Up the Rouge!

Author Joel Thurtell and photographer Patricia Beck, veteran Detroit Free Press staff, collaborated to produce this wonderful book about canoeing on the Rouge River—yes, the Rouge River!! The Rouge--not as well-known as the Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie catching fire in 1969, but confident in its reputation as a famously polluted body of water.

How this river (a regional treasure in our midst) can still be invisible, ignored, misused and abused, has long been a mystery. To help put focus on the river’s plight, the two canoed 27 miles from Zug Island (!) up the Rouge’s main branch to Nine Mile and Beech Daly. What they describe and beautifully illustrate on their journey is both hopeful and grim at the same time.

Hopefully, this book, the continued work of volunteers and the Rouge River Project will attract more people dedicated to treating the river with the respect it deserves.