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 CafĂ© 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...