Red Cedar Lake 2018 (first time)

This lake is probably quite pretty, but we really couldn’t see much of the water surface. We got to it too late in the season – it was just packed with vegetation. The canoe did ok in this thick plant material, but kayak paddles would probably get tangled due to the different pattern of paddle strokes. We heard about Red Cedar Lake in one of the paddling books, and it sounded idyllic; we guess they must have gone in the spring. We probably will not try again this year.
Continue reading Red Cedar Lake 2018 (first time)

Lemonweir to Louis Bluff on the Wisconsin River

Setting:

The third time we have won Ice House Getaway on Louis Bluff, in the River Alliance Auction. This time we were playfully trying to push the bid up and accidentally won! The Weinhold family offered a 2-day stay in their Ice House cabin on the Wisconsin River to the highest bidder to benefit the organization. With their permission, we invited several friends to paddle the Wisconsin River with us, take out at their private beach on the bluff and then have a picnic in the riverside gazebo. This land is private (not rentable) and part of a nature conservancy so it will not be developed into a tourist attraction in the future. Continue reading Lemonweir to Louis Bluff on the Wisconsin River

Skokie Lagoons (First time!)

Deb’s sister-in-law declared a goal to paddle the Skokie Lagoons which is north of Chicago. Our friends Jeanne and Katia live close by and the weekend we were driving through we decided to give it a try. Unfortunately, my sister-in-law could not join us but we are determined to help her achieve this achievable goal. Continue reading Skokie Lagoons (First time!)

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. Continue reading Rock River at Harnischfeger was lousy with heron

Scouting Neenah Creek

Friends who know we are not adrenaline junkies have recommended Neenah Creek to us LOL paddlers. Since a number of the Neenah Creek trips posted online show riffles, rapids, rocks, logjams, ledges, culverts and wires strung across the creek, we decided to check out the creek ourselves on the way to a Tuesday afternoon paddle on the Fox River north of Portage. Continue reading Scouting Neenah Creek

Fox River at Endeavor

Put in/take out: Endeavor, public landing off Island Dr.

Flow at Princeton gage: 1080 cfs (median 534)

The paddle:

We put in at 3:00 and headed upstream, which is south on this north-flowing river, on a mostly sunny afternoon in the mid 70’s with a light wind.  The water was high but because of the marshy floodplain the current is always slow and easy to paddle upstream. The water was very clear, with underwater vegetation visible several feet below the surface. As usual, we had the river mostly to ourselves. We did encounter a fishing boat, a family in 4 kayaks, and a pontoon boat. We had a little difficulty finding the main channel just after launch. We headed to the left and in short order realized we needed to cross over to the right to get back to the main channel. We turned around at the campground just past the intersection of County Rd T and Glen Rd. at 4:15 and arrived back at the put-in at 5:00. It was a lovely, leisurely late afternoon paddle mostly through a national wildlife refuge.

Wildlife:

several great blue herons, ducks, a pair of cranes in flight, swallows, ducks, and a couple of seagulls.