Friday, July 9, 2010

Rafting on the Au Sable River (Mio, MI)

It's been a HOT and humid week up here, with occasional threats of thunderstorms, but Wednesday looked like a promising day for a float down the river.  We met up with Howard & Linda, and Don & Stella at 10am and caravanned down to Mio.  We topped off our tubes with air and put sunscreen on everybody while Howard and Don inflated the Sea Eagles, and launched ourselves shortly after 11am.  Now, I don't have a dry bag (or "wet bag", as Bryce called it), so you'll have to wander over to Howard's Journal to see pictures from our trip.

The day was looking really nice, with blue skies and a few fluffy white clouds, and we were having a really good time.  The cool water felt GREAT after so many hot and humid days!  We had a nice little lunch break, which may have sealed our fate for the end of the day, but was still a much appreciated break.  Howard was nice enough to leave out the part about me flipping over backwards as I launched my tube after the break . . . I still don't know quite how that happened, but it was entertaining for my husband and children!! LOL

As the afternoon wore on, some dark clouds started rolling in, and we heard rumbles of thunder in the distance.  We started doing a little more paddling, and a little less floating.  As the rain started to fall, the Sea Eagles started breaking away from the pack to try to get to the take-out point, and we found that the current suddenly disappeared.  Tom and I were having trouble catching up to the boys, and they couldn't keep up with the boats, ending up by themselves in the river in the middle of the storm.  We started seeing lightning at that point, and Mom was getting a bit nervous.  Luckily, Nicolas and Bryce made the smart decision to exit the river with a kayaker and take shelter in a small clearing.  They waved us in when we caught up to them, and we all waited out the storm.  Unfortunately, that was a rather mucky area of the river, and one of my crocs got sucked right off my foot as we were getting out of the tubes!  Our only casualty of the day!  Nicolas did find a hiking boot buried in the river muck that I could have used in its place!  NOT!

The storm finally passed over us, and we didn't have much further to go to catch up with Howard & Linda, and Don & Stella.  They were all soaked, but still smiling!  We were glad to see them!  We all loaded up in their vehicles and went to pick up our truck, and then headed back to the RV Resort.  After showers and dinner, we gathered under the tent for dessert.  It was quite an adventurous day!

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