Five of us--Beverly Serrell and Nancy Saulsbury in a canoe, and Nancy Moore, John Olson and Jim Des Jardins in kayaks--did a kayak/canoe camping trip on the Wisconsin River on the weekend starting Friday afternoon, June 29th, arriving about noon on Sunday, July 2nd.
It was a very relaxing paddle of about 30 miles from the town of Boscobel to Wyalusing State Park on the Mississippi River around the corner from the junction of the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers.
Friday and Saturday nights, we camped on sand bar islands in the river. This is the more remote part of the Lower Wisconsin River with high bluffs as we approached the Mississippi. We generally had the river to ourselves, with the exception of Sunday morning when there were other groups of paddlers nearby.
The days were beautiful and hot with a light breeze. Our first trip on the Wisconsin River without rain, ever. We drank lots of water and Gatorade for relief from the heat. But, after setting up camp, we cooled off in the shade of the "wing" and by sitting in the river. It felt like heaven. In fact, it felt so good that we did multiple spells in the river Saturday afternoon and evening. After a hot day of paddling, nothing approaches the feeling of sitting in a flowing river with water up to your neck.
Mealtimes were communal. Traveling with four good cooks was great. Although the canoe was a little slow, it carried the coolers and made meals a joy. There were after-paddle gin-and-tonics with ice, cold beer, and loads of food. Gone was Jim's usual camping fare of freeze-dried dinners. We celebrated Nancy Saulsbury's birthday on Sunday.
Some of the creatures we saw were sand hill cranes, bald eagles, great blue herons, Canada geese, spotted sandpipers, banded kingfisher, some little brown birds and a swimming Western fox snake. Many footprints of raccoons and deer.
A great time was had by all.
Jim Des Jardins and Beverly Serrell