Wednesday, October 5, 2016

From the Nose of Our Kayak: Chapter 19 "The Vast and Shallow"

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.


From the Nose of Our Kayak
Don & Janet Beasley
Chapter 19: "The Vast and Shallow"

Don prepares for an outing
Our next adventure took place in an area of Michigan's UP known as The Shallows. The Shallows are near Naomikong River. It made for a wonderful day of hiking alongside and kayaking in the grand Lake Superior. The Shallows' shoreline actually graces the rim of Whitefish Bay which is part of Lake Superior.

We awoke to the smell of coffee brewing and bacon frying. After breakfast we were eager to get busy so we loaded up the #WildernessSystems T140 and the Sealoution and headed around the bay to our beach of choice...The Shallows. 

We parked the kayaks and began our hike into the Naomikong forest. We soon found the area to be as beautiful as any "water and woods" area of the UP. We strolled along wild blueberry bushes, and found some interesting shaped trees. For me (Janet) it was a good thing we didn't see any bears...I'm not real fond of those fury man-eaters! But we did see some birds and butterflies. 

View from trail
The shoreline peeked through the trees at points along the hike, and Lake Superior, once again, did not disappoint. The scenery uplifted your inner soul and the smell of the north woods played its part as calming aroma therapy. 

We hiked to the Naomikong Bridge. What a cool piece of woodwork tucked away in the soft pines. It allows you to walk over the Naomikong River plus catch a glimpse of the grandest of the Great Lakes. 

When we returned to The Shallows we readied the kayaks. It didn't take long to get out onto the calm, shallow water. The water remained still for the day (a rarity on any water off of Lake Superior), and the view divine!

Criss-crossing waves
At times waves come from different directions. It could be caused by wind change and the original direction of the waves has not dissolved, or it could be, in the case of The Shallow, rollers from the lake freighters that finally make it to shore crisscross with the direction of the breeze. In any form, as long as they are small (and not dangerous), crisscrossing waves can be a real treat to watch. 

The Shallows is just that, shallow. We had some fun watching our friends "walk on water." Kayaking in the shallow, and thankfully clear, water became tricky at times as large boulders were barely beneath the water's top. Keeping an eye on the "buried treasures" became a routine task, but not a hassle. 

Gull on a boulder in The Shallows
If you love to Geo Cache there's at least one really cool find in the The Shallows/Naomikong area.

It was a wonderful day spent on the trails and on the water. We are counting the days until we can return to the area and enjoy nature at its best once again. 


Kayak Tip of the Week: If you're kayaking in shallow, open water be sure to remain alert to your surroundings, any unstable weather that may be fast approaching, and remain at a safe distance from the shoreline in case you need to make a fast exit. 


More photos from our day's adventure at The Shallows...

On the trail
Janet in an oddly shaped tree
Approaching the Naomikong Bridge
On the Naomikong Bridge 
Naomikong Bridge
View from Naomikong Bridge
On the trail
The forest by Lake Superior
Don ready to "shove off"
Don paddling in The Shallows
Our beach spot for the day
Our Wilderness T140 tandem kayak on the shoreline of
The Shallows
Our beach spot from the water 
Friends preparing with Don to kayak 
The Shallows sandbar  
Gulls on the sandbar
Lake Superior driftwood
Gull in the early evening's sun at The Shallows
Gull in flight at The Shallows 

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