Monday, July 19, 2010

Sugar River Kayaking

Chuck and I got up at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday to load the kayaks on the car and meet our friends, Ron and Cheri, and John and Ruth at the launch site in Attica Wisconsin at 10:00 a.m.  We were busy the night before at the artist reception and silent auction for the Wauwatosa Plein Air Affair, and then eating Mexican food at Hector's with the other 2 Martini Girls.  Had a wonderfully twisted idea for a still life, but more about that later.

The Sugar River is quite wide in most places, but unfortunately, about 3 weeks ago, there was a really bad storm that came through and downed almost 2 dozen trees--nearly blocking the river in as many places.  So what we figured would be a 2 hour trip at best, turned out to be a 5 1/2 hour trip to reach our destination.  It wouldn't have been too bad, but it seemed that each time we approached a blockage, the current would push us up directly parallel to the tree trunk in the water.  Our kayaks, although only about 14 feet long, would get wedged between tree branches in the water and the shore.  Then we would have to push and pull against the tree trunk to try and get the bow and stern perpendicular to the trunk to slide through the 4 foot opening between the shore and the tree.  Hard work and my shoulders took the brunt of it.  It was difficult to stop and take photos for fear my kayak would hit another tree, but will try to upload tonight.  I'm getting behind in that respect.

Once we were on shore, we loaded up the kayaks and headed over to the Oakhill B&B to shower off, and then to New Glarus for dinner at the Glarner Stube. 

On Sunday, we decided to take it easy, and Chuck let me know, in no uncertain terms, that he would not be kayaking that day.  Cheri and Ron, and friends Mary and John left right after breakfast to kayak the stretch of the river between Albany and Broadhead.  There are lots of tubing excursions on that stretch, so the outfitters are probably very good at removing any downed tree debris.

We decided to head back to New Glarus and visit the Primrose Winery, where we tasted and purchased a few bottles.  On the way we stopped in Monticello.  I took photos of a really cool old gas station, some of their historic buildings, and a very nice park with a lagoon.  After lunch at the Glarner Stube, we headed back home via the scenic route.  What a wonderful weekend.

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