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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Camping Weekend Review – Net River Canoe Trip

(this is one of series of posts of various camping trips we have had over the years... I am going through my files in alphabetical order and posting past camping trips in my blog.... something to do over this long long winter---- sigh)

This particular weekend camping trip is an Annual Event with the Maki clan of Amasa, Michigan. (in Da U.P. yah know dere, hey!)    My sister is married into the Maki bunch, so we often get invited along to their annual doings.   The family has a private camping area on their own land on the Net River.  It’s such a lovely place.. .very tranquil and peaceful.  We try to get there a day or two early, before all the clan arrives for the weekend.  It’s a rough gravel road in, and we just make a few of the turns and deep dips and hills with the motorhome.

These are some of my most favorite photos….
tranquil shores of the Net River 2

tranquil shores of the Net River 3

tranquil shores of the Net River 4

tranquil shores of the Net River

Each July, they haul a passel of canoes upriver to a put-in place… and a whole bunch of adults canoe their way down to the final camping spot on their land.   It’s an all day trip!  A halfway point is reached where someone else drives in a vehicle to a big big rock and brings food and starts a fire to cook a lunch.  They found that is easier to have someone bring a lunch in, than trusting someone IN a canoe to stay dry and keep the food dry and unspoiled. 

It’s quite a trip and takes most of the day to get to the family camping spot.  Once the family camping spot is finally reached, a steak dinner is cooked (if anyone is sober enough to get the fire started to cook the steaks)
Much frivolity, fun, and massive quantities of alcohol is consumed. 

I took the group photo, so I didn’t get in the pic here….
crew 2005 net river canoe trip

Mikey Maki is the crew leader and organizer of the event.  He built this neato rack to get all the canoes upriver.  Some years they need to make two runs to get enough canoes up there for everyone taking part in the trip.
new canoe rack
The various canoeists try to come up with a *theme* …  

My silly brother, Umpee, came up with a Smokercraft canoe complete with a cruise line motif…  smoke bombs made the cruise ship smokestack realistic, plus an old Model T horn made very convincing cruise ship blast sounding horn.  And if you knew my little brother, Umpee, you would know he is a *smoker* ….. so the theme fits!

A stop at the Tall Pines grocery and liquor store is a MUST before you reach the put in point on the Net River….
 stocking up

Ahem--- Schmoo (my sister)  can’t swim and is deathly afraid of water… go figger!


My darling husband, Steve and brother-in-law Fuzz  (ever wonder where he got that nickname from?)   decided their *theme* would be Net River Pirates… complete with bandanas, eye patches, a big cannon with fireworks inside, a Jolly Roger flag, and a parrot. 

They took along BB rifles with the centers taken out, and would slide in bottle rockets to aim and shoot at passing canoeists  ---  sometimes overtaking them and stealing their bounty  (the beer coolers or bottles of booze)   They did a little “Robinhooding”  and stole from the rich and passed it on to the poor -   to other folks who were outta beverages!

(during the trip, one of Steveio’s bottle rockets misfired and started his T-shirt on fire!  We dunked him in the river to put him out)
pirate fuzzPirate PaFundtner

By now you might notice that a lot of folks in the U.P. go by nicknames.  Most of my family does.  Perhaps a way to avoid identity?  Kinda a quazi-witness protection program?  LOL

canoe trip 1
captain of the ship
Once we all got into the canoes, I passed my camera back to the driver of the truck. I didn’t want it to get damaged.  Sooo no pics of the actual journey.   All the spills, dunks, and drunks are missing ….   but also the great scenery, the challenge of the rapids, and then fun of being out in the sun all day too. 

My friends Cella and Dave, and their grandson Dante, were hanging out by the campsite to wait for us…  kids are too little and too innocent to be on this trip.  LOL  So they spend time doing some fishing with their grandson.  He had a blast!
Dante 1Dante 4

Dogs aren’t allowed along on the trip either… so Erin’s chihuahua was babysat at the family landing spot, along with our dogs too. 
Domino swimmingduke water retriever 
Duke, our sheltie, LOVES the water… he dunks his whole head under to retrieve sticks and will play play play all day in the water if you let him.

The first canoe back was my nephew Christopher and his girlfriend, Missy.  It wasn’t really a race, but the first ones in are supposed to get the campfire going.   Notice the cute little bubblemobile trailer in the background.  Typical weekend accommodations for the folks in the U.P. of Michigan.  If it rolls, you can still camp in it!
FIRST canoe in

Plus there is also a fishing contest, with each entrant putting $5 into the kitty.  Largest legal fish wins… and guess who won?  Yours Truly, ME!

Some shots of the crew and their sense of humor….
gordys atv kams shirt
Little Dillon brought down his motorcross bike…. 
big boy on little toycan i ride it now
grandpa dave helping dillonlittle sisters
Long, long day for Mikey, bet  the alcohol consumption kinda contributed to his dozing off

This is my favorite pic of Steveio…. I took it from the shoreline where he was still frantically trying to beat my fishing record!  He was seeing if he could catch one more fish before getting outta the canoe.   LOL

So that is my review of a private camping weekend…. and gosh, guess who forgot to take pics of any of our rigs there?  (other than the bubblemobile in the background in that one)


  1. I am still cracking up!! That looks like a great trip!!! What a
    fun group of relatives!! Thanks for sharing!!

    Cindy from Tx

  2. Karen, your crew would fit in nicely with mine here in E. Texas..the river trips are the most fun. Great Pics! Is there any single women in the bunch that I could marry so I could go on this trip,,lol

  3. Karen, loved the canoe trip photos. As for the GPS coordinates for where we are in Arizona, you'll have to get that from Justravelin--we haven't entered the 21 century yet and don't own a GPS!

  4. Thanks cindy!

    Charlie.. what would Peggy have to say about that???

    Janna.. yup, Ellie emailed them to me, sorry I though you guys had a GPS! We got it marked for furture reference in upcoming years. And shhhhh I won't tell anybody!

  5. Great post Karen! Looks like tons of fun...

    Kerri in AL :-)

  6. Great story about a fun trip! In my geneology research I found I had ancestors from the Iron Mountain area, so off we went to see the place and find relatives. Beautiful area! We hope to return one of these days.


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