Saturday, July 9, 2011

Grass River Adventure

Grass River, Bellaire Michigan

Over the Fourth of July weekend we had a bit of an unplanned adventure that fortunately ended well. Our grown kids were up for the weekend, and on the Fourth we decided to take a boat ride up the Grass River in our aging boat which is something we only do every few years. Most of the river is pretty wild; in fact, it's part of a natural area that has been preserved from development. The river connects  Lake Bellaire and Clam Lake where we live, and it takes over an hour to traverse the whole length which is a no wake zone to prevent damage to the shoreline and vegetation. Because it connects the two lakes, boat traffic can be heavy at times, and since the river is narrow, it is tricky to navigate. 

On our way up the river to Lake Bellaire,  we passed a couple of muskrat houses and almost ran down a mother mallard and her two ducklings who insisted on crossing the river right in front of the boat!  The river was quite busy with boat traffic, but at times, with no boats visible, you had the feeling of being in the middle of nowhere with no civilization for miles. 

When we were almost at the end, the boat began to run roughly, so we turned around and headed back home, crossing our fingers that we could make it. The further we went the rougher the boat ran until finally it quit altogether. After a short rest it started up again but soon quit again. This scenario repeated three more times until it finally quit for good just as we got out onto Clam Lake. Fortunately we were close to shore and were able to hail someone in a nearby cottage who happened to be a friend of my husband's. He towed us home where we were very relieved to arrive. 

Hard as it is to believe in this day and age, none of us thought to take along a cell phone. By the time we got to Clam Lake it was dinner time, and all the boats had headed back home, so we were pretty much alone on the lake. And the marina down the lake had already closed, so we felt fortunate to have been rescued.

In spite of our misadventure, we enjoyed most of the trip up the river, enjoying Nature at her finest. It was a gorgeous sunny day with perfect temperatures for a leisurely boat ride. Some water lilies were in bloom and we also saw  flowers that looked like some sort of wild irises growing along the edge of the water. I took along my cameras and got a lot of photos that might turn into paintings some day. Bald eagles also inhabit the Natural area, but we didn't see any on this day. 

Here are some more photos from our trip. 
Our boat, a 1974 18 ft. Sea Ray and my son, Dan

water lily and reeds in the river
All decked out for the Fourth of July
This family of mute swans greeted us when we arrived home.