We woke to the sight of the creek outside. Over blueberry pancakes I quizzed Gary on the finer points of leave-no-trace camping—especially important when you stealth-camp, but a good mind-set always.
Soon we were paddling along Superior Pond, where Gary showed me some unusual houses and told stories of their owners and local lore about secret tunnels. We saw a few lovely homes, including an enormous log cabin, and frowned at others with massively stupid lawns mowed to the river’s edge, some with the resulting shore erosion.
We portaged around Superior Dam and canoed into Ypsilanti, where the old Peninsular Paper mill rose above us like a relic. After slogging through ropey light green algae floating on the water, we took out the canoe at the Peninsular Dam. We ate a lot more pie, drank most of the last of our water, and then teetered across unsteady rocks to put the canoe back in. The water was low again here, and as we threaded our way through the rocks, we passed old tires and the discarded hood of a Ford.
As we glided up to Riverside Park we heard sirens and saw flashing lights ahead and then cascades of water across the river. Ypsilanti’s annual Fire Truck Muster celebrated the end of our short urban canoe adventure with rushes of water and literal bells and whistles.