On two separate trips to Lake County, Michigan, the Marion YMCA had undertaken both a canoe trip on the Pere Marquette River plus a camping trip to our property. And, on this particular day, the two were about to meet up when originally that was not supposed to be the case.

The canoe YMCA leader has greatly underestimated the complexity of the river system of the Pere Marquette.  Having put in at Baldwin, Michigan, they had set off for what they thought was to be a 30 mile jaunt to Lake Michigan.  They were soon to find out that the Pere Marquette had some obstacles and curves they were not expecting.  Sometimes to go just one straight mile on that river covers four actual miles with all the twists and turns such as the one you see in my photograph.  That is called getting nowhere NONE TO  FAST!

My group of kids were on an off property trip to the Branch area of the Pere Marquette River both wading, fishing, and even catching a gigantic turtle.  This was on the fourth, and final day, of the other YMCA canoe trip.  Their leader had thought they would be at Lake Michigan by that time.  So to both our mutual surprise, they wound up getting to the Branch area the same time we were there which is not even the halfway point to Lake Michigan.

They were amazed as to how little they had progressed over their four days as they were almost out of food.  They docked there and I went to a phone to call their livery service to come and pick them up at the Branch location.  The 30 miles they were counting on and misjudged was the cost of the cancellation of the remainder of their trip.  They had needed to return to Marion, Indiana, at the conclusion of their four-day journey.

Two hours later they were picked up by the livery service for a return trip o Baldwin and their vehicle.  However, my boys were only at the midpoint of their trip so as they waved good-bye to their friends, their trip continued on with even more fun for the rest of that day at the Pere Marquette River.