Canoeist looks for rivers, towns and taverns

MID-MICHIGAN The trip through Mid-Michigan will be part of his next book.

Doc Fletcher loves canoeing and kayaking the lesser-known rivers of Michigan and Wisconsin. And he loves writing about his adventures. "The theme is: The rivers, the towns and the taverns."

On Wednesday the town was Flushing, where Fletcher slid his canoe into the racing waters of the Flint River at River Road Park. He's researching a book to be published next January.

"I detail a day trip down a river in each chapter. I'll give you a little history of a nearby town, maybe some of the colorful characters that exist in that town. Then I'll direct people to an old time tavern in that town."

In less than half an hour, the accelerated current swept Doc and his colleagues to Riverview Park, where Flushing Mayor George Kozan presented him with the key to the city.

Flint River boosters hope his next book will spur more interest in their favorite waterway. "Having somebody who is writing a book about all the rivers throughout the state, highlighting what a great river we have means a great deal," said Rebecca Fedewa from the Flint River Watershed Coalition.

"Being born and raised here it's nice to be a part of that, see the growth of that and see people that are interested in it," admitted Brent LaPonsey from Good Old Redbeard's Canoe Livery.

In the past few years the amount of industrial pollution in the River has dropped considerably. More and more people are thinking about using the river for recreation.

"It will be good for the river because what I found is the more people use rivers the cleaner they become," Fletcher said.

Following the Flushing ceremonies, "Fletcher's flotilla" slid back into the water, ending their voyage at Montrose Township's Barber Park.

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