Kayak – check. PFD (Personal Floatation Device) – check. Paddle – check. Bilge pump – check. Digital camera – check. 2 other kayakers – check. Detroit River – check.
As I pulled my 10’ Walden kayak off the rack, gathered my gear and headed towards the abandoned ship building inlet next to the now demolished Medusa Cement factory, I thought…only in Detroit.
As we navigate down the broken cement rebar infected shoreline of the shipbuilding inlet, we get a few bizarre looks from the local anglers on the pier at Tri- Centennial Park. Some smile and wave, some shake their heads and yell “You’re crazy!”
Moving out of the relatively calm water of the inlet and into the Detroit River, a sense of history, as well as a 10-15mile per hour current, surrounds us. We head upstream, against the current/headwind and start towards Belle Isle. We pass the old defunct Boblo Boat, Chene Park, a couple of 1,000 foot tankers, and get checked out by the U.S Coast Guard Homeland Security zodiac. I think, only in The D.
After and hour or so we reach the old lighthouse at the end of Belle Isle. We look out over lake St. Clair, and make the turn back towards downtown. Picking up the current we float under the MacArthur Bridge in no time. We pause and take in the view. As the Ren Cen and the Ambassador Bridge get closer, I can’t believe it’s October and it’s 87 degrees…only in The D.
We pull back into the shipbuilding inlet, avoiding the cast lines of the anglers. We end our paddle where we started, in the abandoned warehouse district of the city. Only in Detroit…