River Float

 Posted by at 4:41 am  Nick's Blog
Sep 152009

We had a great time yesterday, but I sure am sore this morning!

Yesterday Terry and I, along with Ron and Brenda Speidel, floated the St. Joseph River from Mottville, Michigan to Bristol, Indiana, a distance of about 7 or 8 miles on the water. I said float, but the water was so calm that we paddled for much of the trip.

You may recall that I sold my first kayak and replaced it with a different model, from Fluid Fun in Bristol, and that after one paddling excursion that lasted about an hour, I quickly realized that I had chosen the wrong boat. The good folks at Fluid Fun are very dedicated to their customers and to the sport, so they allowed me to trade it in on a different model that fit me much better. This was the inaugural trip in the new boat.

The launch in Mottville is very nice, and the river was flowing along nicely, allowing us to just dip our paddle blades into the water now and then to keep the front of our boats pointed straight. In no time at all we were paddling under the historic Mottville Bridge. Built in 1922, the bridge is the longest concrete camelback bridge in the United States.

I think the St. Joseph River must have one of the largest populations of turtles in the world. We saw then everywhere. Sunning on logs, swimming along, and slipping off the bank into the water as we passed by. This log held eleven, and we saw even more on other logs during our trip! There were also plenty of birds; Canadian geese, swans, blue heron, and ducks.

In some places the river was very wide, and in others it narrowed down, as shown in this view from Miss Terry’s perspective. The river is pretty shallow, not more than a couple of feet deep most of the way, and so shallow in some places that I got grounded on the gravel bottom and Terry had to grab the front of my kayak and give it a couple of strung tugs to get me moving again. (On dry land, she sometimes accomplishes this with a couple of strong kicks to my hind end.)

We put in at 2:30 p.m. and the trip took us just over three hours. The current that had carried us along early in our float died out, and we spent most of the trip paddling. I sure felt it in my back and shoulders by the time we arrived at our take out point in Bristol! I bet if I did that two or three times a week, I’d probably fit in my kayak better, and maybe not get stuck in shallow water so often!

On another topic, several blog readers have asked me to repeat the information on the veteran’s discount offered by Verizon Wireless. Take your DD 214 (discharge) to any Verizon company store (not a franchise store), and ask for discount code #117818. You will get a 15% discount off your Verizon bill, before taxes. I submitted my paperwork in June, and the discount started showing up in my next month’s bill.

Another company that treats veteran’s right is Lowes. Somebody had told me a while back that they offer a 10% veteran’s discount, and last week when we purchased the handles for our new desk/workstations, I remembered it as we were checking out. The young lady at the counter took a quick peek at my V.A. medical card and I got my discount! How very nice! You can bet I’ll do my shopping at Lowes anytime I can in the future!

Thought For The Day – Mankind must remember that peace is not God’s gift to us; peace is our gift to each other.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  8 Responses to “River Float”

  1. Hi Nick, just a comment about that Verizon discount. Our friend John called Verizon and was told that it’s for retired military , not just a fella who passed thru the service for a few years, like he did. I guess the discount is for “real” veterans ? But you can get shot at on short tours too, right?
    And congrats on all the kayaking exercise, though you may have scared any bottom fish in that river, Big Boy.

  2. My husband is retired Dept. of Defense (4 years Air Force and 33 years civilian service with the AF) and he has a DoD retirement card that we use for staying on military bases. We went to a Verizon company store and they honored his retirement DoD ID card using the 117818 discount code.

  3. I have also found that my local Home Depot gives a 10% military discount. So how does your new kayak fit after your trial run?

  4. Thanks for the boat ride,,,,,Gee you had a long walk back!!!

  5. I spent 4 yrs active in the Marine Corps, and didn’t have ANY problems with getting the discount. Maybe that John should go to a different Verizon store!!
    Nick, congrats on the new kayak.

  6. Drafted for 2 years—got my Verizon discount starting in July 2008 first month of processing. Had my DD 214 & discharge in hand; but “they” put my name & serial # into computer and said “ok”.

  7. Nick – I have floated that trip in a bass boat several times. You should have had your rod and reel with you in the area around the bridge over I-80. That is one of the best river bass fishing areas in these parts. Al

    BTW it is all float in a boat with an outboard, a lot of it is way too shallow to run back upstream. We get a driver to deliver our trailer back to Bristol ramp to meet us when we get there – some drop a bike and ride back to fetch their trailers.

  8. We left Ron & Brenda’s car at Bristol to shuttle us back to get the van at the launch point.

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