BHPC Trip Information
Grand River and Buffalo Cove  by Mike Murphy

I wasn't going to say anything but Woody made mention so I had to jump in.
It would appear that the club has turned a corner and will no longer do those wimpy trips some have done in the past. The trips listed above were REAL TRIPS. They included all the elements that combine to produce my kind of trip - rain, extreme cold weather, and upstream paddling. All the elements, which in turn lead to dissention and danger for the trip leader. For a change it was so comforting to hear phrases of "Hang Harry" and "Bash Bill" rather than "Maul Mike".

I must give credit where credit is due. Harry and Bill are somewhat novices at this kind of trip. However, each did a magnificent job. Harry somehow picked a day in which the area had been rained upon for weeks and was sure of one hundred percent rain on the day of the trip. (Ask about the parked car that slid down the levee.) He started with an easy paddle up the river to ease the wary paddler. Then he turned upstream into a waterway just wide enough to allow a kayaker to clear both sides with double blades. The turns and twists were many and the trees in the turns were strategically placed. As if that were not enough, he arranged for huge clumps of Water Hyacinth to come down with the flow. Then the ultimate - after fighting our way up to the lake the way was blocked by Water Hyacinth that were being packed into place by wind and water flow. After attempting to paddle and then pole my way thru I realized the easiest way was to step out onto the mass and portage across the Hyacinth. Then upon reaching open water, float your craft, re-enter and off you go.

The eighteen assorted boats rafted up and we administered a simple mental test and all the sane ones left - or so I thought at the time. Upon reaching the take out/put in I realized how crafty Harry had become. The group of mentally deficient paddlers we had left behind suddenly transformed into a highly paid security force designed to protect Harry. He so craftily planned this trip down to the last detail. He knew that if he stayed out a while longer most of the dissenters would grow weary of awaiting his return and leave. He also knew that any that were inclined to stay and wait would be frozen solid in short order. Just in case those at the take out climbed into their vehicles and stayed he had his clique of bodyguards close at hand. (Why didn't I think of that a long time ago?) Anyway Harry, I am proud of you and look forward to the next venture.

Bill, I can only say you left nothing to chance. Your knee deep upstream mud portage easily offset the beautiful weather and the last 2.7 miles upstream on an oil canal was a wonderful touch. I was very impressed with your brash appearance at the takeout as the group was a little surly at that time. However, my admiration of your bravado ceased as I realized you had Ann there and you SURE backpaddled once she stepped on shore. I have to admit your purchase of supper for everyone was a nice touch.

I really have much more to say but I get so choked up remembering those two trips and thinking of what the future may hold. What a year to paddle!

Thank you both, Mike.