Yesterday we packed up the kids, a task that now takes nearly an hour to accomplish, and headed to the Bear River Whitewater Park over in Petoskey to watch the Northern Michigan Paddling Club’s Spring Rendezvous. It was a great opportunity to see several area paddling enthusiasts put their skills to the test in the drops, falls and play holes the park has to offer.
One thing that struck us as odd was the average age of the paddlers HAD to have been about fifty. I don’t say this to start a conversation about being old or otherwise, but it was almost comical to see so many people in wetsuits and drytops with grey hair – I suppose it’s from some terrible stereotype I have about adrenaline junkies being loud guys in their twenties and in actuality it is the twenty year old who would get hurt. With age comes wisdom and respect and in order to paddle in whitewater you first need to respect it. Jamie says it’s because they’re the only ones who can afford the time and equipment for the sport. So whether it is wisdom of age or resources or both…there were a lot of people in the 50+ set participating.
Porter thought he could simply pick out a boat and go for it…he didn’t understand that the boats along the river bank were not for the taking, even though the looked a bit more his size than the boats we have at home. Lakelyn had no clue we were ever in Petoskey but I’ll show her these picture someday as her first introduction to paddle sports.
A whitewater park like this is a rarity, only a handful of places like this exist in the mid west. So if you find yourself in Northern Michigan and are interested in going for a float you can check out the following for additional information;