Monday, June 2, 2008

The Black River

Great vistas and scenic bluffs on the Black River. The Black River is a river in west-central Wisconsin and tributary of the Mississippi River and is approximately 160 mile long.

The river can be divided into two sections, divided by the dam at Black River Falls. The upstream section averages 6.6 feet/mile gradient, while the lower section through the Driftless area only averages 1.7 feet/mile gradient.

An additional distinction is that the upper section has a substrate predominantly rocky and soil that contributes tannin, while the lower section has a predominantly sandy substrate. The tannin content of the water is the source of the river's name.

Did a great section between Black River Falls, WI and Melrose this past weekend. I was digging on the sign 3 days to the Mississippi. The weather was perfect. Lots of knats and the skeeters were in full force.
The put-in at Mason's Landing is pretty nice. There is limited parking, so you don't get a lot of people there. Though there are some outfitters that run trips in the area. I saw a group put in on Sunday for an afternoon paddle further down river. Otherwise pretty much had the river to ourselves.

A jewel in the making, Lost Canyon. A mile long gorge that can only be accessed from the river offers a series of water falls and high sandstone walls. A nice hike to mix it up a bit if you are taking kids on a trip. NOTE: All Private Property on either side of the stream. Enforced by land owners. North woods justice if found trespassing!

The water was much lower two years ago when I could paddle completely under this under cut. You really have to keep an eye on the water levels if you paddle the Black River. Your choice of sandbars could leave you soaking wet if rain falls. The river is a 2 feet lower then what it was on Friday.

Lunch stop on Sunday. Don't you just love the spruce green Railrider suplex nylon pants? Can't wait to get my gear back from Mark in a couple of weeks. I'm styling...

The Black opens up quite a bit has you head further towards the Mississippi River. Not as popular as the Wisconsin River, as it is quite a drive for an overnight paddle. But well worth the trip once you get there.

Bill and his son Issac came along for the weekend. Issac's second year of paddling his own kayak. He did really well and kept the boat moving.

Marissa had a sleep over and has started a dog walking business otherwise she would have been along too. Bad news is while walking (rollerblading with the dog) Marissa fell and ended up breaking her leg on Saturday. So she is in a splint right now and goes in to get a cast on today. (waiting for the swelling to go down). Looking at 6 weeks in a cast.


Hang in there Boo!! - Love Dad

1 comment:

Kristen said...

Yikes! Sorry to hear about Boo's leg. Now's the time for her to read all those exciting paddling books out there, to keep the whistle wetted.