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.

Rock River – Ixonia

With water levels being quite high after all the rainfall this summer, we weren’t sure we could do our usual up-and-back trip on this segment of the Rock River. We hadn’t paddled here for several years, but we consulted past notes and decided to take a chance.  We put in at Wayside Park off Highway 16 at 2:30 on a sunny afternoon with temp in the low 80’s. It is a great oxbow park with restrooms and plenty of parking and a nice concrete ramp at the put-in. The last time we tried to launch here a couple of years ago, the water was too low and there were too many large exposed rocks which blocked our access to the water.
Continue reading Rock River – Ixonia

Wingra Creek on the Fourth of July

Wingra Creek is a pleasant urban paddle in Madison. We usually try it once a year. If the water is too high, it can be difficult to get through the first railroad bridge; the water is too strong and fast and there is always deadfall to contend with. Sometimes the water is too low and the boat hits the creek bottom which causes an abandoned trip. The waterway can also suffer from invasive plants and algae making the experience extremely unpleasant. This year we were hoping that it would be “just right.” To be sure of our hunch, we Continue reading Wingra Creek on the Fourth of July

Dear Bark River, we are worried about you…

Burnt Village Park – Upstream and Back – July 1, 2017

We decided to paddle the Bark after several days of rain and to not wait until any later in the season because of a disappointing experience last summer when we found the river, which we always said “never disappoints,” too slimed over to even attempt. It was a nice day Continue reading Dear Bark River, we are worried about you…