Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.


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A river runs though it.

Entering the magical Pigeon River Forest.


I’m back from a three night camping trip in the Pigeon River State Forest, a place that features spacious camp sites, towering pines, hiking trails, pristine lakes, and of course, the Pigeon River. A friend and I were lucky enough to score what I consider the premiere site right on the river. We got to listen to the swift water pour over some rocks just feet from our tent and we spent a fair amount of time just sitting in chairs watching it move along.

The perfect spot to spend a few days.

Of course we weren’t always sitting mesmerized by the river. We ate a lot too. But I don’t think it was typical camping fare. No, we didn’t have the burgers and dogs, didn’t roast marshmallows over the fire. Instead my friend brought along gourmet stuff like this kale and brussel sprout salad and bread baked the day before at a restaurant from her hometown. And that was just Friday’s lunch!

Very overexposed, but I thought it was cool so I’m using it anyway.

Friday evening this guy wandered by, moving slowly up the river. I heard him splashing up the river before I could see him and I swear I thought he was a bear. So I had my camera ready.

Going fishing on Friday night.

I’m sort of glad he wasn’t a bear. Though that would have been very cool.

In the morning my friend went fly fishing too. That’s what you do on a swift and shallow river like the Pigeon. First there was assembling of the rod and the attaching of the perfect fly.

I’d need a magnifying glass to do this!

Then there were a few practice casts in the road.

Practice makes perfect.

And then she was off into the water!

Come on in, the water’s perfect!

I think she had a great time, though I don’t pretend to understand it all. No fish were caught, but she got to get into the river and I got to take pictures. So we were both happy.

Here fishy, fishy!

We saw a few other people in the water, notably a couple of brothers floating by on tubes.

Looks like so much fun!

I was jealous and the entire three days I was there I considered putting on my swimsuit and my water shoes and going upstream a bit and floating back to camp. I didn’t need a tube, I care my flotation devise on my person at all times. (Smile.) For some reason I just didn’t do it. That would probably be my only regret from this trip.

So this post is all about the river

The river moves on past me to it’s own destination.

But there are acres and acres of woods to explore, elk herds to find, stars to watch. What about those?

Light plays.

Guess you’ll have to stay tuned.

The old man in the woods.


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Rolling down the river

I arrived in the South on Tuesday afternoon. On Wednesday my brother, sister and I kayaked down the Chattahoochee River for several hours. What a fun trip!

Floating on the gentle river waters.

Floating on the gentle river waters.

I’ve thought for a long time that I’d like to have a kayak. I’d even toyed with looking for one to buy while I’m down here to store at the house and use during trips to the lake.

Such form there!

Such form there!

My brother has a friend that rents them, so he arranged to pick up three of them just because I was here. We packed some fruit and water in a little cooler and headed out to the river! It was a beautiful day.

Beautiful day.  Beautiful river.

Beautiful day. Beautiful river.

We didn’t go a long distance, we took a relaxing float down the river, and only had to maneuver between rocks a few times. It was a good time for me to try different kayaks in an attempt to decide what kind I might want to buy.

Taking a little snack break.

Taking a little snack break.

I can’t claim to be an expert kayak paddler. We had a few bumps, even in such a wide river. And I ended up with blisters on both hands. But it was so much fun!

uh oh!

uh oh!

And so relaxing! There’s a spot where the river gets narrowed between the rocks and the current is faster. It’s a great spot for a break and a little cooling off float. We floated down and then walked back up the rocks and floated down again.

Floating our cares away.

Floating our cares away.

Could have done that all day!

We saw lots of cool stuff along the way. A great blue heron, several osprey, kingfishers, and lots of other little birds we couldn’t identify. Turtles too, sunning on logs as we went by.

Mr. Blue watched us slide by.

Mr. Blue watched us slide by.

So I’m sending thanks to my brother who arranged for the boats, and to his friend who lent them to us. And to my sister for coming along taking all the pictures of me!

Can't get more fun than this.

Can’t get more fun than this.

The family weekend continues tomorrow and Sunday. I’m a lucky retiree. Yes I am.

Smile, you're RETIRED!

Smile, you’re RETIRED!


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Rolling down the river

Spending some peaceful time on the river.

Spending some peaceful time on the river.


I’m a water girl – confirmed years ago growing up on a lake. Get me near water, better yet on water and I’m content. So getting the chance Friday morning to canoe part of the Huron River with my aunt was a gift.

The Huron River starts up near me at Indian Springs, a park Katie and I enjoy regularly, and flows all the way to Lake Erie, 130 miles in all. We paddled 8 miles on Friday morning under a bright blue sky. The water was crystal clear, with large brown fish (trout?) darting below our boat, among the intense green of the river grasses.

Clear river water.

Clear river water.

The current was gentle but persistent, assisting our trip downriver but not so quick that we couldn’t enjoy the lovely views along the way. The banks were often covered in blue forget-me-not flowers, the sunlight falling on them in dappled joy through the new spring green foliage of the trees above.

So many pretty places!

So many pretty places!

Mostly the river was smooth and calm, reflecting the sky and trees, shining on the water bugs scurrying away from our silent canoe. Occasionally we rode through some moderate rapids…

Like a water ride at an amusement park.  Only better.

Like a water ride at an amusement park. Only better.

…calling on the skill of my aunt, the expert in the stern to pick the best spot to slide by the largest rocks.

Captain Becky

Captain Becky

The only people we saw were fishermen also enjoying the quiet beauty of the river.

Fly fishing.

Fly fishing.

But we saw lots of nature. A blue heron flew across the river in front of us and around a bend, hidden by trees, only to wait for us in the shallows, ignoring us as we passed. Another heron stood proudly on a log, posing as we glided by.

I'm not going to look at you.

I’m not going to look at you.

We saw giant snapping turtles laying eggs on sandy banks, mallard ducks preening on a log, and several families of geese enjoying the beautiful sunny day.

Taking the family to the beach.

Taking the family to the beach.

We had such a lovely time, I’m grateful for the opportunity to canoe with my aunt on a river she and my dad used paddle as kids. I remember other canoe trips with my folks, and one trip on this river, though a different stretch of it, with my dad. The Huron stretches 140 miles across this part of Michigan, and right through the hearts of my family.

Aren’t I lucky.

Bridging generations.

Bridging generations.