Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Going Green

The kids and I went on a little weekend adventure. (Road Trip)

Green Lake is the oldest resort community west of Niagara Falls. Many large, wooden hotels and one short lived casino populated the north shore during the late 1800's.

This is a great lake to paddle on. Somewhere around 23 miles of shoreline.

Also, the lake has a maximum depth of 237 feet and an average depth of 100 feet making it the deepest natural inland lake in Wisconsin.

The water temperature was in the 40's. We cautioned the kids and set up rules on going down on the pier unsupervised. Sure enough Morgan 7yrs. old (niece) fell into the water. She was close enough to grab her right from the pier. Her dip in the lake got every one's attention. The water temperature is numbing.

The cooler weekend air temperature and high gas prices kept the Green lake experience quite enjoyable by canoe. Hardly anyone out on the water. Most piers were still on shore and the marina was pretty much empty.

But there was some action out there. With some sunshine, and crystal clear water, Lilly pads are making their way to the surface.

Shattered thunderstorms provided brilliant rainbows. (Cell phone camera doesn't do this rainbow justice.) I was more interested in keeping the canoe upright as the wind was gusting to 40 mph and the chop started to build.

Back on Rock Lake

What a great weekend to take in all that is Wisconsin. Finally got a picture of the Sand Hill Crane that has been eluding me on my ventures around Rock Lake. (picture taken on my Saturday morning paddle before we left for the weekend). I have taken numerous pictures of nothing but water or sky all last year trying to capture him in flight.

I've been goosed! Glass like conditions on the east shore provided safe haven for this family of world class paddlers.

Good times!! - The Capt'n

Monday, May 19, 2008

It's all happening

Participants line up on the Pine River in Sumner Township Saturday morning for the start of the Verlon Kruger Memorial Bushwhacker Challenge, which included three separate races - a 10-mile sprint, 40-mile cruise and 150-mile challenge.

Sun Photo by GREG NELSON

The Bushwhacker Challenge, a 150 mile expedition canoe race is in full swing. A gruelling event has taken it's toll on almost half the competitors. You can see more on the event and fundraising efforts at the new Kruger Memorial Website

The girls (Boo and Emi) and I made it down to Paddlefest at Lackee and Joys on Saturday. Lots of people being introduced to paddling. We got there around 11:00am, and I say there were a 60 or so people on the water. A dip of the paddle to all the safety kayakers and volunteers that made this a safe and enjoyable experience.

Boo's piece on bringing breast cancer awareness through her participation in the Everglades Challenge has made the "Best of CNN Headline News" on their website.

Here is the link to the CNN Headline news piece on Super Boo

Remember you can still donate through the Susan G. Komen website!

Or click here to donate for free!! (advertisers pay for free mammograms for women that can not afford the expense.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Here come the fuzz

Cool morning temperatures put a mist on the pond. The water is not swimable, but it is in the low 60's which means no more stinky booties!!

Here come the fuzz. Little goslings in tow. Spring has officially arrived! Great morning out on the lake.

This family didn't seem to care about my presence. Must be big city geese! (which means people have been feeding them at the city park.) If you head to goose island, the drakes will fend you off and/or distract you from the nesting sites.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Into the...

It's that time of year, when parents start looking for summer activities for their children. There are so many camps to choose from. The Midwest offers so many outstanding camps, what's a parent to do?
PEAK Camp is run a little differently then most camps. We are motivated by building fundamental assets in youth. Our adventure camps are the only one that I know of that requires pre/post fundamental asset testing. A very simple and pure way to measure growth in a child. Our camps are a proven product in building self-esteem and self-worth in youth.
Our Hard-core adventure camp in June is full, and it looks like we will be facilitating another Hard-core adventure camp in July and late August to accommodate those that didn't book in early enough for the June camp. Life on the water is good...
Making the connection.
This will be our third year of working within a university system. We have facilitated and filled requirements for students in need of their 240 wilderness practicum hours... but now on to something new... this is all very exciting...
This year we will be teaming up with Northwestern University and will be part of a research project over seen by Dr. Nina Kraus.
The nuts and bolts of their type of research is doing an EEG to measure brain stem response to benchmark stimulus, through their auditory neuroscience lab at Northwestern. We will be coordinating efforts through affiliate universities or labs in Wisconsin to facilitate the testing.
Our role will be pretty simple. Run a camp that offers the sounds of nature. babbling brooks and streams, wind in the trees, the sounds of the honey bees, the lapping of waves against the hull etc. Hmm... I can do that... :-)

More to come as the program develops.

" Into the trees and through the woods to grandmother's house we go..." Scouting trip on the Bark River last night for up-coming Cub-Scouts adventures in June. I meet with a collective group of Scout leaders this coming Sunday to offer paddling options and assist in their planning.
Barely made it off the water as it was the Capt'n vs. the ever changing Wisconsin weather. It was howling on yesterday's paddle. Steady 25mph gusting to 30mph. Then it got real still and the sky grew dark... Yikes!! Paddle fool paddle!! Take cover!!
I was in the trees as the wind picked up again. A lot of creaking and rubbing of branches over head. What ever blew over came and went rather quickly.
Went to the Sunset Bar and Grille with a great overlook of lake Koshkonong to celebrate not getting dunked or blown away. The wait staff must have seen me pull in with the canoe on the rack.
Quote: " Don't tell me you were out on the lake in that canoe?" "Nooooo... not on the lake that would be silly." I said with confidence. "Then why are you all wet?", she replied :-/
What do you have on tap? - The Capt'n

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Journey on the Wild Coast

If you haven't been following along on Hig and Erin's blog Journey on the the Wild Coast of the upper coast on North America, you might want to check into their other blog too Ground Truth Trekking.

Just a couple of crazy mixed up pack rafters getting it right. - The Capt'n

Hugg'n the shoreline

An 1878 Photo of old grist mill at Lake Mills on South Main Street. Lake Mills was a place some called Keyesville and was part of Aztalan Township in early pioneer history.

Today Lake Mills is a showcase growing communty with parks on Rock Lake, a historic downtown and other assests. Lake Mills is a place where visitors always return.

Aztalan, a name derived from a ancient Aztec tradition, was a Native American village hosting a blending of Mississippian & local culture. It later became a bustling pioneer center, and is now a wonderful memory of the past.

Catching the sunrise at the entrance present day to the old gist mill. Now the area is part of the Lake Mills park system known as Bartel's Beach.

Poking around the lake, enjoying the early morning light and the very still water. Paddling the Bell Yellowstone.

Into the goose pond we go. Geese are setting up house and are nesting. Soon we will have little fuzzy goslings in tow. It is a magical moment in time.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Kaleidoscope eyes

We had our first "Adventures of Super Boo" presentation last night at the Paddlin' Shop. Again expectations exceeded, an amazing journey with the girl with kaleidoscope eyes....

John thanks for hosting the evening...

Where land meets water, nothing like spending time with your daughter. Got River? - The Capt'n

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

To each their own

Went out for a sunset cruise around Rock Lake last night and met up with Dan from Michigan Kayak Fishing. Dan is also part of the Ocean Kayak Pro Fishing Team. He had quite the set up.
It was a pleasure to meet him and hear his views on melding his love for fishing and paddling.
Light breezes turned to glass like conditions as we watched the sunset. A great evening to be out on the water. Bartel's Beach is turning into a small craft mecca these days (which is actually kinda nice) A canoe kayak rowboat only launch area.
Water temps. are still on the chilly side. Dan had a digital thermometer and it was posting 56 degrees. The cool water temps didn't stop the wake boarders and the kids splashing around at the beach though.
Man that looked cold!!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sunday Fun Day

Sunday turned out to be gorgeous out. I got up early and was on the water by 6:15am hoping to meet up with John from the Paddlin' Shop. We were to meet at Tenney Park at 6:00am. but I didn't make it there in time and John was already on the water. I wasn't sure which direction he went, so I rolled the dice hugged the shoreline and paddled up to picnic point... drats, John went the other way... missed him.

Glass like conditions all morning. Just as I pulled out, the wind came up. Boo had been bugging me to get her Pram out. So I headed back to Lake Mills to un-bury it under a bunch of yaks and camping gear.

It's no Matt Layden Sand Flea , but non-the-less a pram (Optimist Dinghy) all the same.

After about an hour of clean up, I stuffed myself into the pram and took her out for a spin. Not shown in this picture, but there were about 100 bass boats out on the lake in some sort of fishing jamboree. Yikes... getting crowded out here.

Sailed around for a couple of hours... hmm could get used to this sail'n around thing on a Sunday afternoon... Wonder how things are going down at Cedar Key?

New Boat Time!

The weather was pretty nasty Saturday morning. So I hung out at the Paddlin' Shop and grabbed some lunch with the boys. On our way back from the sub shop we even saw a couple of snow flakes hit the windshield. The weatherman said high in the mid 60's for Sunday, so I sat it out and waited for the warm front to move in. Weather took a turn for the better around 4:30pm... Turned out to be a great afternoon for a paddle.

Met up with Jackie to test paddle her new Bell Merlin ll. Jackie is a convert. Normally paddles a Wilderness System s Sparrow Hawk kayak

We put in just east of Paunack Park in Squaw Bay and paddled the Yahara River down to Mud Lake. The current was ripping and the wind was stiff, so we snuck into the e-way and Nine Springs Creek.

Water levels are still pretty high in Nine Springs Creek . Jackie just clears the train trussel.

Jackie switches paddles with me and tries out the Whiskeyjack Whiskey River Paddle. Two hours later, I finally got it back. :-/ I think she is sold on it.

Afternoon Apprentice Program.

Right in the heart of Lake Mills...

Friday found me down at Blue Crescent Wooden Boatworks. Had a great conversation with Pete Thompson the owner about building boats. Pete pretty much stopped working and sat with me for about 2 hours... Sorry Pete!! Hopefully the pram he is building will be finished for the paddle sailing rendezvous in June. It is a work of art.

We kicked some ideas around concerning the apprentice program. It would be great to get some local youth involved and excited about small boats.