The Au Sable River is in the upper part of Michigan's "mitt" (most Midwesterners literally use their hand to point out where things are in Michigan :p ). We ventured on a 4-day canoe trip with a few of Mike's coworkers and friends: Jason, Lonnie, Mike L. and Dale (yes, I was outnumbered by 5 men!). We also brought our younger pup, Boo, with us. It was a fun trip and the river was just beautiful. stopped at three camp sites along the river, taking 2-3 hour paddles between them each day.
The boys were excited to fish while we floated down the river and then fly fish in the afternoons while we were at camp. I was happy to break out my camera, "chip" (affectionately named after a tiny accident it encounterered falling off a boulder), and soak-in all the nature I could.
Foraging from the Forest
We didn't catch a ton of fish (they just didn't seem to be hungry at the moment), but I wanted to share some of the foraged camp meals we were able to enjoy. Dale found a winterberry shrub that we mixed with some pine needles to make a delicious minty tea. Note: You can chew on the waxy leaves of the winterberry too - it has a nice spearmint flavor (possible natural breath freshening for a camping trip??).
Being our survivalist aficionado, Dale also found a morel mushroom and was the only one of us to catch a fish large enough to keep. We cooked the two together for a few tasty morsels of fish that were shared around the camp fire:
We stayed at a total of three camp sites along the river: Meadow Spring, Cathedral Pines and Bear Island. They all were wonderful camp spots, and each night we slept under the stars with coyotes howling in the distance.
It was a great trip to get out of the city and unwind a bit.
We did, however, end up taking some 'souvenirs,' home with us... well, we brought back a lot of ticks! Yuck! The final tally was:
They really creep me out, but they were worth it to enjoy a great long weekend in the woods! If you're ever near Mio, Michigan, I hope you take some time to check out the Au Sable River :)