Friday, May 23, 2008

More Grant River

The Grant River is relatively unknown to many Wisconsin paddlers. It doesn't have the name recognition of the Kickapoo, though the rivers are similar in many ways. Limestone bluffs are common, and the ferns and other little plants cling to them in proliferate abundance (redundant, but purposefully redundant).

I went with Jon from the shop, who called the night before after noticing on my Facebook status that I was "going paddling tomorrow." I was delighted to have a companion, especially one who is a competent paddler and a thoughtful observer of life. Jon can enjoy a river without talking a lot, but he's by no means taciturn. He just doesn't prattle.

Stephanie and I had paddled the section of the Grant just below this one, and I was curious to see the upper section. It was lovelier still. Great little grottos like this one.

The Five Fingers KSOs were on their maiden voyage and did a fantastic job, better than the Classics I used to wear as watershoes. I still use Classics for dry land stuff (such as grocery shopping—you should see the looks I get), but the KSOs (Keep Stuff Out) kept stuff out. I hate to sound like an infommercial but I really think these are great. Jon was wearing sandals and the abrasive action between boat and foot (just add a little sand and water) left him with a few little open sores. My feet, besides having a funny tan line, were perfectly sound.

Okay, back to paddling...

Or not. The wildflowers were still thick, and while Jon volunteered for the bike shuttle, I poked around the woods. Anemones were in bloom, lovely little patches of white in the deep green of the forest.

There was also one stalk of red baneberry (Actaea rubra) which was rare for me to see, I guess the wet cold Spring kept things around a little longer than usual. Nature waited for me to get my affairs in order and get out there, and for that I thank her.

One of the benefits of a waterproof camera is that you can take shots like this and not worry about your camera getting damp. The water was gorgeous, very clear for this time of year, and with polarized glasses you could see fish darting about and the occasional turtle wondering what we were.

The Miterwort was blooming...get a hand lens and enjoy. These are amazing flowers. I am so glad I don't live in a desert.

Respectfully submitted to the committee,


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