Hugh Heward and Bushwackers coming! (New Bush SOUTH!)
April 24, 2012
This Saturday is the annual "big canoe day" for Michigan paddle-tourers -- a rare chance to do a 50-miler with friends.
About 100 people do it. I've done it and posted several times about it here. I plan on being there again this year! I'm going to partner for the first time with Tim Feldkamp in his superduper carbon Hassel racing canoe. We'll try to use good technique -- me, I mean -- but we won't go hard. We'll start as early as we can -- after the serious tourers but before the real racers. A half dozen race boats are usually there as some folks consider this the kick-off event to the season's hardcore paddle events. Everyone else just spends the day cruising along.
Verlen Kruger is an original promoter of the event and he thought 50 miles introduces one to the real spirit of adventure paddling. He also believed that the best way to put in big-mile days was just to "keep it moving." Eat in the boat, for instance. He even developed one-armed paddling so he could keep a bit of stroke going even while doing other things. Every little bit counts. Every STOP *hurts bad* for progress.
Canoeing is kinda weird due to its fluid friction and how even a fast canoe speed is still only, what, 7mph, but really the same idea applies to all human-powered travel. Bike riders who go hard then stop tend to take a lot longer to get places -- and are more tired when they get there -- compared to those who just "keep it movin'". Hikers can famously put in big 30-50 mile days continuously (when trained) without undue stress while even pro runners have to take a day off after running 20 miles.
Anyway, the HH offers 2 shorter distances as well: the Half and Quarter Hughs. The Quarter is the wildest portion.
Donations fund all the proceedings. Visit here to register: http://sites.google.com/site/vkmchallenge/hugh-heward.
There's a big picnic afterward in Portland. (OK, chili and brownies.)
It's a great fun day. I always like seeing the variety of paddlers and boats.
But the HH isn't the end of the big adventures in Michigan! It's just the start! There's the Bushwacker and Tip o' the Mitt, plus the Michigan Challenge and the "Iron Mushroom." But new this year is the Bushwacker SOUTH.
Here's the plan for the Bushy South:
*Start from the Verlen Memorial in Portland. Paddle downstream 20 miles on the Grand to the mouth of the Maple River in Lyons.
*Paddle upriver 49 miles on the Maple River past Ovid to M52.
*Portage 5 miles south on M52 to the Looking Glass River.
*Paddle downstream 55 miles on the Looking Glass River to the Grand River in Portland.
*Finish back at the Verlen Kruger Memorial -- one big loop!
They're planning on 5 Days to do it. May 19-23.
I'd like to see some BIKE and SKI events done in this spirit!
(OK, we already have a few SKI days we've been doing -- the Waterloo and Jordan among them. And Rick Plite has been hosting big nifty BIKE events. But it seems like there should be MORE.)
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