Beavers are not friends

Starting off the morning was a little slow. My routine is out of practice and has never included the tweaks of river life. It was more than an hour from when I crawled out of bed to when I left.

Before getting too far, I forgot that yesterday I passed the first named tributary. Sucker Brook was about the same size as the river. It dumped in with a milky sediment that didn’t mix right away. It was cool to watch for a minute.

Sucker Brook, first named tributary

Back to this morning, I repacked some of my bags since they had been loaded in a haste. Then I tossed them in the canoe. Getting out was tricky due to the soft mud that sent me swimming the night before, but I was at least ready for it today.

Off down the river I went. The first few miles were nice paddling. Then I arrived at Vekin’s dam and portage. I was expecting and old concrete dam, but nope. It was another beaver dam. This one had quite a head height. I saw the portage off to the left and proceeded to move all my stuff along the 50 yard trail. The broken portage wheels wouldn’t have helped much here anyway.

I switched to the kayak paddle for a while because the next 4 miles were “Class I rapids”. I figured it would give me a little better handling if I needed something quick. The rapids mostly meant my boat scraped a lot of submerged rocks and I had to get out and walk a bunch.

I was grateful when that section ended because I could finally stay in the boat and not drench my feet. Next up though was a narrow channel surrounded by tall grass with a bunch of quick turns.

Narrow channel with turns

There was noticeable current in most of this section. Around the turns it would try to throw you into the sides to get a nice faceful of grass.

A little while into this I could hear water falling. As I came around the corner, another beaver dam. There was no place to portage because of the thick, tall grass. I noticed some grass in the middle was matted down and about the width of a boat. I guess the thing to do is go over?

It was tricky to get out on top of the dam. Then I slowly pulled my boat over and into the water below. At this point I was done with beavers. They were not, however, done with me. I had two more dams to deal with.

Arriving at camp was really nice. I was tempted to go on, to the next site only 1.8 miles further, but it was too good to pass up. It had mowed grass and picnic tables, a nice landing.

I walked up the hill to see if I could get cell signal. No luck, but on a whim I checked for wifi since I could see a house not too far away. Thank you Riggs family for having an unlocked network. Hopefully I will not regret stopping early, because tomorrow is going to be a long day…

Mileage: 10.6

Total Mileage: 15.4

Day 2

3 thoughts on “Beavers are not friends

  1. You just amazed me with your strength and stamina. Im waiting for that Louisiana Swsmp Man. Be careful my friend

  2. My husband Terry and me (Linda) were so excited to see you at the beginning of your trip. We will be watching and reading your blog. We made it back to Sumner MI yesterday from our month long journey out west. My garden has gone nuts thanks to the neighbor watering for me and I even picked some cucumbers today :). I hope you have a wonderful journey. I have some pics if you would like me to send them of you starting out.

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