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22-August-2010, Leg 1, The Beginning

Maple Lake Dam to County Road 665

My River Odyssey begins at the hydroelectric dam at the north end of Maple Lake in Paw Paw.  I plan to paddle the main stem river from the dam down the entire 66 mile course to its confluence with the St. Joseph River in Benton Harbor, Michigan.  Today began the first leg of this epic journey which extends 2.8 miles along the river to the bridge at County Road 665.

The scenic beauty of the river did not disappoint.  As I paddled, I saw Belted Kingfishers, Great Blue Herons, and ducks galore.  There were gorgeous displays of wild flowers in bloom, including: Cardinal Flower, Green Headed Cone Flower, Blue Lobelia, Joe Pye Weed and much more.  As I rounded each bend in the river, startled turtles would slide off sunny logs back to the safety of the water.  The water was so clear that trout, fresh water clams and mussels were easily seen as I floated over gravel bars.  While I had to get out of my kayak to go around log jams 5 to 6 times on this leg, it was certainly worth the effort

This is the Paw Paw River that I know and love and for which I am asking your help to protect it for future generations.  I took a lot of pictures along the way and will get them posted as soon as possible so that you may better appreciate the splendor of this scenic treasure.  Please consider helping me with this project by making a pledge today.  It's easy and secure; just click here.  Don't forget to tell your friends about this web site and please, encourage them to participate in the project as well.

Many thanks for your support,



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At the Maple Lake Dam launch site.  Here we go. [Click here to view full size picture]
At the Maple Lake Dam launch site. Here we go.
Great Blue Heron [Click here to view full size picture]
Great Blue Heron
Really clear water.  You gotta love it! [Click here to view full size picture]
Really clear water. You gotta love it!

Thank you for visiting and we hope to see you soon!