Sunday, September 13, 2009

Why Work Wednesdays?

One of the benefits of my work is that I sometime don't.

"Why Work Wednesdays" should have been my idea, but happily someone on my staff decided it would be good to have various trips, led by different folks from the shop. We each were allowed to pick one of our favorite rivers and lead a trip. I chose the Grant River, one of my favorites.

The Grant River watershed is contained in Grant County, Wisconsin, and runs into the Mississippi River near Potosi, which is famous for its lead mines in the 19th century and microbreweries in the 21st.

The Grant has a remarkably small (269 square mile) drainage area, which means some rapidly fluctuating water levels in the case of heavy rains. Springs feed it as well, so the water is clear and cool despite running through numerous farm fields. The banks have been well-maintained by private land owners and it looks like Trout Unlimited has been busy in some areas.

Just past Chaffee Hollow Road is a sweet outcropping with what can only be called a "waterfall" if you've never seen a waterfall before. We took turns paddling through the sprinkles and it definitely slowed down the group a little. Which was a good thing.

The Grant is a river made from scratch for solo canoes. We did have some kayaks on the trip. Actually, we had mostly kayaks on the trip. This is not unexpected. It is, however, somewhat sad. A solo canoe is generally a better tool for this sort of steep and muddy-banked driftless area streams. Try climbing up a fifteen-foot muddy bank holding on to the bow of a kayak. I was first out, which was good, as the kayakers need help.

Lunch time.

Respectfully submitted,


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