Ice House Femtilla 2014

We won the Ice House Getaway in the River Alliance Auction. Actually, we were outbid at the very last second of furious bidding, but the Alliance director Denny Caneff got permission from owners Frank and Marianna Weinhold to allow two winners that year. The Weinholds let us invite a few well-behaved women paddlers to land at their private beach on Louis Bluff. Continue reading Ice House Femtilla 2014

Illinois Fox River at Big Bend, WI

This trip is a segment of Illinois Fox River 1 in Mike Svob’s book.
Flow at Waukesha gauge 05543830: 101 csf (median for this date 43csf)
Left at 4pm. 1.5 hour drive from Madison to Big Bend Village Park which has a nice concrete boat ramp and plenty of parking.
1 hour to unload boats, find bathroom. Floyd E Swayze Memorial Center(Lions Club) is next to the landing, but it is unclear if it is public or private. Mobil Gas Station is 0.5 miles.
In water 6:20. Turned around just past golf course, approx 2 mi from put-in. Slow current, no blockages or grounding. Water clear but lots of duckweed.
Saw ducks and swallows-not much else. Heard cranes. Pretty and quiet. Encountered family of kids and dad and fishing boat. Very cloudy. Dewpoint 72. Out at 8 o’clock in darkness.

with J&K.

Trask Bridge first foray

Started at Trask Bridge and went right upstream for 1 hour.

Water level good but had to watch for obstacles. Wide river. Beautiful and remote.

cfs 595 slightly higher for median on this day.

No boats seen but one wave runner buzzed by politely.

Wildlife: heron, cedar waxwings, finches. We thought we saw 3 turkeys but they were raccoons out for a drink on a Friday night.

It’s a beautiful ride home to Madison up 73 and 104 (and we didn’t run out of gas – whew).

This trip was after sculpture maintenance and before Skype call with Singapore.

Bark River at Prince’s Point

We paddled while our houseguests J&K attended a wedding.
Flow at gage 05426250 Bark River near Rome: 43 csf. (Median for this date: 50 csf)
Princes point to “Palmyra” after island turn around. Saw heron, muskrat, ducks, kingfisher, yellow finch, cranes and mystery bird plus lots of plover, red-winged blackbirds, mourning doves. Water was nice level. Scary fast boats are not common, but we did encounter one that day.

Fox River – Princeton

This was our first of many visits to the Fox River north of Princeton

Flow at gauge 04073500 Fox River at Berlin: 1450 cfs (median for this date 780 cfs)

Put in/take out at end of St. Marie Road (no concrete ramp but easy put in and room to park a few cars – no facilities) Went right, upstream (which is south because the Fox flows north) to Highway 23 bridge in Princeton by city park and ice cream shop, then back downstream. Beautiful quiet 1.5-hour paddle, through mostly wooded wild surroundings, under an interesting old railroad bridge that used to swivel. Water fairly high.

Wildlife: lots of kingfishers, one eagle, cranes

Afterward drove to Montello to have dinner and hear Joy play at More Healthy Food.

Illinois and Michigan Canal (Illinois)


Setting: We picked this location because it was close to the Farnsworth House, which we toured beforehand, and Oswego, where we saw a program of short films (Luna Fest) after canoeing. It was a cloudy, cool, breezy day in the 60’s.

Water level: none available (Paddling Illinois book says there is always enough water)

Put-in: 4:15 pm at a nice sandy landing with a large parking lot at Bridge St. access near Channahon State Park in Channahon, IL.

The paddle: Downstream approx 2 mi (45 min) where we could see a marina to our left on the DesPlaines River which runs very close to the canal.  A bike trail, the old tow path, runs along the canal. The canal was a little trashy at the start. The water was clearer at the start than farther downstream. Current was minimal. The surroundings were fairly isolated except for a few houses, one of which had a herd of goats. Our turnaround point was at the site of a scenic wooded bluff.

Take-out: 6:15 pm

Wildlife: doe and faun drinking at the edge of the canal and 2 other adult deer, kingfishers, orange and black bird (?oriole), muskrats, goats.

Other possible put-ins in the area: There is a nice sandy landing at Silver Springs State Park in a lake off the Fox River. The water was a clear blue-green color like a glacial lake. There is another (concrete) landing nearby on the river bank. We heard good reports on the canoeing, but there might be too much current to paddle upstream (or too shallow). We also saw a nice picnic area in the park across from the Farnsworth House, which is downstream from the canoe landings.

 

Six Mile Creek

This was the second time we paddled Six Mile Creek The water was much higher. We got over the first blackage at last! Unfortunately just to find there was a second blockage that could not be navigated around by boat (chain saw needed). One could portage around it but our guest paddler PD preferred not to.

PD was in a kayak and the weeds were bothersome because of friction and catching the paddle canoe was ok through the weedy invasives which area located before going under the bridge.

Wildlife: heron, ducks and ?a drark bird also seen on the Scuppernong.

Time required: 3 hours door to door

Kickapoo River (not the crazy section)

This was a Saturday, and we really don’t enjoy the upper section of the Kickapoo with the raucous weekend boaters. We sought out a lower section, not as popular which is fine with us. This trip is a section of Kickapoo River 5 in Paddling Southern Wisconsin.

Flow at Kickapoo River Steuben gauge 05410490: 425 cfs (median ~450 cfs)

Put-in/take-out: Highway 60 landing about 300 feet west of Highway 131. This has a concrete ramp and a nice parking lot. No bathrooms.

The trip: We left Madison at 12:30 and were on the water at 2:45, turned around at 5:00, out at 6:00. M recalls the upstream paddle as difficult and tiring (as evidenced by 2 hr 15 min upstream, 1 hr downstream)

Wildlife: kingfisher, plover, goldfinch, cardinal, muskrat, frogs

We scouted out other landings after the paddle. Another landing on Highway 60 about 1 mile before the Wisconsin River looks good.  Plum Creek Canoe Landing on Plum Creek Road was washed out when we were there.