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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas Wiertella April 30, 2024

Author promotes books and paddling

Now that summer’s winding down, the mosquitoes have backed off and the leaves will soon change colors, it’s prime time to paddle down one of Michigan’s beautiful rivers.

Canoeing and kayaking author and enthusiast Doc Fletcher said he couldn’t think of a better way to spend his time.

“I can tell my wife, ‘Honey, I’ve got to go to work,’” Fletcher said, jokingly.

He sometimes refers to his writing as an excuse to stay out on the river as long as he possibly can. Fletcher’s upcoming photo presentation at the Peter White Public Library (PWPL), promoting his books “Weekend Canoeing in Michigan” and “Michigan Rivers Less Paddled,” follows his journeys down seven different rivers in Michigan and Wisconsin.

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Fletcher likes to include a brief history on a nearby town in each chapter he writes, as well as things to do along the rivers.

Doc Fletcher spends as much time as possible out of the rivers of Michigan, canoeing and kayaking with his friends and loved ones. Afterward, he said he enjoys relaxing at an old time tavern. // Photos courtesy of Doc Fletcher

“Half of the fun of canoeing or kayaking is learning a little bit about that town and sharing that (knowledge) with people when they read my books,” Fletcher said. “I end each chapter by directing people to an old time tavern in that town, a great place to put your feet up, have a good burger, and kind of relive the day on the river with your friends.”

Another benefit of paddling, besides the exercise, beauty and fresh air, is the affordability due to liveries. All of the featured rivers are serviced by canoe/kayak liveries, so people can enjoy the trips whether they own a boat or not.

“Whether the river is fast or slow, canoeing or kayaking is an affordable diversion in a time when the cost of getaways is harder and harder to come by,” Fletcher said.

Although the temperatures will soon drop, it’s still a great time of year to paddle, according to Fletcher.

“I think it’s the time of year that nature paints a beautiful picture for us, floating down the streams,” he said.

The PWPL brought Fletcher to Marquette because they like featuring authors, especially those with local ties, and promoting reading, said programming coordinator Margaret Boyle.

“His writing style is laid back and colloquial,” Boyle said. “I think he’s got a pretty good sense of humor, and he’s an engaging kind of speaker.”

Canoeing and kayaking are popular activities in the U.P., and Fletcher includes rivers with different degrees of difficulty, obstacles, length, landmarks encountered and what makes each river unique.

Canoe enthusiast Doc Fletcher and his wife Maggie paddle down a Michigan river in a canoe. His latest books are about less-traveled rivers throughout the state and in the U.P. // Photos courtesy of Doc Fletcher

“I’m really glad his talk here isn’t until the semester begins, because there are many students interested. There are so many beautiful days left, and it’s just a great way to enjoy the outdoors,” Boyle said.

Fletcher’s photo presentation will be followed by a book signing. In addition, there will be a drawing to win a free liveried canoe or kayaking trip with a choice out of four day trips. This adventure is sponsored by local canoe liveries.

Canoeing and Kayaking through Michigan and Wisconsin with Doc Fletcher will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 31 at 7 p.m. in the Community Room of the PWPL, and there is no admission charge. For more information regarding Doc Fletcher, visit www.canoeingmichiganrivers.com.

Liveries around the Upper Peninsula

Canoe liveries are businesses along rivers and often wildlife refuges that rent out canoes, kayaks, and sometimes rafts and tubes. From outfitters to campgrounds, the member liveries of the Michigan Association of Paddlesport Providers (MAPP) maintain well-inspected equipment and promote the protection of Michigan resources. Listed below are some of the U.P.’s liveries.

Big Cedar Campground & Canoe Livery

Location: Germfask, Mich.

Dates of Operation: May 1 – Oct. 15

Equipment: Canoes, Kayaks

Level of Difficulty: Beginner – Intermediate

(906) 586-6684

Northland Outfitters

Location: Germfask, Mich.

Dates of Operation: May 1 – Oct. 15

Equipment: Canoes, Kayaks

Level of Difficulty: Beginner – Intermediate

(906) 586-6684

Uncle Ducky Outdoors LLC

Location: Marquette, Mich.

Dates of Operation: May 1 – Oct. 30

Equipment: Canoes, Kayaks, Drift Boats

Level of Difficulty: Novice – Expert

(906) 228-5447

Soaring Eagle Outfitters

Location: Gwinn, Mich.

Dates of Operation: May 1 – Sept. 30

Equipment: Canoes, Kayaks, Tubes

Level of Difficulty: Beginner

(877) 346-9142

Two Hearted Canoe Trips Inc.

Location: Newberry, Mich.

Dates of Operation: April 1 – Oct. 31

Equipment: Canoes

Level of Difficulty: Beginner – Advanced

(906) 658-3357

U.P. Wide Adventure Guide

Location: Naubinway, Mich.

Equipment: Canoes, Kayaks, rowboats

Level of Difficulty: Beginner to Advanced

(517) 899-6916

Information courtesy of www.michigancanoe.com.

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