Chuck Amboy Reporting - Fills in the gaps.
Mike and I had half expected Mark and Jack would accept our offer to cartop their canoes to the end of the portage, but they would not hear of it.
Attached are some pictures I took late afternoon Saturday as Mark, Jack & Kirt arrived at Ray's in Grayling, and as Mark and Jack were beginning their portage. The Crawford County Avalanche reporter was there also taking pictures. He was already in town covering the festival.
Since the paddlers were going to get some fast food in Grayling near the start of their portage, Mike and I headed back to camp and did our best at Saturday supper but hardly made a dent in the 15 pounds of barbecue venison he had hot and ready. (No pic.)
After several hours of portage, Mark was ready at 10:05 PM, eager to start his nighttime trip down the Manistee, with twin LED headlights on his bow. Mike, Kirt and Chuck to cheer him on see him off.
As Mark was pushing hard down the river, Mike and Jack enjoy a 'Smithfire', as Mike said Verlen called this style of campfire-from-roaring-inferno. Jack went to stay at a motel & get a shower, then set out down the river Sunday morning after a chat with Mike.