ledges and some nice surf waves. As you enter the gorge, the intensity picks up a bit. There is a nice wave train along the Bridge Abutment Rapid and freestyle boaters love the Playhole, which is great for flips, enders and other tricks. The run finishes with the Ledges and Typewriter.

I was going to pass on surfing in the Playhole, but when Jo-Ann offered to take some pictures I had to take her up on it. I bounced around on the billow downstream until I was able to nudge the bow down into the hole. From there the swim was quick – spun around and over I went.

Approaching the Playhole
Surfing the Playhole - Erik

The swim after…
The swim after trying to surf the Playhole

At least it was an easy swim, and the crew was great about recovering my boat. This was my forth swim of the year, and the first in my new (to me) Outrage. While I had practiced wet exits in this boat on flatwater, it’s nice to know I can do it in real conditions. Maybe someday I’ll get a roll.

Few more pictures here.

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As a paddler I admire you for getting out in chilly weather. As a canoe person I admire you for taking a canoe when most others are in kayaks. As a lifeguard I think your choice of places to swim has a lot of room for improvement.

Nothing nearly as exciting on Friday here in mid-Michigan. There was enough water in the Grand River at the put in Eaton Rapids to be fun. Picture is by Jay Hanks:

Mostly it looked like this:

There was one other canoe, so at least I wasn’t the only open boater. In terms of the swim, you can’t always control when that will happen, so it’s not a bad idea to practice when there is support around. I tried getting the boat back into the eddy by myself, but I couldn’t do it. If not for the yakkers it would have gone down through the next rapid. Glad it didn’t.

I checked one of the gages upstream and the river temperature is currently in the low 40’s. I had my drysuit and fleece underliner, and I was fine. Drysuit is the best investment I ever made. :wink:

Nice - What boat are you paddling?

That’s a Tuffweave Rendezvous. '91 by the HIN and a rescued canoe. Came out a friends backyard growing stuff. A patch or two & glass the pedestal back in & it’s been good to go. Took it down the Lower Missinaibi a summer ago.