Saturday, October 12, 2013

Kruger Canoes Fall Classic 2013 - Wisconsin River Day 7

"We may need a bigger van"

Scene 7 / Act 1 - Escape from Bridgeport

Operation Bridgeport - Call of duty, the return from Prairie du Chien; all made it back safe and sound; recon one the advanced team was successful in their endeavors. (details of the advance team's are held secure, all information will be released in 50 years, per section 1 article 7 of the Kruger Canoes Handbook). "What happens on the river stays on the river"

Small fire the night before departure, a review of the days exploits in Prairie du Chien; laughs cheers and a how bout what for were exchanged by all that partook.  It was indeed a great trip one for the history books, one that will be talked about on future trips to come.

Now there is no cause for alarm, we don't want to worry loved ones back at home, but we did need to exit Bridgeport in a bit of a hurry;  command was relinquished and new orders were given by the new commander; we're underway by 0700 - extraction 0730.  (he who drives the vehicle is in charge)

(Toby) Whitecaps bugs out of camp about 0330, lightning and rain were forecasted and early risers packed dry tents.  I was up milling around and did the same; the 2 naps earlier in the day (4 hours) made for a long night reading as I had an over abundance of sleep time; but I felt a whole lot better.

The rest of the clan made the extraction time; we headed for the nearest breakfast nook and settled in for coffee and breaky. The morning brought promise as we headed back to Casa Weber's; arriving around 100p we transferred gear and said our good byes! 

Until next year, keep your powder dry and watch your topnotch!!

* No canoes were harmed in the making of this adventure.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Kruger Canoes Fall Classic 2013 - Wisconsin River Day 6

Recon one, the butterfly has landed - photo Mike Smith

Scene 6 / Act 1 - Bridgeport Blues

Well we pushed onward in menacing skies; weather man stated 60% chance of rain; I say 100% as I scurry to shore to fit the spray skirt on; it not only rains, it pours; like a soggy saltine I work my way down stream; I feel drained and tattered, I feel like mush, I'm getting sick.

I reflected back on the many adventures I have experienced in my Kruger's; it's always something, whether a hernia, diarrhea, flu or some body part ready to fall off, it's always something. Not whining, just saying, we push on.

We make great time and do the search for the perfect camp site; it's barely noon, our goal is to find a place that will shelter us from the elements, but also give the group access to the Mississippi River. Two miles out from the vehicles, we have two days here at this camp site, we found paradise, we're home.

Black OPS -Shadow Company - Our advance team "recon one" pushes on to the Mississippi; do to security reasons I can't divulge who  his / her exact mission, but we have a standing order DNW  (do not wait); communication is key in any operation, lets hope cell signal stays strong in this section of the river - extraction is 0930 Saturday.

Camp is set, discussions are wide and varied, but we keep coming back to the BBC (Bob's Boot Camp) in the Florida and the Everglades Challenge to follow; serious talk, safety, training, logistics; it's a good day despite being on a downward spiral health wise I partake -  tomorrow I envision multiple naps and a bounty of food and drink... I sleep.

"Recon one, recon one, the butterfly has landed  do you copy? Over.

to be continued...

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Kruger Canoes Fall Classic 2013 - Wisconsin River Day 5

The Pig -  has to be experienced

Scene 5 / Act 1 - Boscobel - friendliest town on the river

It's ridiculous how nice the weather is; a perfect blend of sun wind and humidity. The clan shakes there head sharing the stories of two years ago when wind waves and cold were the standard; but it's the Captain's tour now; better to be lucky then good!!

What a great day to be on the river; we make our way down to Boscobel and decide to stop for water and necessities.  There are a couple of landings and we checkout both to see if we can catch a ride into town which is around 2 miles down the road.   A vehicle pulls in and we contemplate asking for a ride - Sandy steps up and makes introductions asking for a ride; Roger H. agrees eagerly thinking he's taking Sandy into town when a bunch of crusty ole sea crabs pile into his vehicle. Ha!

Roger ends up to be this great guy who used to work for the DNR doing river management; he shuttles us from store to store; Michael breaks into laughter when the first store we hit is a Piggly Wiggly grocery store; the second store is a liquor store gun shop that has to be experienced. Nothing like bullets and booze to make things right in the world.  I thought about it for awhile... I bet they don't get robbed much.

I had talked about an ice-cream stop daily on this trip and Everett was looking forward to it; we missed out with the long hot showers in Muscoda; Toby a thinking man, grabs a couple boxes of ice cream drumsticks at the Pig and makes another jester of kindness a picks up a bottle of Butterscotch snaps to toast Verlen and the Kruger canoe legacy.  We are golden.

We find another great campsite, plenty of wood and space to spread out; 5 days in, things are looking good!

to be continued...

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Kruger Canoes Fall Classic 2013 - Wisconsin River Day 4

The apprenticeship continues - "we have fire" photo by Michael

Scene 4 / Act 1 - Bye Bye Short Pants

The clan is totally in sync; like a well oiled machine; bottles of butterscotch snaps, 5 liter bags of wine and kegs of beer will accomplish that.  Don't get me wrong we never started drinking before 7, 7am that is; this was a social event, we were pacing ourselves; hydration was key; well that's what I said at the inquiry, I digress.

We paddled south southwest as paddling the other way, would be wrong; by mid-day we got to Muscoda, time to say farewell to Markus (short pants) who had to return to the "castle" Kruger Canoes World Headquarters; however, not all is lost, our stop allowed for replenishing of supplies, dry goods black powder and buckshot ( we've only been out a few days, like eager boy scouts we wanted to be prepared); this is a nice place to stretch your legs , pop a cork and regroup; pay showers are at the landing and everyone took advantage of hot water and steamy showers. Best 8 quarters ever spent.

We left the landing leisurely, the group spread out for miles; we found a nice spot to make camp and I watched the masters build the evening's fire; it's a glorious site to behold.

to be continued...

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Kruger Canoes Fall Classic 2013 - Wisconsin River Day 3

Scene 3 / Act 1 - River Time 
"start off slow and tapper off from there"

It was refreshing to see a bunch of hard-hitting adventurers slow it down and get on river time; I knew these Krugerheads had it in them!

So after a leisurely morning, we broke camp around 9:15am; the group was eager to hear what adventure I had planned for them today; the Nude Beach appeared to be a wake up call that anything may and will happen on this trip.  Simple standing orders - if we get separated hold at the first bridge you come across to re-group;  I added some flare and suggested the 3rd bridge which was difficult for the group to comprehend as there was math involved; but I sweetened the deal informing them that there was cold beer and outstanding burgers river right; I also said it was easy to miss this little hide away so stay close; which worked for about 11 secs as a sprint ensued with Michael, Mark and Sandy; off they went river right, the long way around; Toby, Bob, Bud, Everett, Mike and myself picked are way through the Sandbars and shallows.  Lots of eagles and fish jumping; weather was fantastic with a mild breeze and temps headed in the high 70's. We regrouped and paddled to the Wisconsin Riverside Resort.

It's a great stop as the food is great and they have a wonderful selection of micro brews (Spotted Cow); ice water and even a little camp store incase you needed something in a pinch.  Burgers the size of my head were consumed along with multiple pitchers of beer that seemed to be never ending.

Bob Toby Everett and Bud pushed off after a couple hours; the rest of us stayed on a bit as it was hard to leave such an inviting place. A bit of panic set in when I realized I may not be able to pry the rest of the group from the resort; there was talk of getting cabin and even camping right on their shore or to the island adjacent.  Hmm, I need to think this through, maybe over one more beer.

Not sure how it happened but I got the rest of the clan back in their boats; we paddled on down just past Lone Rock to find Bob, Bud, Everett, Toby river right; at first glance the site was marginal, but with the wind increasing it was the perfect spot as down river it opens up a bit and is not too sheltered.

With an abundance of wood, the pile grew to a staggering amount; great camp fire and stories of legend and lore emerged.

to be continued...

Monday, October 7, 2013

Kruger Canoes Fall Classic 2013 - Wisconsin River Day 2

Scene 2 Act 1 / The Shuttle

Like worker Bees, things were a buzz; the smell of fresh coffee and the lure of breakfast at Café on the Park was enough to get everybody up and moving.  Note to self: Sit at the ole salts table, they like to buy.

Breakfast complete, boats loaded and gear stored. Our shuttle arrived ahead of schedule but had to return to add seats to the carriage to accommodate the shuttle back to landing. We were off, the shuttle went smooth as silk; we crisscrossed the river as we made our way down to Bridgeport to drop vehicles; everyone excited to get a peek at water levels.  Arriving back at the put-in we loaded the rest of the canoes and we were off.

I had planned for a late afternoon departure with the shuttle an all; figured on doing 8-10 miles to get us down river; we stayed river left and went past the nudist beach; scared for life, images seared into our psyche, we need to make camp quickly before people got physically ill; let me tell ya, it ain't Southern California with continuous sun and bronzed beauties.  We made camp quickly and had a couple of cocktails to settle our stomachs.

Normally this island has an abundance of wood; late in the day with stomachs woozy wood was scarce.  I made a pitiful fire and took some ribbing for it; in the end it was just enough as peeps settled in quickly to their tents.

to be continued.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Kruger Canoes Fall Classic - Wisconsin River 2013

Photos by Sir Michael
Over the next several days I will try to put into words the fun we had on the Fall Classic; Now I've been known to take special liberties in my story telling truth be told; nothing like some additional salt in a salty tale to give it some favor; so savor it like you would a good box wine. Enjoy!

Things got a little hazy for me towards the end of the trip, but it is my understanding there is some "loose" change up in Prairie du Chien; anybody missing a "penny"? 

The trip was a learning experience too; I learned how to tell the difference between a Southern Gal and a Northern Girl - Important stuff out on the river you know, but I am getting a head of myself.

The Players:

Sir Everett
Sir Robert
Sir Bud
Squire Mike
Squire Michael
Squire Markus
Squire Toby
Duchess Sandra
The Jester Brian

Master Chariot Driver - MCD Rick (Lake Mills)
Master Chariot Driver - MCD Roger (Boscobel)
Birthday Girl / Princess Marissa

Scene 1 Act 1 / The Arrival

Toby was first to arrive followed by Sandy and Marissa; it was getting close to dinner time so we headed over to a great little restaurant "The Sand Bar"  nestled in on the south side of Rock Lake; it was Friday, so a Wisconsin fish fry was the meal of choice; being I'm a tad over fighting weight (like a stuffed Halibut) I opted for the salad bar. During our conversation, we made plans for a trip into Rutabaga a local paddling shop before the rest of the group would arrive. Nothing like a little shopping before a paddling trip to make things right in the world!

Our Rutabaga adventure went well we found everything we needed, I had a hand full of stuff but did the "needs and wants review"  of the items and put everything back "score" Brian 1 vs. Rutabaga 0; I did get Markus the stove he needed and some fuel, Toby bought a bucket, yes a bucket; Marissa bought some wool socks and Sandy bought a seat pad - we headed back to the castle as Robert, Bud, Michael and Mike were arriving shortly; camp was set and we settled in for some good stories and a few cocktails; Markus arrived shortly there after; Robert was on the phone coaching Everett to our location, when I got the call -  Rick and Bonnie invited us over for a cookout and the Wisconsin Ohio football game ( they have an elevated deck the size of a football field, a great place for a party); everyone was in, so we headed over with a stuffed cooler and a crock pot chocked full of venison barbeque (thanks Mike).  About an hour into the festivities Everett arrived; by 8pm we were a tad rambunctious, by 9pm close to out of control so we moved the party back to my house.  Thank goodness we're old and most of us got a dose of the sleepy's - so things mellowed and most went to bed, others well took it to a new level.

to be continued...

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Wisconsin River - Detailed Maps

  1. Prairie Du Sac to Mazomanie
  2. Mazomanie to Arena
  3. Arena to Spring Green
  4. Spring Green to Lone Rock (Otter Creek)
  5. Lone Rock (Otter Creek) to Avoca (Buena Vista)
  6. Avoca (Buena Vista) to Muscoda
  7. Muscoda to Blue River
  8. Blue River to Boscobel
  9. Boscobel to Woodman
  10. Woodman to Wauzeka
  11. Wauzeka to Bridgeport
  12. Bridgeport to Wyalusing

Kruger Canoe's Fall Classic - Wisconsin River Trip

September 2013

Casa Weber's pre-departure party on Saturday the 28th - camping available in my yard or at Sand hill Crane state park, right down the road; we usually go out for dinner and cocktails within walking distance of my house.

(On the water Sunday to Saturday, leaving Sunday as a travel day)
... 5 day river trip on the Wisconsin River - Sauk City to Wyalusing - We leave around 7 am on Sunday morning the 29th to drive to the put in; I am organizing a shuttle so we don't have to drop vehicles and leave them un- attended; it worked out last year as we had vans and a trailer; this may change as numbers grow and we might have to go with a shuttle for hire; most likely get out at Bridgeport do to camping restrictions at Wyalusing and the non-stop (every 15 min) trains that roll on through following the rivers edge.

Some peeps will be arriving on Friday the 27th which is a free day to explore Legendary Lake Mills and the surrounding area.

This is a fun trip / float with many options for those that want to be challenged, many areas to be explored; sand bars, islands, backwaters etc.

more information to follow.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Michigan Challenge - update 8

Everyone is in, all the peeps are in the hen house so to speak; the closing ceremonies kick off tonight with dinner at 600p; the night will be chocked with good grinds and great stories of intrigue and adventure. 

A big shout out to Jim and Debbie Baldwin at the Insta- Launch Campground for hosting the finish!  Most appreciated!!

We're hoping for some good FB cameos, so keep your portable devices handy; keep your powder dry and watch your top-notch.

"heavy ho lily dippers, hoist those frothy beverages"

The Capt'n

Friday, June 28, 2013

Michigan Challenge - update 7

paddle /sailing terminology: "hunkered down"  - picture worth a thousand words
11:47pm - 6/27/12:  Sandy left a message, that I did not receive until this morning; "All is well, we're still on the river, but where are we?" It might seem like a silly question, until you have been out on the river for 4 days with minimal sleep and the fog is as think as gravy in a 3 day old chicken pot pie. My keen navigation skills put them at the Insta-Launch; "Sandy, turn around paddle 3 strokes you're at the boat ramp" - Connie and Sandy finish @ 1:30am. Total time of 5 days 17 hours. Great job go-girls, you made it look so easy!!!
Lauren and Mark experiencing the how bout what for on Lake Michigan; went from dead calm to a turbulent sea in a matter of minutes; got to shore and hunkered down till the storm cells pass.  They sound in good spirits and are making thermos meals for the last push to Manistee.

Post race dinner at 6:00pm at the Insta- Launch in Manistee Saturday 6/29/13

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Michigan Challenge - update 6

The Go Girls are running on flower power as they tackle the remainder of the Manistee to finish up in grand fashion - S2S route of the Michigan Challenge;

Lauren and Mark are making good time after a couple of brutal days of headwinds on the outside route - "Tip of the Mitt"; dead calm offered opportunity to complete large jumps across a couple of Little Traverse and large Traverse bays and get back on schedule. they both sound in great spirits and looking to put this adventure - "in the bag";

Jack "the Hammer" finished the S2S route in 4 days 21 hours 4 min. but who's counting; A great run for sure; a dip of the paddle to you my friend.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Michigan Challenge - update 5

Lake Michigan

Like most reporters internationally we leave room for embellishment and banter; this is what I know to be true or not.

Lauran and Mark had one heck of a day paddling into strong headwinds; their sight of the Mackinaw bridge and the Mill Creek Camp ground brought refuge, ice-cream and good friends camped out; waited out the thunderstorms and lightening and pushed on after a marvelous breakfast.

Jack "if I only had a wheel nut - the hammer" somehow managed the 7 mile portage even being burdened with the lack of ice cold beer and closed convenient stores; how inconvenient is that? So he pushed on in Krugerhead fashion blazing trail on the Manistee.

Connie and Sandy have made it look easy as there biggest question of the day is where can we buy chips and a new canoe paddle ( hope it wasn't my loaner that got broke)?  Backing off a bit and enjoying the journey, they sucked right into river time and are going with the flow down the Manistee.

Aaron punched out the most difficult part of the challenge, up the AuSable; hats off to this challenger who was in a kayak and did not have the luxury of being able too jump in and out of his craft like a spring rabbit.

...and for me, chained to the desk of un-fulfillment; waddling in a sea of distain and regret; shackled to hopelessness .... oh wait that was my neighbor who works in a glue factory...  I'm good; really good!!   Break loose peeps get up, get out and get your adventure on no matter what it may be!!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Michigan Challenge - update 4

I don't have a clue what is happening over in Michigan right now in the Michigan Challenge; but I do know we have a big storm cell moving through here in Wisconsin; drenching rain lightening and thunder booms that out do Toby's snoring ( what, nobody wants to admit they camped with Toby before); I digress...

I imagine our wet and weary adventures are doing one of two things today, paddling like hell or  battening down the hatches, cause their in for a blow.

Yesterday, random text came from Sandy; broken paddle; catching my second wind; I guess it didn't help I was sharing with her I was settling in for an afternoon nap before hot wings and a couple of cold Cervezas.

The adventure is on!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Michigan Challenge - update 3

Super Moon Sunday
Sunday June 23 at 1018p Aaron Kania text me stating his SPOT had shut off; Location "Funsville, MI" right down from "Having a Blast", MI 3 miles below the Mio dam.

Sunday June 23 at 1157p Lauren sends a message that they had a mixed day of paddling and sailing; the early 200a start is leaving them bushed; they are on the west side of Hammond Bay.

Sunday June 23 at 1045p Connie and Sandy send an OK message a few miles down from Luzerne Park, home of the world's largest ball of twine. Appears all is well.

Have not heard from the "Hammer", I will keep you posted as things develop.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Michigan Challenge - update 2

Aaron getting that ever so familiar send off from his #1 fan; Connie, Sandy and Jack getting set in the background.  Thanks peeps for sending off some pictures; makes my nonsensical comments, well understandable.
The "Bold and the Beautiful" - a Kruger Cruiser and this handsome couple Mark and Lauren - pre Launch

We have one heck of a challenge going on; Jack "the hammer" knows this course pretty well, and like a cat in the wild is stalking the go girls as they make their way up the Au Sable; Jack has the ability to go all night and then some will test the go girls resolve - this should prove interesting.

The heat today will be brutal, hydration key if they're going to make it through the day.

Out on the big pond; Lauren and Mark are kicking out some distance; they launched with a light west wind right at 7am. They looked relaxed and excited as they pushed out past the small breaker line of about 1.5'. They have done some sweet aftermarket upgrades to their Cruiser that will make their journey much more enjoyable!! When you get a chance take a look at the rig, it is SWEET!

Tip of the Mitt- outside route Mark Rowe and Lauren Fry
Kruger Cruiser, Balogh 36 BOSS

Shore to Shore- inside route
Aaron Kania sea kayak

Jack M. Kruger Sea Wind

Connie Cannon and Sandy Krueger
Winona Minnesota 2

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Michigan Challenge - update 1

 The race is on as Aaron and Jack go head to head

Bob Bradford our eye on the river reports that Connie and Sandy are in the lead on their way to Alcona dam; Aaron caught Jack at Five Channels Dam and they were about 30 minutes behind the ladies.

Bob Bradford met up with Jack at Cook dam; he is scouring the shoreline for a lost nut off of his portage cart; wings and wheels kind a important, each serving a purpose.

Michigan Challenge Roster

Tip of the Mitt- outside route
Mark Rowe and Lauren Fry
Kruger Cruiser, Balogh 36 BOSS

Shore to Shore- inside route
Aaron Kania sea kayak

Jack M. Kruger Sea Wind

Connie Cannon and Sandy Krueger
Winona Minnesota 2

Michigan Challenge 2013

The sleepy hamlet of Oscoda Michigan (pop. 11) had their town size double last night; the single porta a pottie over-flowing with joy; (barf) as Krugerheads unite for the running of the 2013 Michigan Challenge; now I don't know about you, but I'm due for a little action and adventure.

Waiting on the roll-call roster to be called in so I can get the names up.  Head on over to our FB page as updates will be posted there:
under the heading Team Kruger Canoes.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Bushwhacker 2013

The only picture of the Muskegon Bushwhacker - passer-by sees Dani and Sandy tumble the cruiser in Big Rapids.

The Boys arrived at Muskegon Lake @ 1am Tuesday morning. A blistering 2 days and 19 hours run which will be hard to beat. High water worked to their advantage as they battled lions tigers and bears (oh my) to make this one for the record books.

Cell coverage was sketchy, posting by yours truly weak, but hey I come cheap.

Looking to hear more about the adventure after everyone dries out and recovers from sleep deprivation. Mark and Jack are hopeful that they don't get pushed off from their stealth camp spot too early, they are looking to catch some serious ZZZ's.

Sandy and Dani made camp before the serious rain started to fall; without a SPOT and the worst cell coverage in history, I believe them to be somewhere around Bridgeton.  What makes their adventure exciting is they have been out for 21 days of pure Midwestern adventure by foot and trail making the Muskegon Bushwhacker the crowning jewel. 

So in the end we have a whole slew of new campfire stories to be told. Keep your powder dry and watch your top-notch. - this is only the beginning to 2013.

Monday, April 29, 2013

I had to post this... too funny. How to acquire a surf ski when married.

My Hugh Heward time: 4hr 9 min. Benjamin's 2012 time: 4hr 36 min. I'm feeling good!!! Don't listen to Ben's nonsense about river conditions and boat speeds...
Unlike · · · 9 hours ago near Holland, MI ·

Hugh Heward 2013 Ceremony

 The gathering of the herd; as participants mingle around before the Hugh Heward 2013 Ceremony honoring Sir James Woodruff. More on Sir James - click here

 Janet Bob and Mike Bradford chilling, waiting for "Coach" to put on a tutorial on how to change a flat tire on a bicycle. Bob's quizzical brow tells the story of confusion and dismay.

 Mike Jack and Bob - Tres amigos; no comment required; judge not.
 Two Peas in a pod; Bob and "Coach" pause for a photo op; hard to keep these too still.

 What ever floats your boat "Coach"; where's your helmet!!?
 Coach blows a tire; puts on a tutorial; Sir James in the background supervising.

 Mike Smith Memorial Brick; well said my man,well said. Adventure on.
 Participants and volunteers gather for the Hugh Heward 14th Closing Ceremony.
 Dan Smith and Charlie Parmalee honor Jim Woodruff "The Topologist on the Grand".
Hugh Heward ceremony 4/27, Dan Smith and Charlie Parmalee honor Jim Woodruff "The Topologist on the Grand" with a dish and song. Jim sports the best full beard for miles around.

Pictures by Charles Amboy.