It was approximately 5:45 P.M. Saturday evening when a friend and I arrived in Petersburg, MI. Our aerial reconnaissance (courtesy of Google) showed that it did not a have a boat launch or city park adjacent to the river; which meant we had to improvise in locating a place to launch. Our plan was to travel 10 miles downstream to Wolverine Park in Dundee.
We settled on parking on Saline Street in front of a local restaurant. The community seemed to be very quiet and our arrival was quite amusing to the folks traveling on Railroad Street as we carried our Kayaks to our target insertion point under the Deerfield Rd. overpass. My friend joked that we better hurry and get to the river before the cops tell us we can't launch from there. So we quickly closed the gap and skillfully moved around the bridge's guard rails and down the steep grade covered in poison ivy and wild raspberry vines. I was delighted to see a rapid current would be our alley as we boarded and shoved off.
The section of river we were traveling was mainly farmland but the banks were covered with a canopy of trees. We both enjoy obstacles and on this trip the River Raisin did not disappoint. There were plenty of fallen Cottonwood trees and other low hanging Locust trees to dodge but every obstacle was navigable. The mosquito population was high and the ducks and cranes were plentiful. Robust fragrances filled the air as we wound downstream. The river coils regularly so much that my friend commented that if we exited the river and walked 20 feet we could re-enter and save ourselves 15 minutes.
2.5 hours later we arrived in Dundee, the sign next to the boat launch pad read, "Dam ahead, Exit here". Because we thought that was good advice we drove our kayaks onto land. Two surprised Dundee police officers were there to greet us. No... they didn't hear about our tactical river launch in Petersburg, but they did want to inform us that if we wanted to stay at the Mayfly Festival we had to pay at the front gate. My friend sarcastically asked if he could get his Mayflys deep fried to which one of them replied, "No but they sell deep friend Twinkies."
We carried our kayaks through the crowds and out the front gate (without the Twinkies) and two blocks down on Washington St. We conducted our debriefing over Chimichangas at a local Mexican restaurant.
Exit 17, off US23 to Wolverine Park (Dundee)
Exit 13, off US23 W.B. on IDA West to downtown Petersburg