Wednesday, September 28, 2016

From the Nose of Our Kayak: Chapter 18 "Wide Open Spaces...and a Little Stinker!"

Janet & Don Beasley
Hello and welcome to the JLB Creatives Blog, where you'll find an array of creative features from a hand-picked group of creative geniuses. 

Wednesdays on the JLB Creatives Blog are set aside for our blog book, "From the Nose of Our Kayak." JLB Creatives CEO, Janet Beasley, and her husband, Don, have been kayaking for nearly 10 years. Together they are excited to share with you, their awesome experiences that they have encountered. In this Wednesday feature you'll find kayaking stories, scenic nature photography from their outings, and some helpful tips when it comes to maneuvering your "butt sleds" (aka kayaks) on your journeys.

So if this is a topic that interests you, you'll want to be sure and become a follower of the JLB Creatives Blog, and stop in on Wednesdays each week for the latest chapter in Don & Janet Beasley's adventure blog book, "From the Nose of Our Kayak." 

Previous chapters can be found in our blog archives. We began the series on June 1, 2016.


Don prepares for the day

From the Nose of Our Kayak
Don & Janet Beasley
Chapter 18: "Wide Open Spaces...and a Little Stinker!"

While in Michigan we decided to try a new outing...Munuscong River. So we loaded up the new #WildernessSystems tandem kayak and headed out for the day.

Map of Munuscong Area
Munuscong juts off to the west from Munuscong Lake, a flat prairie-style body of water with an amazing view. The St. Mary's River, southwest of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, splits around Neebish Island and empties into Munuscong Lake northeast of Munuscong River.

The Objibway
heading south (down bound) into the rock cut
The lake freighters that are traveling up river take the channel of the St. Mary's River that lies to the east of Neebish Island, and those traveling down river use the west side of the island, which locals refer to as "the rock cut," a very narrow man-made pass between the mainland of Michigan's U.P. and Neebish Island.

Neebish Island is only accessible by ferry if you're driving a vehicle. The ferry has a schedule and is closed for the winter as of mid January and reopens April 1.
Neebish Island Ferry
Objibway heading on down river

We found the launch site on the Munuscong River and readied ourselves for the new adventure. 

As we paddled the river we spotted some beautiful wildlife including a blue heron and a king fisher. 

When we reached the open water of the lake we stopped paddling and to take in the the beautiful sight of Munuscong Lake.

Munuscong Lake
from the mouth of the Munuscong River
It made for a very different style paddle than we were used to, but impressive nonetheless. When we returned from our outing we loaded up the kayak and headed "out of the wilderness," back to the main road...but not without stopping for one more surprise. 

As we rounded the bend of the gravel road we saw something wiggling and "playing" in the middle of the road. We cautiously approached the critter only to find it was A SKUNK! YIKES!!! STOP THE TRUCK and wait for that little stinker to remove himself from the road and back into the woods.
Le skunk! Le Pu!

Finally he decided he'd had enough of whatever it was that was so interesting in the middle of the road and scurried off into the brush. As we passed over his play area we found ourselves gagging from the stink as if rolled into the truck through the vents! 

We laughed for quite a few miles, each time inhaling the stench and coughing over and over again. In about 15 miles the truck had finally aired out and it was homeward bound. We showered off then dashed off to enjoy a campfire with friends and family. We don't know if we ended up being two little stinkers ourselves, either we weren't, or everyone was just nice enough to let it go. 


Kayak Tip of the Week: Currents can be tricky to maneuver when going from a river mouth into an open body of water. Always stay alert to assure a safe exit and/or re-entry into a river or lake that are connected. 


A few of the nature shots we captured on our Munuscong outing...enjoy!

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JLB Creatives Editor Dar Bagby (L) and JLB Creatives CEO Janet Beasley (R)