Strolling Down the River

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Water Resources Coordinator

When the City of Auburn Hills decided to develop a Riverwalk, we never envisoned people literally walking in the Clinton River!

1st Time Participants – Wayne Holbrook and Tom Smith from Auburn Hills DPS

Last Saturday, over 100 paddling enthusiasts took on a big challenge – the 4th Annual Paddlepalooza event hosted by the cities of Auburn Hills and Rochester Hills.  With water levels reaching record lows, due to lack of rain and upstream impoundments, participants might have felt like they were participating in a biathlon rather than a pleasurable trip down the Clinton River.

However the lack of water did not deter these river warriors.  They met the challenge and floated, scraped, walked, and dragged their way to the finish line.  Even during their challenging endeavor paddlers where still able to have a good time whether they were seriously competing in the race or just viewing the wildlife.

At the finish line, all participants gathered on the patio of the River Crest Banquet Facility in Rochester Hills for lunch and the presentation of trophies and prizes.  All had fun sharing their stories about their 8-mile adventure.

Winners in the Kayak Race
1st – Richard Ewsley, Mt. Clemens (2:01.29), 2nd – Ron Smith, Highland Township (2:02.06), and 3rd – Bradley Bloomhuff, Grosse Pointe. Woods (2:02.26)

Winners in the Canoe Race
1st – Dave & Violet Fiddes, Lake Orion (2:06:44), 2nd – Todd & Justin Landcaster, Oxford (2:25.25), and 3rd – Brian & Dante Bennett, Rochester (2:49.45)

We expect there will be more paddling and less walking next year.  So, save the date for the 5th Annual Paddlepalooza planned for Saturday, June 1, 2013.

Either way, the event is always a lot of fun.

Team Rochester Hills (with Mayor Bryan Barnett) and Team Auburn Hills