Kayaking on the Platte

Bday Kayak 2
It would seem from my posts that I’ve spent a lot of time up north this summer.  And while it hasn’t felt like I’ve made a hefty number of trips, my photographs and calendar might suggest otherwise.  Well, add one more to the list.  Last weekend was my birthday (my birthdayyyy!) and I wanted nothing more than brunch, Mexican food, and kayaking.  I also have a tradition of spending birthdays with my parents, so north we went!  I didn’t take any (decent) pictures of brunch at Beggar’s Banquet or my Mexican fiesta at Union Street Cantina, so I’ll just assure you they were fantastic.  Now, to the kayaking.

The Platte River, at least the section that my family goes to most often, runs through Honor, and comes out on the shores of Lake Michigan inside Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.  The river is perfect for lazily tubing, canoeing, you name it.  I think if you wanted to wear water-wings and do the whole thing you could.  The water is crystal clear, usually not too cold, and there are lots of fun places to stop and have a picnic – which we did.  My parents used their canoe, Ryan and I used our kayaks. (Which we recently purchased from his parents in their everything-must-go fire sale due to a Florida move.)

Bday Kayak 3
There is a little lake that you have to paddle across to continue the river – because my motto tends to be something like “safety first” I had my life jacket at the ready.  There are lots of currents running through, and it’s VERY deep.  I have been called the Fun Governor for enough years now that I’m comfortable in my sensible skin, and those closest to me have learned to embrace my pragmatic nature.  Or at least humor me.
Bday Kayak 4
The last bit of the river flow next to dunes, and on the other side is Lake Michigan.  There wasn’t a cloud in the sky when we went, it was so beautiful!
Bday Kayak 5
This is right next to the boat launch area – in the distance you can see THE Sleeping Bear Dunes.  You can also see that a lot of people have their beach gear set up along the river rather than the lake, because the swimming tends to be a bit warmer where the river comes out.  And because it’s fun to walk your floaty about a 100 yards up the river and float down – the current is particularly fast in this little spot.
Bday Kayak 6
After kayaking we went to a more secluded beach to rinse off and have a little snack.  I couldn’t resist taking a photo of the truck.  I think it’s funny how extreme it looks – because we’re not exactly extreme people.
Bday Kayak 7
This is probably the most beautiful beach spot in Northern Michigan – of course, that can be said about most of Lake Michigan’s coastline.  The lake has so many personalities; I’ve stood in this same spot in January when the waves have frozen into aggressive peaks on the beach, there’s a foot of snow, and the wind howls through you.  It’s no less beautiful, just so completely different.  In the meantime, I’ll enjoy burying my feet into the hot sand until my toes reach the chilly damp, and smelling the fresh breeze come off the woods.
Bday Kayak 8

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