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Update on paddling on the Grand River this coming weekend

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  • rich_dog_one
    All: The Hugh Heward Challenge is this Saturday April 27 and the Club has a Recreational trip on Sunday April 28. Due to recent rains and such the Grand
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 22, 2013
    The Hugh Heward Challenge is this Saturday April 27 and the Club has a Recreational trip on Sunday April 28.  Due to recent rains and such the Grand River is running high.  For folks paddling the entire distance from Dimondale, I do not have a first-hand report yet on what the portage at the dam at Moores River Drive looks like.  I have an unconfirmed report that the dam at "Brehnke is just a ripple.  The takeout there should be easy - the Put In will be another story."  I will send an update when I receive it.
    I also received this report from Pat Harrington:  "The area around Delta Mills was wild; I will check Woodruff's and VK Base Camp on Tuesday as I believe this section of GR will crest then."
    Pat has posted this regarding the dam and portage at Fitzgerald Park for folks coming down the river, or launching there for the 1/2 Hugh:  Fitzgerald Park Dam in Grand Ledge is the registration and departure point for the 1/2 Hugh Heward Challenge.  The access is found by going past the parking lots, to the North road leading down the hill.  A portable restroom is the only facility available at this location.  It is possible the Eaton County Parks Toll Booth will be open - the fee is nominal and supports the park - this is good.

    The paddling access is river left and from the parking area - it is a short steep trail that should be approached slowly as it will be slick.  A sensible method is to place boat on ground and line it down the hill after obtaining stable footing.  A slip on this trail from a combination of gravity, a boat's kinetic energy, and a person's thought they can regain control and they try to hold on, could mean a twisted ankle as they flip into the river and their boat then falls upon them.  I have launched this gracefully - it isn't very pretty...

    The current is moving, but not quickly.  There will be approximately 6 foot of beach to stand on.  The sweepers that were immediately downstream from this launch have been "swept away".  The fishing dock is lodged into the trees, it is only 20' downstream from it's usual location.  Apart from a few tree trunks, it is clearer to launch than usual and should go smoothly

    Robin and I expect to be there at 9:30 - 10:30

    Note:  For the incoming traffic on the full Hugh - the dock on river left at the dam is currently covered with 6" of water, it is not a hazard and the current is reasonable.  The railings are removed and just the posts are in place.  As long as folks come in with "no wake" speed, I wouldn't anticipate a significant risk of someone going past.

    The drop yesterday was 3' - the hydraulic is significant but I would not call it "a keeper" and after a brief and thoroughly scary thrashing, I would expect the now naked paddler to wash through.  However, The dam is a hazard and it is not runnable.
    Anyone participating in events this weekend needs to be aware of the hypothermia risk if they go in the water.  There are not lifeguards and EMT's stationed every 100' to save you.  Start with wearing appropriate clothes (no cotton jeans or sweatshirts) and carry extra clothes in a dry bag to change into in case you get wet.  It is your only protection.  And Life Jackets only save lives if you wear them.  Don't be page 3 of the Lansing State Journal.
    Loretta also posted this update for the Recreational Trip:  If you're still planning on going on Loretta's Grand River trip on Sunday, April 28, she has moved the trip farther downstream due to the very high water levels and two potential hazards on the Eaton Rapids to Burchfield stretch. The new launch site is McNamara's Landing (Columbia and Waverly Roads) and we'll be paddling down to Grand River Park next to the Michigan Princess. Meeting time is still 9:00 a.m. The trip is about 15 miles and should take about 6 hours with a stop to eat your packed lunch in Dimondale.
    Jay Hanks, President, Lansing Oar and Paddle Club


    always wear your Life Jacket when paddling

    LOAPC - PO Box 26254 - Lansing, MI 48909
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