I recently picked up a tandem sit-on-top to complement my sea kayak collection. It's been quite handy for river trips or inland lakes, and we took it to the Flint River today. I moved closer to Flint recently; its quite exciting to see all the new unexplored bodies of water nearby. I've been doing some diving and snorkeling in a few of the lakes but this was my first time on the river.
We chose to start on the North Branch. A map was available showing the mileage to different points, but I decided not to study it too closely. After such trips as the Belle River, this seemed very civilized. The entry point where we met had significant poison ivy, but I wasn't concerned. I got the rash a week or two ago at work so was prepared with an entire bottle of Tec-Nu to wash it off just in case 🤣.
The first hour or so was very pretty, a narrow winding river with little current. It was however very cloudy from a heavy rain that morning. The temperature had cooled off significantly after being 85+ all week, and we really didn't have any mosquitos. We didn't see much wildlife but Ekaterina did see some of her favorite type of tree, lindens.
The North Branch joined up with the main river for a while, then we passed through a delta to get to two reservoirs. The delta was an especially pretty area, feeling very remote. The first reservoir was quite wide, and the wind picked up when we entered it. The temperature dropped and it seemed like heavy rain was imminent. Fortunately the wind was at our backs, so it was a wonderful downwind paddle. The speed seemed very impressive for a sit-on-top!
By the time we got to the river connecting the second reservoir the wind had died down with only some light rain. That stretch of river had a few interesting houses and very little current. The second reservoir was massive, with many more boats docked than at the first. It is clearly a well-used recreation area in better weather. We stopped at a beach to stretch our legs and I did a little rock hunting. The beach did have a dead fish, so the atmosphere wasn't the best, but I still found a few fossils and other interesting stones!
After crossing the reservoir, we made our way to the pickup point, at a big dam where many people were fishing. It's an easy portage down some stairs to re-launch, but we'll save that for next time. Or if we're energetic, possibly we'll launch upstream and see if the river is passable.
Below are some photos, and some GoPro video clips I've been playing around with.
If you'd like to join me on a trip, there are a few spaces open on group backpacking trips. Check it out here!