Saturday, March 31, 2007

Morning molasses

Girls were shuffling around like it was the weekend or something and we had nothing to do. Laura and I got in an hour run and a 1/2 hour blast in the Bell Mystic before the rain came in. Girls were moving like molasses on a cold winter's morning.

Setting up the boat.

Mounting the GPS.

Laura takes the Captain's seat.

Laura back in the Stoker seat.

Out playing on Rock Lake.

Went back to WallyWorld (Walmart) and picked up a new digital camera. My little Samsung is just too fuzzy with the scratched lens and moisture in the lens.

Somebody alert the media

I received the rough cut DVD of the 2007 WaterTribe Everglades Challenge in the mail yesterday. Pretty excited to see the tribe in action, I popped it in. Daughters Emily and Marissa where there for the viewing. Thanks Stan for taking the time to get the tribe in action and sending me a copy... most appreciated!

To my amazement, my oldest daughter (Emily) was completely taken in by the DVD. ( she has told me time and time again she doesn't like paddling... Clarification Dad - paddling in circles on our lake going nowhere. )

I may need to re-think my adventure-paddling strategy for the summer. It would appear she has been re-bitten by the adventure bug. Here is a picture of Emily paddling the Sun Velocity.

Now "Boo" - she is ready to go any time anywhere for any reason. She reminds me (allot) that I have not taken her on any of PEAK Camp's International Adventures. She would have gone to Belize last year on the Eco-tech camp, if she had not dislocated her knee ( in a immobilizer for 3 months - how soon they forget ).

I reminded her, tough to hump a pack in the jungle with a hip to toe brace on. Here is a picture of her on the Vermillion River working a checkpoint during the Mid-America Xtreme MAX race. Best volunteer I ever had!

I am so mis-understood - The Capt'n

Thursday, March 29, 2007

My Little Paddler "Boo"

Traded paddle for violin

My paddling partner (daughter) "Boo" is also a very accomplished violinist. Almost didn't recognizer her out of her suplex nylon paddling shorts and carbon paddle in hand.

Double trouble "Boo" and "Hoo" a rare photo op.

Getting ready to tear up the orchestra pit. A very late night but a very nice concert.

Both "Boo" and "Hoo" will be paddling this year during the PEAK Hardcore Adventure Camp on the Wisconsin River.

"Boo" and I start our training for the Callie Rohr Canoe Race on Saturday. (weather pending). She is stoked. We are using the Bell Mystic ( no child jump seat this year). "Boo" will be trying out the Captain seat and steering as I take the front stoker seat. We're going to try different paddling configurations, trying to get the boat balanced out.

It's all good - Tommy Grow

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

MadCity Paddlers - New Look - New Website

Been working diligently with Chris from the club to up date the website. Basically Chris scrubbed the old site and built a new. I really like it. Hope others do too, as Chris has hundreds of hours in to the project.

I managed to introduce a piece (blogger) to the website that will allow quick summaries of paddling trips and also an opportunity to post pictures rather quickly. I love filmloop.

Check it all out at MadCity Paddlers.

Thunderstorms - lightening - cool temps. Spoiled rotten with the 75 degree weather of late. Play it safe today. No paddling.

Red skies at night sailors delight... Red skies in the morning sailors take warning. - Unknown

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Warm Water Cometh

Directly after work - I dashed to the put-in on Rock Lake. I have been first on the water for the last two years running. In such a hurry I forgot the camera!

Not this year! :-/ It was 79 degrees, all the ice was gone and it looked like an early summer day on the beach.

Kids playing in the sand while parents watched. Fisherman, boaters, canoeists and kayakers where all out to play.

I put in on the South end of the lake as we had very windy conditions. Paddled the glass till the wind died down a bit. Made my way around the lake hugging the shore for an hour and a half. Gorgeous day to be out on the water.

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. - Annie Dillard

Monday, March 26, 2007

Behold - Ice

Great afternoon walk down by the lake. The ice will soon leave us. It is pretty magical to watch the transformation.

Cascading falls, nature's splendor,Waves crashing, rocks surrender. - Rachel

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Oconomowoc River and Fowler Lake

Outstanding day! Spring has arrived!! Blossoms appearing on the river!! It's in the mid 70's right now!! If you are viewing this from the mid-west; you know what I'm talking about! Spent a couple hours on the Oconomowoc river and Fowler Lake this morning.

Paddled the Bell Yellowstone, poking around the shoreline of Fowler Lake and the Oconomowoc River.

Much slower then yesterday's blast in the Sea Wind. A completely different paddling experience.

No Carbon paddles today... going old school; the elegance and the feel of wood. I love down river paddling with an otter tail.

Put in on the Oconomowoc river and headed out to the lake before heading up stream. Hoping to beat the wind. Very glassy now, but wind to switch out of the southwest, gusting to 35mph.

Spent many a day by this bridge as a kid. Brings back lots of memories, big game fishing for the elusive monster carp.

It's no Snake Island (WaterTibers will get it), but an island non-the less

Here's the deal on these two girls. Mom and Dad are a sleep or not home, cause it is 40 degrees during this picture and they are barefoot and no jackets swinging over 34 degree water at 8:00am. They sure were having fun! I think they'll be paying dearly later for it.

Paddled into the marsh grass as the Oconomowoc river was pretty swollen. This is a great little section of river.

Love many, trust few, and always paddle your own canoe - Bumper Sticker

Saturday, March 24, 2007

"O" Dark Foggy Paddle

Great paddle today. So mild. Lots of wildlife. Pretty foggy, but I think I saw an owl in the pre-dawn light. A deer came rumbling past through knee deep water, scared the pegeebees out of me.

High water, flooded cornfields - with the extreme fog this morning I got misplaced and off the main channel. Classic paddling moment.

Fog burns off - Glassy conditions and mild temperatures made this a very enjoyable paddle.

Paddling the Sea Wind and playing with the GPS - 27.5 miles averaged 3.9 mile per hour for a 7 hour paddle - I'm a cruiser.

Water level is up 4' on the Bark River. Cruising the trees on a very swollen river.

All that fresh air, first long paddle of the season. I need a nap. - The Capt'n

Friday, March 23, 2007

Smooth paddling

Last couple of days, I've been paddling on the Crawfish river "right" after work. Literally 6 minutes after I leave my office, I am on the water heading to the wonderment of the Aztalan settlement on the the banks of the Crawfish.

The Crawfish River rises in Columbia County and initially flows generally eastwardly in a broadly meandering course, collecting the North Fork Crawfish River (which also rises in Columbia County and passes through the village of Fall River) and passing the city of Columbus. In Dodge County the river turns southward and collects two tributaries, the Maunesha River and the Beaver Dam River, before entering Jefferson County, where it joins the Rock River at the city of Jefferson. Aztalan State Park is located along the river in Jefferson County at the site of a 10th - 13th Century Native American settlement.

Wednesday- It was me against the weather. Huge thunderstorms rolling through, high winds, hail and pelting rain. Fortunately for me I won out ( this time) as there was a significant break before the next storm cell rolled in. I was able to get in a good late afternoon paddle.

Thursday - More Crawfish River paddling. Glass like conditions, paddled in a light jacket, the sun was burning bright. Beautiful out! Spring has arrived!

Friday - Selling Sevylors!! "YES"!! We have a buyer for 5 Sevylors! Now I can pay for the Birthday extravaganza weekend and the new GPS I just bought!!

Easy come easy go... I go where the river flows - The Capt'n

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Scouting trip - Boy Scouts

The Black River reconnaissance trip with a couple of scout leaders (avid cyclists and canoeists) is scheduled for May 18,19,20. We'll be leaving early on Friday and returning on Sunday night. I love planning these sort of adventures!

I met Bill Petersen (who is heading this up this jaunt) on a three day paddle last year with the Madcity Paddlers. We got to talking about youth in our area, PEAK Camp etc... Next thing you know we are doing R&D for a scouting trip over Memorial Day Weekend.

Black River is a river in west-central Wisconsin and tributary of the Mississippi River. The river is approximately 160 miles long. It begins in central Wisconsin, rises in Taylor County northeast of Medford, Wisconsin. The river then flows southwest past Neillsville and Black River Falls. The Black River meets the Mississippi River, to the northwest of La Crosse, Wisconsin.


Black River Falls is depicted in Michael Lesy's book Wisconsin Death Trip (1973), which uses photographs and newspaper cuttings to highlight the harshness of life in the town during the late nineteenth century and the effects it had on the psychology of the inhabitants. The book was made into a film in 2000 which also includes images from the town as it is today.

Wisconsin Death Trip --- Now we got something to talk about. - The Capt'n

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Wow... take a look at this

Registration has opened for the Everglades Challenge and the Ultimate Florida Challenge for 2008. Looks like Alan aka SOS will be going solo in something between a 8' Sand Flea or a Kruger. It would appear Alan got bit hard by the Watertribe bug. It can contagious.

Take a look at Archangel's adventuretri. He and Chief (Tridarka Raider)did not get their respective tri's completed for the EC 2007, but both look to be strong contenders for 2008. What is cool about it, they have taken two completely different approaches to build a trimaran. Is it too early to start talking 2008? This will be fun to follow.

Closer to home, ramping up for the Missouri 340, or as DancesWithSandyBottom would say Misery 340. There appears to be a handful of Watertribers making their way to the event. Should be cool. So much paddling planned this year...

"Break loose from all the usual excuses and conventions that keep you bound to a lifestyle that does not totally fulfill". -Verlen Kruger

Monday, March 19, 2007

Early Spring Paddle 2007

Got a chance to paddle with John from the Paddl'n Shop after the Birthday weekend extaviganza. Let's just say... John rescued me from myself (the party weekend has given me more grey hairs) and leave it at that!

There is a great story behind the Mad River CanRowboat. Swing by the paddlin shop, pour yourself a cup of jo and sit back and enjoy a good story or better yet, buy something.

Row row row your boat... - John Haugen-Wente

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Hats off to Crazy Russian

I have never met Crazy Russian, though he as I supported Team RAFs quest for the EC. ( He donated the Hobie rudders to the cause. - I donated the sails)

I had no idea he was such a good photographer. Pictures from the finish of the Everglades Challenge courtesy of Crazy Russian - click here

Operation Birthday Party

I'm surviving - reinforcements arrived for dinner last night as Laura who has been working all weekend stopped by for dinner. Yea! Laura left shortly there after... Smart girl.

It was a fun filled day. The girls swam in the pool before check out, went to a movie, shopped, had their nails done, played video games at the Fun Zone, all while talking on their cell phones to their respective boy friends. - I may need to take "Stewart" out paddle/ sailing in some very rough cold conditions for him to truly appreciate the gravity of the situation and my concern for my daughter.

I am cash machine... though my true value can be measured by my willingness to man the shuttle van. - The Capt'n

Saturday, March 17, 2007


It like a bad Elvis Presley movie, or worse yet Franky and Annette in Beach Blanket Bingo!

Hotel - One Billion Dollars
Snacks and Pizza - One Million Dollars
Hotel Security and the Fire Department - Really freak'n expensive
Look on my face, Action 10 News -Priceless

Not really - everything is fine

Actually day one of operation Birthday Party went pretty good. The hotel was an outstanding idea. The pizza- the party pool side went over pretty well. Marissa 10 years old is feeling a little left out, but she's hanging with dad.

Today should be fun. We'll head up to Lapham's Peak for a hike and an opportunity to climb the fire tower. Cruise the girls over to the mall for some shopping. Then end up at the Little Gym in Delafield for night two. My sister owns it and we have planned a lock in with the girls where they can stay up all night listen to music watch dvd's and eat ice-cream cake.

I'm back!! I think my 15 year old daughter likes me again. My position gets reavaluated every 15 minutes. - The Capt'n

Friday, March 16, 2007

What was I thinking

Got an e-mail from SandyBottom the other day. She was checking in, as my blog appeared to be a little quiet. Well I have been bracing myself for Emily's 15th birthday party which will be this weekend. Reality; I've been hiding.

We are having a sleep-over 2 nights, 5 girls. "QUIET!!! I'M TRYING TO THINK HERE!!" You're chuckle and smirk are one thing... but an all out boisterous laugh... well, HELP!!

Laura asked what my plan was... "What plan?" I'm a guy, there is no plan... I thought you were..... I need to sort this thing out.

Pictures of the Everglades Challenge has calmed me down.

Check these pictures out by Scareman - here a proa preparing for pending doom. Check out the thread on Proas at the WaterTribe

SandyBottom has a nice set of on water pictures of the EC on her blog - Click here

Nice video of Team RAF blowing by Sand Flea. Thanks Matt!! - Click here

There are no good, positive quotes about teenage girls--- they are evil. - The Capt'n

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Berg'n it and floating ice

It is that special time of year when the solid ice on the rivers transition to bergs and floating slabs of ice. To paddle during it is amazing, as these hunks of ice weigh a ton and can change the look of the channel you are paddling in fairly quickly. You need to paddle ahead of the moving ice or stay clear. The ice is like a freight train and it will take you out if you are not careful.

The really neat part about today's paddle was the fact that the wind was very mild. Usually on these early spring paddles, it is really kicking from the south southwest. It was beautiful out and with the early time change, no rush to get off the water.

Here we have glassy conditions with the channel closing out with the ice flow. I am guessing here, but I would say the ice is moving around 3 miles an hour in the current. During lunch when I was scouting the put-in was non-existent. I was able to stay river right and have this slab blow right by me.

If there was any wind at all this paddle would have been too risky. Wind out of the South and the flow out of the north, these bergs would have been very unpredictable and too dangerous to paddle around. Some of the ice chunks are a foot thick 20 yards by 20 yards.

Here we have a stranded Polar Bear walking along the shoreline. Actually it is a snow sculpture that has been moved to the shade. Those crazy wacky people in Fort Atkinson are such kidders. They'll probably bag it and keep him till Christmas in July.

It would have been really cool if they would have gotten him out on the ice before it started breaking up and I could have paddled by him on a slab of ice.

A friend, yes I do have a friend, came by and took this picture. In classic Gino form the picture is fuzzy, out of focus and doesn't capture the moment at all. But that's Gino! At least he didn't drop the camera in the water!

Actually this is a very old camera, worthy of dropping in the water. Looks like it's off to the store to purchase a higher mega pixel camera, or at least one that doesn't have the lens all scratched up.

To paddle or not to paddle- That is the question - William Shakespaddle

Monday, March 12, 2007

Daylight savings

Mild temps. - steady breeze out of the south; the makings of open water.

Still a lot of ice on the local lakes, lots of ice fisherman and their dogs running around, but we did manage to paddle the Yahara and out into lake Menona as the the ice starts to recede.

Scareman looking too comfortable in my Sea Wind.

Ready "wet" Go!! WKCR season opener.

Here is some of the action during the season opener on Saturday. Kevin out front, Unknown in pursuit.

Let the good times roll- unknown

Sunday, March 11, 2007


Scareman from Watertribe
test driving the Sea Wind on
Yahara River in Madison WI

Recap the EC
Got a chance to meet up with Landis and Scareman, both who made it down for the start of the Everglades Challenge. Interesting perspectives from the spectator and sponsorship crowd. Hats off to Etchemin who was in a power boat. Landis and company were very appreciative of his hospitality of getting out on the water to watch the event.

Ready "Wet" Go
The WKCR season opener (run what you brung kayak /canoe race was a lot of fun.) I did not race, but assisted in time keeping. From concrete canoes to carbon fiber assembled for the mass start. Weather was perfect, price was right - "free" and group is light hearted and friendly. Nice effort Kevin for hosting a fun event!

Kruger experience
Scareman and I will get out this morning for a couple hours on the Yahara River. Brad aka (Scareman) is setting his sights on the EC next year and is interested in paddling a Sea Wind after going to to Verlen Kruger presentation yesterday.

I'm manning the MadCity Paddlers booth at noon--- and working with Chris to update the new and approved Website for the club. It is going to be very nice out... gonna be hard to come off the water.

Leaving all cash and credit cards at home- A new boat, more gear... I'd have a lot of explaining to do. - Capt'n

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Bird and the Bottom

Kiwibird and SandyBottom have finished! Now I can enjoy Canoecopia with out worrying whether or not I missed something with the people I was following!

Speaking of Canoecopia. I was there last night - There is a bit of a buzz around the event over at the Hobie booth. Good stuff!

Met up with Scareman from the Tribe last night from dinner. Good times! He is on the hunt for a new boat for EC 2008. I'm putting him in the SeaWind tomorrow morning for a blast either on the Yahara or Oconomowoc River.

Today - early morning paddle, back to Canoecopia, then off to the season opener WKCR race in the afternoon - then my favorite pass time - the annual MadCity Paddlers spaghetti dump.

Paddle once eat twice - MadCity Paddlers

Friday, March 9, 2007

Lost - Not!

A great picture of the diversity of boats in the Everglades Challenge - Up on the beach far left a Kruger Sea Wind - Lower left 8' Sand Flea Pram - 2 Wa'apa canoes.

The question is: Where were SandyBottom and KiwiBird, we saw them just a few minutes ago?

The Wilderness Waterway, she's a tricky one... they are safe and sound resting up at CP3 for the last push, 12 -16 hour paddle to finish. Girl Power!!


The fun continues as we head into an action packed weekend in Madison. Canoecopia is billed out as the largest paddling expo in the world. Lets just say it is a huge venue with lots of cool people to hang out with that paddle a lot... Tons of gear to check out and food... yum.

We (MadCity Paddlers) will have a booth, promoting our club approach to paddling " Paddle once, eat twice" philosophy. Stop on by... we have candy to hand out

If your head is about to explode due to the crowds. - but you can't get enough

Swing by the Paddl'n Shop - extremely helpful staff, hot coffee, great deals on all in stock items. Tell'em the Capt'n sent ya! Hopefully they wont hold it against you... :-)

You know what the say - Cash or credit, you can't paddle either of them. - Carl Busjahn

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

The stories start to unfold

A great shot of Team RAF and how they cut down an old C-scow sail I donated to the team

Manitucruiser - Finished up around 2200hrs. He was on track to set a new class lll record. The conditions were rough heading from Flamingo to Key Largo. So it was slow going. We'll have to wait for the official posting by Chief. Manitucruiser sets record class lll !

Wizard - He is a maniac still underway in his 8 foot pram Sand Flea. The word on the big pond is he is in between Flamingo and Key Largo heading towards the finish. Wizard is in Key Largo!

SandyBottom - Taking the Wilderness Waterway steady as she goes, from chicky to chicky paddle camping her way to Flamingo. Going this route adds 30 or so extra miles to the course.

KiwiBird - adhoc team with SandyBottom. Enjoying the same experience!

Team RAF- Those crazy wacky (aerospace engineers) kids. From homeless to heroes, you have to visit their blog... or wait for the movie to come out, a great story in the making. They are at Flamingo CP3 from what was posted late last night. Hell or high water ( they have experienced both) they are destine to finish. Team RAF is in Key Largo!

For those at the finish - Cocktails and Dreams, Tall Tales and Toasts - What a ride! - Capt'n

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Side tracked

Marissa and Misty - Who's walking who
Watertown Challenge

Misty -96lbs of love

Got a little side tracked with the loss of our dog "Misty". She is truly going to be missed. She was not a certified therapy dog, but I was able to use her in the Johnson Creek School District as part of a tension reduction program I was facilitating for challenged/adjudicated youth. It was great, cause I was able to bring her to work with me going from school to school. People that are still at the agency I work that knew "Misty" were truly moved by her passing. She was a part of so many peoples lives.

The EC- still rocking and rolling

Weather has really added another dynamic to this year's challenge. I received some great photos of team "RAF". If this challenge interests you at all, go to the Everglades Challenge website and read some of the posts from the challengers as they work their way down to Key Largo.

Some great pictures courtesy of Foster Photography

Weather breezy and 4' chop to boot

Manitucruiser has his work cut out for him as he works his way into a stiff headwind. Thirty miles or so to go under paddle. Postings indicate he is well rested and enjoying every minute of it! Wizard is out there as well in comfort, working his way around in an 8' pram.

SandyBottom and KiwiBird are going down the Wilderness Waterway. looks like they have their wilderness waterway permit and are underway. Team RAF under sail staying outside keeping it moving towards CP 3.

This has been so much fun to follow. Everyone with their own personal adventure. How cool is that!

I'm really miss my dog. - Capt'n