Run/Cross/Rest Vacation

training for a marathon has its challenges.  life happens.  people get sick, injuries happen, and sometimes it is as simple as a vacation that is planned.  i freak out a little, “uh oh. i am going to be on vacation.  need to look at my training schedule.”  i switch my rest and run day.  the cross day no problem. done.

my husband and i drove north again this past weekend, but this time to kayak and camp.  a first for us. we decided to hit the AuSable River.  we kayaked it last year, loved it, and decided to include camping this time.  which means everything we need had to be in that kayak. ok, i made a list.

we planned on kayaking, camping and kayaking.  so just one night camping really. and i was getting my run in before we headed out. easy, peasy… ahem.

a trial run


Borchers AuSable Canoe Livery located in Grayling, Michigan is where we rented our kayaks from. we rented from them in the past, and they were super friendly and helpful.

my husband and i looked at their map, float times, campsites, etc so we sort of had a plan.  i called the livery to go over our plan, and they gave us some pointers.  we reserved the dates.  when we arrive at the livery, we pay for a two day trip. we call, when we are done.  ok. awesome.


a trial run – only deo and leave in conditioner


my kayak camping list:

  1. tent
  2. sleeping bags
  3. finger foods: jerkey, nuts, crackers, dried fruit, crackers, olives… wine…
  4. cooler: water, Gatorade, string cheese
  5. waterproof bag for camera, phone, keys, portable charger
  6. waterproof bag for clothes
  7. toothbrush, toothpaste
  8. biodegradable all purpose camp soap
  9. wash rag
  10. towels
  11. flashlight
  12. first aid kit, meds, nose strips (a certain someone snores)
  13. deo, leave in conditioner, hair clips
  14. Buff headwear
  15. set of fresh clothes
  16. cash for campsite
  17. bungie cord
  18. axe/hammer combo
  19. whistle
  20. matches
  21. set of utensils
  22. fishing pole? (maybe next time)
  23. water filter? (hmm…)


a helpful link for camping and what to pack in your kayak: Camping Gear Checklist


this is how it went down…

we headed out after work on a thursday, drove to Midland, Michigan, about a hour and a half north from home, and stayed at a new Holiday Inn Express.  i woke up the next day, ran the 5 miles i needed for my marathon training and checked out.

running late and no time for breakfast, we stopped at a Starbucks, grabbed a protein pack and drove another hour and a half to Grayling, Michigan. super excited to begin our kayaking adventure.

we rented the kayaks, filled them up with our camping supplies and headed out.

Chillin’ on the river
Chillin’ in the sun
Blue Heron
IMG_2979 (2)
American Mink
Blue Flag, Iris


the unexpected happened.  about four hours in my husband spotted a log in the river.  he yelled a warning.  the current was moving fast.  i tried to maneuvar around it, but the next thing i knew, my kayak hit the log, and i was tipping over.  i f’ing tipped over. i tried to grab anything that fell out. i caught my sunglasses, but the paddle decided to bail on me.

what was left of my sunglasses – missing both lenses and a nose pad

my husband told me to get in his kayak and to paddle down to the Wakley Landing.  “but how are you going to meet me without a paddle?!” “just go,” he said, “get the paddle or this trip is over.”  i headed down the river and found the paddle.  i tried to paddle back, but the current was too strong.  so i decided to head where he said he would meet me.  i told people along the way, “hey! tell my husband i found the paddle.” beers in hand, “sure. eh, it happens.”  i thought, “we are f’d.”

someone along the way lended my husband a canoe paddle, and he met me at the landing. tired, bruised and exhausted, he found me.  my kayak had our tent and a sleeping bag in it. they were soaked.

trip was over.

i was beyond distrought.  i blamed myself.  i was angry. thinking over and over, “what did i do wrong to flip?!”  i started to cry.  maneuvaring the kayak was awkward.  was the weight not distributed correctly in the kayak? how could anyone avoid a log covering 80% of the river?

the day was perfect.  the weather was perfect. we were perfect.  and i blew it.  i cried even more.

the livery picked us up.  we packed everything back into the suv and drove out of Grayling.

but instead of heading south to home, my husband headed west.

to Manistee and the Pine River.

not sure if he did that to make me feel better or just to stop my sobbing, but i started to feel better.

this was supposed to be our dinner at our campsite….

forgot the wine


instead it was our lunch on the Pine. not too shabby, no?

plan b:  set up camp before kayaking. oh ya, we are trying this again next year.


Kayak Flip

– f

maybe we need these next time.  i call dibs on black cherry.











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