Jocelyn, Roseanne, Mark, Kati, Fred, Judy, Lois, and John decided they would paddle the Betsie from County Line to Fred's Landing. Because this section is not used by outfitters, it is not maintained. Every time we have paddled it previously, we have had to portage at least one log jam. We feared for the worst, because the March storm did so much damage to the Boardman and Pine Rivers. I set a fast pace at the beginning because I didn't know how many log jams we would have to clear or portage. There were countless places where we had to weave our way through numerous obstacles, but there was always a path.
Jocelyn, Roseanne and Fred entertained themselves by picking up whatever trash they found. We didn't encounter our first blockage until we were more than an hour downstream. In fifteen minutes we were able to clear a narrow path for our boats. Soon after, we arrived at the normal lunch spot on river right, and we enjoyed a leisurely lunch overlooking the river.
Jocelyn amazed us with her feats of agility. Notice the red bucket filled with trash in the front of her canoe.
After lunch we had clear paddling for 30 minutes before we encountered the next blockage. Again we were able to clear a narrow path in a short amount of time. When we arrived at Fred's Landing there was another small group that had just finished their paddle, and they helped us carry our boats up the stairs. This was a great ending to a fun day on the river.
We left the river in better shape than we found it. It is now possible to paddle this stretch without getting out of your boat. In addition we removed two very large bags of assorted trash from the eddies and logjams in the river. Report written by John