High water line on trees. Water was about 4 ft higher.

Rock River at Harnischfeger was lousy with heron

It was a windy day but the Rock River is pretty protected due to high banks. We went to put in at Kaul park (sometimes say “fisherman launch” since usually at least one person is fishing there). Since the wind was ruffling the water, the water was low for the launch, and the put-in was sort of scummy, we decided to go north to Harnischfeger Park which we had not used in awhile.

This park is a quiet gem in that it is not on Google map but it is very well maintained and has camping, boat rentals, a neato playground and even a disc golf park.

The put-in

They have a floating dock launch which we don’t use due to inexperience. We always mean to practice getting in and out off a dock but right before a paddle is really not the time to do it. The river bank just has sort of a “bump” or drop so for the way we put in, it is not the easiest. We don’t know how the kayak “scoot” method would work there either – plan to get your feet wet and there is no problem.

The paddle

We went upstream just a bit north of the  confluence with Dawson Creek and then turned back around for a nice current upon the return. There are a couple of bridges Рone is under a railroad. One notable thing about that was there was no graffiti on the metal structure. We were able to paddle farther than we had before; we usually run out of time. Dawson Creek was inviting but the water was too low. Maybe try it again in the future. It was beautiful.


The main event was seeing so many cedar waxwings. We noticed their flight pattern is “flitty” and they were plentiful. There were also many many great blue heron. They are easier to photograph because of their size. In one picture there four in a tree. They must be migrating or preparing to migrate. Also saw an eagle, frog, cormorant, plover (two kinds of shore birds). Mourning doves, fish were jumping, kingfisher, swallows, crows, geese, funny skittering ducks. We heard red-wing blackbirds. We saw a single dragonfly. Freshwater clams were along the shoreline on occasion.

We also saw some kind of fruit. We guess they were plums.