Day 36 – Caseville to Au Gres

A welcoming in Au Gres!
A welcoming in Au Gres!

Jessica, Carl, and the kids are still all crashed out in their tents. We are at the city campground here in Au Gres, where John M. Stanley, Au Gres City Manager, after receiving an alert from Stacie Draher-Dimick, arranged for the whole family and me to pitch our tents right here on the Au Gres river. We are loving it here-a peaceful little campground on the pretty little river that winds it’s way for a mile or so back out to Lake Huron. It was well worth it to come down this way rather than go north, for a variety of reasons, for one, the wind was as usual honking out of the north. I’ll have a bit of a battle today!

At least today’s paddle is in large part fueled by the amazing dinner we had last night at Ali’s UpNorth . Dale, the park manager and father of the owner of a fabulous local restaurant-fantastic perch!!! (I’ve been tasting them around Lake Erie and now here!)-treated the whole family and Jessica to our wonderful meal! We have been blown away by the folks here at Au Gres, and Jessica and I cannot thank Stacie enough for all that she’s doing for outreach on this paddle.

Stacie is a local kayaker in Port Huron who has been working at a frenzied pace to tap into her local networks and beyond to get the word out about this paddle. She organized a River Walk “Butts Out” cleanup, along other things and has a full time job to boot. Jessica and I think she must not sleep. She has been a flurry of activity and the host we have at the place we are paddling to today is yet another one of the results of that activity! Jessica and my family and I are incredibly appreciative of all her hard work. She was a little concerned about me crossing the Saginaw Bay, and it could have been ugly, but the conditions were perfect and I’m glad I made that call.

I’m also glad I didn’t start out any earlier yesterday than I did.  7 am was just fine for that short crossing. For some reason I thought Charity Island was 15 miles away, and a mid-way point, but it wasn’t.  The whole crossing is about 15 miles.  Charity Island is there in middle of the bay.  Dale’s sister-in-law, Karen Wiltse – who owns a tour company that takes patrons there – says that the early American settlers named it Charity because they felt it was put there by the charity of God to aid mariners in distress. Now the Indians?  They called it Shawagunk, green place where seagulls live.  She invited me to stop there if I needed anything along the way.  After crossing the bay, was maybe 7 miles or so down the finger side of Michigan to the breakwaters and another couple in to the campground. It was wonderful to be off the water at noon and be able to poke about the campground. We even had a campfire last night! What bliss!

Oh-in a previous post I mentioned how Canada seems to think of Lake Huron as its repository for industrial waste and more. Here is a petition to keep Canada from making Lake Huron vulnerable to radiation leaks from their proposed nuclear waste site a mile from its shores.

Time to make the coffee and get ready to head out! A battle with wind is in front of me!


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