Tags: trips

New Water

05/16/14 08:36

I explored some new water this week. The Grand and Red Cedar Rivers in Lansing. They are having a “Fish Rodeo” in June and invited me to run boat tours during the event. I was disappoint in the recon because we have had a ton of rain and the rivers were raging, but I did gain some valuable knowledge and see some cool stuff. The highlight was a great blue heron rookery.

I journeyed through the backyards of old industries and wondered about their history. There was a walking path next to the river and I asked nearly every pedestrian how much higher the water was running than normal- no one had a clue! Looking at the bridges I wasn’t sure if my big boat will fit underneath them, we will soon find out.

My reward was at the far end of the Red Cedar, at least as far as I could get! A great blue heron rookery was spaced out in several trees across the river. There were birds in most of the nests and they were not impressed with my intrusion upon their inner sanctum! The river was beautiful and wild looking. If was the stuff I dream of and it was hard to navigate the current and take pictures at the same time.

I could have spent hours up there watching the water and herons go by. I had to get back to pick up a guest who would show me the lay of the land, so to speak of downtown Lansing. I would be selling boat tours to anyone with a desire to see what lies upstream hidden from everyday life. Now I had a destination to offer, a jewel surrounded by suburbia.

If we are able to get all the way up there in June, I am sure things will have changed dramatically. The rookery will be nearly invisible and the chicks will be near or have fledged. Hopefully it will be a little warmer too. Certainly the water will be lower and navigation will be borderline at best- That’s why I call them adventure trips! If it was easy with no challenge, it wouldn’t be nearly as fun. On that dreary, rainy afternoon I learned something new. Even after twenty years of doing boat tours professionally, I still get goose bumps and occasionally feel a surge of adrenaline every now and then. This what happens when I Eliminate stress- and get out of the mainstream and go on a “Quest”!

By JPQ Captain • Albums: Michigan EcoTours • Tags: adventur, boat, ecotours, fish, great blue heron, lansing, rides, rodeo, trips
I'd like to share a little taste of the 2013 Hangover National ice ride in Michigan with some friends. Every year on New Years Day we get together and ride. Some years are bigger than others. This year, because of the climate change, we were forced to drive north to Houghton Lake. Only a fraction of some years riders drove up, but for those who did, it was big fun. Click the link to see what some the best motorcycle riders in the nation did for fun the first day of 2013. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAnyTXZ3Dp4
...at least by my definition! Johnny Panther (noun) Adventure; stimulating, cardiovascular or aerobic exercise outdoors. Some examples are: Running from rock to rock up a boulder filled stream. Running through the woods, with or without a trail. Portaging a boat or canoe over obstructions or through the woods to other rivers. Climbing sand dunes or other steep hills. I like to call it cardiovascular chaos.
But primarily, ecotours tours by boat is what we do. My mission is to get up as far as water permits. For those that are a little more adventurous, sometimes we go further.
You’ll see me saying “We went Johnny Panthering yesterday”, or”we’re going Johnny Panthering tomorrow”. Rest assured that it probably involved something beautiful or adventurous. Most of the time anymore, folks just want to put their feet up and watch the world go by, and I’m ok with that. No matter what the season, if you enjoy the outdoors and a little adventure (or a lot), Johnny Panthering is just the ticket for some stress relief or an intimate experience with nature. When is the best time to go? When you are breathing!
The last thing a rapper “tweeted” before he and four others were killed while driving at a high rate of speed- “YOLO”. I often say that I live for the moment with the chance I might get old, the thought of someone (besides me) losing their life as a result of my mistake/indiscretion would be unbearable. I don’t text, I can receive them, but my phone doesn’t tell me who they’re from. The only time I “tweet”, is when I am sitting at the dining room table, or in my “office”. Sharing life and adventure with others is what I live for, but I almost always try to use reasonable care. The older I get, the more mortal I feel, and the more reasonable care I use.
I could barely walk to the garage this morning my knee hurt so badly. Consider it an aftershock from the big quake of 1981, when I ruined it the first time. I try to smile, instead of grimace, fondly remembering how fast I used to be when I was ten feet tall and bullet proof! I have never been blessed with a huge amount of self confidence, but it probably peaked in the early to mid eighties when I was on top of my bike and game. I trained hard and played hard. Now life is going way faster than me. I have moments (and longer) of doubt about the paths I have chosen. I look back at the love shared and the lessons learned, and look forward to more loving and learning. Probably a euphoric view of reality, one I have pursued most of my life, believing I will achieve my dreams and goals. Now my confidence is gained through familial approval and the positive comments from guests I take out on adventure trips.
Sometimes my days are not as productive as they should be. Sometimes after a boat tour, I still stand on the dock and watch the water go by. I remember those that are above me now, and the positive contributions they made in my life. I give thanks for being so lucky to have lived such a full and wonderful life. Yup, as far as we know, you only live once. Some may feel I’ve lived one too many times. I will continue to learn, share, and try to make others smile. It rained last night. The air is sweet, the sun is shining, and my knee doesn’t hurt anymore. I guess I’ll go do a little living, but first, I gotta do the dishes!
Here is a link to a day of bad fishing with a good friend. It's not often we get the big boat up in the "narrow part". Yesterday, we had to walk a half mile to get to the hay bridge. Johnny Panthering? It's always an adventure! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgMvNDr2Q9o