Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Kayaking the Brule

Earlier this week I made a kayak trip down the Brule River from Stones Bridge to Winneboujoe.  In order to make this trip, my lovely wife was nice enough to help me out with the logistics before she went to work in the morning.  This meant she had to leave for work nearly two hours earlier than normal.  She hasn't  complained even once about helping me in all of the little treks I get ideas to do.  Be it bicycling, hiking, camping, or this kayak trip for instance, she is always there to that is special.   

 Due to the fact it was early in the AM when I got on the river, it was very calm for much of the trip.

The spring fed Brule River begins its 44 mile flow north to Lake Superior in a bog swamp near Solon Springs, WI.  I think an interesting little tidbit is that a very short distance from where the Brule River begins its journey towards the big lake, the St. Croix river also starts its journey in the opposite direction to the mighty Mississippi.
   From a slow moving meandering river, to wider narrow lake areas, to shoots of narrow rapids that don't offer much room for error and drop in elevation quickly, this river has everything one could expect a river to offer.

 Some maneuvering required.

 May have to stay low now and again.

 While I was stopped here for lunch, a young couple went by in kayaks.  Now that in its self is not unusual, as there are canoe/kayak outfitters that service the river...the fact that they didn't see me is.  They say it takes about 4 hours to do this section of river...took me 8 hurry here. :-) lol he he

 I had a few sprinkles of rain, which did no harm and only added to the richness of the trip.

 Although it is no longer living, it's serving nature.  It's good fish habitat and slowly going to the earth.

 One of the many boat houses on the river.

Although parts of the Brule have homes and vacation retreats, the entire river is in Wisconsin's Brule River State Forest.

 I come across two groups of Merganser group of 7 and another of 21.  They are interesting to watch, especially when they are under water...they are fast, very fast.
 This Whitetail deer is looking for food and she was finding it.  I watched her as she searched for the weed she wanted, ducked her head and came out chewing.

Because of the Brule being spring fed, and also dumping into Lake Superior, it is well known as a good trout fishery.  Although I caught Brook Trout, it also has Browns, Rainbows and Salmon.

Get outdoors and have some fun!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Visiting Friends at the Rendezvous

 Janice and I stopped over to visit our friends at the Forts Folle Avoine Rendezvous near Danbury, WI this past weekend.  We had never been to one of these before, and I must admit I didn't know what to expect, but it was a lot of fun. 
 I'm sorry I didn't snap many pictures of the tent areas.  This is a very large event.  We mostly visited and wandered around through the different sections of the camp.
 Little guy getting up from a nap and getting his moc's on. 

 This is our friends at their camp. Some may recognize the father of this picture as a guy that I do some biking with.
 This is a gathering of children in which the fellow standing on the left gives a little spiel to them, then fires off a canon that is loaded with candy.

 The pic above is shortly after the firing.  The children then do the search for the candy.  They were having loads of fun.

This is pic is of one of the market areas.
 And...if you have any ills

  Want to buy a canoe?  They have them here.
 This is an oven...Pizza anyone?  Bet it would be good.

 Two eagles kitchen is where we ate.
 Fry Bread and Praire Dogs
 Musical instruments too.

 Blacksmith is available

 We will be going to another one of these.  Fun was had.

After eating at Two Eagles we stopped over to the family cabin, and as we were sitting on the dock, this eagle flew right over us...but of course I am slow on the draw with the camera.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Beat'in the Heat

 Like a lot of the country, we have been in a heat wave here in Northern Wisconsin.  Days of late have reached near 100.  Yesterday we had an appointment to have our truck serviced in Superior, so rather than wait around the dealership, I brought a bicycle along and went for a little ride through the western side of town.  I figured it was going to be warm as the appointment was for 2.5 hours starting at 2:00 in the afternoon, and it was warm.  

 I hit the Millennium trail and rode that out to the end.  Granted it is not very long, but for people the live near it, I think it is a real gem.  Walking, in-line skating, jogging and using it as a connection to the rest of town seems like it would be very useful, although I only met one person while I was on it.  Maybe with the temperature reading at 97F when I got back had something to do with lack of people.

 It is a very scenic area.

 It hits Billings Drive which has bike/pedestrian lanes on both sides on the blacktop portion.  Shortly after where this picture was taken it changes to gravel.  I had planned on riding that portion also, but the city was grading it as I was there.  I rode about a half mile down that portion and decided, no, turn and go back.  It was very soft.  Even though it was warm and humid, it was a good way to spend a couple of hours...water and Powerade, lots of it.

 Janice and I also made a trip up to Amnicon Falls State Park to walk around.  Even though this park is maybe 30 miles from us, we have rarely visited it.  With the weather warm...o.k., hot...we drove up for a walk around.

 Our new daughter (in law), Bobbi Jo, has worked there for three years.  She tells us many people have their marriage ceremony here on this bridge.

 Although my $100 dollar camera doesn't do it justice, it is a pretty area indeed.

 They have interpretive signs and benches near the many falls in the park.  It is a nice view to just sit, watch and relax.

I recommend it to everyone.

Get outdoors and have some fun!!
because someone said

"Whether the weather be fine, Whether the weather be not, Whether the weather be cold, Whether the weather be hot, We'll weather the weather, Whatever the whether, Whether we like it or not."


Monday, July 4, 2011

100+ Degrees Spells Trouble

 For those who do not know, we live in the northwest corner of Wisconsin.  This is an area dotted with lakes...lots and lots of lakes.  It is for this reason many of the roads wind around the lakes and over the creeks and rivers.  Trees grow close to the roads and next to houses and cabins.
 It was last Friday afternoon and the temp was around the 100 mark, which sometimes lead to afternoon thunderstorms in our area.   I decided to take the kayak down the St. Croix river near our house to do some fishing.  I was catching Small Mouth Bass one right after another.  My original plan was just go down river a little and then paddle back up, but the fish were biting so well, I thought why not go a little farther down and be picked  up.  I was about a mile downstream when I felt just a hint of a cool in a breeze.  I lifted my sunglasses, surveyed the sky and, you turn around and get back to the landing as fast as possible.  Good decision ! !  I met 4 kayaks just before getting back.  I told them that I thought we were going to get a storm and it is moving fast.  At first they ignored me but shortly later I heard "I think he's right.  We better go back."  Another good decision.
There was at least one tornado.  I cannot remember any storm doing such a large area of damage.  It is an area that stretches for miles.  These are some pictures of the storm damage, but I didn't take many.  This link will take you to some more.  It shows a good mix of the damage.

 Along with the property damage came at least one death.  It was a young girl.  The power will be out for days in some areas.  So this brings me to this, along with the social media, I hear people complaining about being without power for so long.  The house in this picture above belongs to someone who works for a power company.  So he works the day the storm hits, plus works through the night and into the next morning and comes home to this.  There is a very good chance that after all the hours he already worked, he now has time to look at his damage and be back to work at his job in 6 hours for another very very long shift.   I have talked to 7 people from our two local electric companies and one of the seven is a close relative that is a lineman for one of these.  I talked to him Saturday about noon.  He was beat, but still going.  The hours they put in and the sacrifices they make, and will continue to make, are astounding!  
 When I hear and read the lack of understanding and compassion some people have, I am dumbfounded.  It just amazes me.  There are people mourning the loss of life (two dead, 39 injured, three critical in just one of the several counties affected) and yet some people complain because they can't flush their toilet, can't cook their pizza or they have food in the freezer that may spoil.  Can they not see what had just happened? 
Along with the lineman, there are brushing crews, mechanics and the office people doing everything from answering phones to dispatch to communicating with the families of the workers.  Many of these will not see much of their family during disasters such as this.  Any Fourth of July plans they had are just that...Plans

So for everyone out there, I would suggest to look at the big picture and say thanks to these people.

OH, and Get outdoors and have some fun ! ! !