Monthly Archives: October 2007

Club Meeting Report

The Lansing Oar and Paddle Club opened an official meeting on Tuesday, October 16 at 7:00 p.m.  Summit Sports had offered us the opportunity to hold our meeting in their store.  We began the meeting with an introduction of myself, Jay Hanks, and a brief recount of Club history from 1987 to present.  As a founding member, I was the original Treasurer for the first 6 years and President the 7th year.  I actively assisted in getting the Club incorporated as a non-profit organization in the State of Michigan, as well as applying for and receiving 501-c (7) non-profit status with the Federal Government.

     We showed slides from trips we had taken from the last 2 years or so, with as many different people as we could pack into a 20-minute presentation.  During this time we had been passing out 2008 membership applications and collected the new, lower dues of $10.00 per year.

     Two motions were made and passed.  The first was for Jay Hanks as President, Loretta Crum as Vice-President, and Nancy Anderson as Treasurer.  The second was for recognizing the new dues structure of $10.00 per person, with an additional $5.00 if you were requesting a paper mailing of newsletters and information.

     The meeting concluded with an open discussion about the Winter programs coming up in January for the Club, as well as Todd Leigh discussing the Lansing Area White Water Paddlers (LAWWP) role in the Lansing area and interaction with LOAPC.  We plan on trying to get a newsletter out in November, along with continued upgrades to the website.

     Please feel free to comment on ideas or suggestions whenever possible, because that is what makes this a dynamic, active organization.  The Lansing Oar and Paddle Club is here for the benefit of the people in the Lansing Area in being able to promote human-powered watercraft activity.

     See you on the water!

Jay Hanks


17th Annual Turkey Float

The 17th Annual Turkey Float is on Friday, November 23, the day after Thanksgiving.  Some people consider this day the beginning of the Christmas shopping season, but rather than go stand in lines at the mall and battle the traffic, come out with us for a quiet paddling trip on the Red Cedar River.

     We will all meet at Ferguson Park in Okemos at 9:00 a.m. and prepare to run shuttle upstream to Zimmer Road.  There is limited roadside parking there, so if we have too many cars we may do another mini-shuttle back to Grand River Blvd and Zimmer Road to save space.

     We usually launch by 10:00 a.m. so lunch is at the roadside park where the Red Cedar River flows under Grand River Blvd.  It usually takes another 2-1/2 hours from there back to Ferguson Park, so we should wrap things up by 3:00 p.m.

     The Club works on keeping the river clear of logs every year but there is always the potential of a liftover or portage.  Be sure and bring a change of dry clothes and boots you don’t mind getting a little muddy.  An ounce of prevention is worth a gallon of water, or something like that…..

Pine River Trip Report

We had 25 kayaks and canoes with 28 people representing several of the paddling clubs in Michigan, as well as paddlers up from Ohio to enjoy the beautiful fall scenery on the Pine. Weather was crisp at night but the sun made the whole event enjoyable. I will elaborate shortly….


Heading up Friday night I thought the traffic was unusually heavy and the construction specifically intended to slow my progress. I just wanted to GET THERE and see if anyone else was going to show up. I had heard reports that Peterson Bridge Campground was closed for the season and was worried about people showing up there and trying to figure out where to go.

I pulled into the campground and it was 2/3 full with campers, kayaks, and canoes. “They can’t all be here for this trip, can they?” I thought to myself. People continued to arrive and more camps set up. I saw familiar faces and new ones.

Shortly before 9:00 a.m. Saturday morning the parade of vehicles to the launch site gave evidence to the number of paddlers out that day. We filled the parking lot at Dobson Bridge in preparation for shuttle, and then packed the parking lot at the launch site at Walker Bridge shortly thereafter. It took us almost 45 minutes to launch all of the boats, with the lead boater being almost a mile downriver before the last boat was launched.

We met up all together again for lunch at Elm Flats where the above photo was taken. The kayak to canoe ratio was 3:1 with almost every color you could imagine. The variety of boat manufacturers and designs was amazing, from simple recreational kayaks to whitewater kayaks, from tiny solo canoes to tandems. The range in ages was even more interesting: from 4 years old to 75. The common denominator was our love for the river and our passion for paddling. People who had never met before were immediately friends with the common bond of water.

There were a few capsizes due to the occasional log or branch, but proper clothing and a sunny sky mitigated the cold water and cool breeze. Even though the group was stretched out on the run back to Dobson Bridge, rarely was anyone out of sight of someone else. By the time we reached Dobson Bridge the sunshine on the sand almost felt hot. We loaded up and headed back to camp for our various dinner plans. We wandered around from site to site sharing the plentiful food where possible.

Sunday morning brought temperatures approaching freezing, but overcast skies brough the ambient temperature up into the 40’s and then 50’s realtively quickly. There were a few less paddlers on the water in our group today, so it gradually seperated us to an almost solo experience. There was always someone just ahead or just behind but many times you had the bend in the river to yourself.

It is easy to get introspective and lost in one’s own thoughts at times like this. The boat feels motionless while the banks slide effortlessly past. I get the sensation that I can actually feel the earth revolve under me as I become the still point in my own universe. There is no arrogance in this centeredness, only a release of self and acceptance of your place in the world.

Alas, the end approaches and the last rapid above the site of the Old Stronach Dam removal requires one last moment of attention. Boats are hauled up on shore and the sound of cars starting their engines wipes out the last quiet thoughts of this journey. The rain finally begins to fall on the way home, so that even the last vestiges of the trip are wiped from the vehicle, and only the digital images in my camera and the memories in my soul remain to enjoy this wonderful weekend on the Pine.

It’s time to plan the next trip….


There will be an official Club meeting at Summit Sports in East Lansing at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 16, 2007.  Their address is 2650 East Grand River at Park Lake Road.

The agenda is:

  •     Brief introduction as to what LOAPC is and that this is an official meeting. 
  •     A slide presentation on past trips and other stuff.
  •     Questions and answers about anything so far.  
  •     Club business.  Solicitation for membership at reduced price.
  •     Motion to waive bylaw requirement of definition of full member based on fee level.
  •     Election of officers.
  •     Motion to accept officers as elected.  

Open discussion: 

  • Future trips (pass out 2008 schedule)
  • What would you like to see in a Club?
  • Winter programs

We hope to see everyone interested in canoeing and kayaking there!

Jay Hanks

(810) 348-5906

e-mail Jay