Fetching water

Gladstone Travel Blog

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Calm waters on Little Bay de Noc

Water from my well is terrible. It's high mineral content could etch a rust color into stainless steel sinks, surly unfit for human consumption. A filter froze one winter and split wide open. Since then, I fetch good water from the campground at Twin Springs Park on Stonington Peninsula. To reach it by road would be a scenic 18 mile drive - an adventure in itself - but I prefer hauling empty one-gallon jugs over there by kayak since it's located just a mile across Little Bay de Noc. I combine the chore with play on the bay.

In the exact opposite direction, it's less than two miles from Gladstone Point to a private dock at the Rod & Reel Motel in Kipling. The route passes the Gladstone coal dock where Great Lake ore boats off-load stockpiles of road salt and heating coal for upcoming winters.

Dock at the Rod & Reel
Those ships are a rare, impressive sight on the otherwise quiet bay. Off Butler Island, seagulls wade in shallow waters to mark my approach to  the  protected cove at Kipling. It's a short walk from the Rod & Reel to the Kipling Bar. After catching up with friends over a bratwurst and a beer I paddled across the bay, now more than two miles away.

An occasional jet ski zips by on weekends but cabin cruisers or sailboats can appear most anytime. Depending on the time of year, pairs of anglers bobbing in small runabouts test the waters for lake trout, perch, northern pike, or walleye. Whenever I hear rock and roll music out there I do my own angling - toward Rocky and Jodi's pontoon boat. They are the only ones that I know who get maximum use of their boat, taking it out several times a week depending on Rocky's work schedule at the paper mill.

Rocky at the helm
Hosting family and friends, they often drifted on the bay with a boom-box full of great tunes and a cooler filled with beer. Catching a ride was always a thrill for a visit, a swim, and a cold one.  It was they who pointed out the spring water source to me last year.

On this crossing, their music, cheers, and good-time laughter led me to Hunter's Point. Fine beach sand spilled right up to the tree-line. It was a great out-of-the-wind spot to sight the occasional bald eagle, white-tail deer, or Canadian geese fostering their young. The pontoon was tied off to a willow bush and Rocky and Jodi were eased into lawn chairs before a small camp fire. Sarah, her boyfriend Kyle with their young daughter, and several others joined them. It was a perfect setting for three generations and friends to regularly gather. After a couple hour visit, I continued down the Stonington shore to the Twin Springs campground and refilled six jugs with fresh spring water. For a tropical kind of guy, summertime in the Upper Peninsula is still paradise and finding good water and cold beer always a highlight.

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Calm waters on Little Bay de Noc
Calm waters on Little Bay de Noc
Dock at the Rod & Reel
Dock at the Rod & Reel
Rocky at the helm
Rocky at the helm
Into Kipling
Into Kipling
Catamaran off Gladstone Point
Catamaran off Gladstone Point
Pontoon
Pontoon
Sail boat on Little Bay de Noc
Sail boat on Little Bay de Noc
Pontoon at Gladstone Campground
Pontoon at Gladstone Campground
Welcome aboard
Welcome aboard
Kyle and Sarah
Kyle and Sarah
Bald eagle
Bald eagle
Canadian geese and their young
Canadian geese and their young
Jodi
Jodi
Hunters Point
Hunter's Point
At Hunters Point
At Hunter's Point
Sarah
Sarah
Shoving off
Shoving off
Spring water
Spring water
Six-pack to go
Six-pack to go
Gladstone
photo by: rotorhead85