Now that the weather is summer-like, my husband, Jeff and I need to clean out our kayaks to make sure all of the spider webs, leaves and dust are gone before we take our first adventure of 2021. If I remember correctly, we only took them out once last summer. Sometimes we just cruise around Squaw and Ponemah lakes and sometimes we get together with friends and meander down the Shiawassee River on a lazy Saturday afternoon.

 When we kayak the river, we usually start in downtown Fenton by the tennis courts and head to Lake Ponemah. Other times we will start from Squaw Lake and head toward the Linden dam. If we head to Linden, we take a short break in Linden, turn around and paddle home. There’s no noticeable current in either direction.

 We thoroughly enjoy these spur-of-the-moment trips and know the exercise and sunshine are good for us. One of these days we’ll kayak in the evening for one of the moonlight events as I’m sure that would be fun too.

 We have found if you venture out too early in the spring, low water levels and fallen branches can make for a challenging trek.

 I cannot thank the Keepers of the Shiawassee and the Headwaters Trails volunteers who work tirelessly to keep this beautiful river at its natural state and open enough just to allow kayakers and canoeists through. After hearing from Chuck Julian, secretary of Headwaters Trails, Inc., these volunteers are on a mission.

 We are always diligent to leave the area along the river better than we found it and it’s quite disheartening to see trash left behind from others. I’m just not sure why anyone would leave trash behind. We take a small plastic trash bag with us and dispose of our own stuff when we get home.

 Wearing our polarized sunglasses, we often spot several kinds of fish just inches from our kayak. We’re not really into fishing, but we sure enjoy watching the fish swim by.

 After living in the Fenton area for 31 years, I felt like I knew the area like the back of my hand. I was so wrong. When we launch from downtown Fenton and head to Squaw Lake by river, you can totally lose track of where you are. We look for landmarks to tell us where we are. We see sites from a vantage point that are not possible from the roads. Sometimes you forget you are in Fenton. It’s much like a mini-vacation.

 So, hopefully, we’ll get our kayaks, dry bags for our cellphones, a few refreshments and snacks ready and head to the waterway soon. If you haven’t tried kayaking or canoeing the Shiawassee River you might want to put that on your bucket list. We are blessed to have such a beautiful river at our back door.

 Be sure to pick up after yourself and thank those volunteers who have worked so hard to make it a national waterway.

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