Darrin and myself drove up to the Wolf River on Monday. After a brief stop at Bear Paw Inn to arrange our shuttle, we got on the river at Irrigation Hole
. This was the maiden voyage for me in my Mad River Freedom
. It was also the first time that Darrin had paddled on the Wolf.
The river was running a bit lower that what would be ideal in the boat we were paddling. We picked our way through several quick moving rock gardens. In the flat sections the attributes of a faster paddling craft made themselves known. We were able to steer clear of all but the most wayward rafters, make our way down the river to the best section of rapids that we would run.
We got started right after the footbridge at the beginning of Boy Scout Rapids
. The river speeds up and makes a beautiful S-curve through some dicey Class II wave trains. Then we started to the finale which was Hansons Rapids,
where we got a glimpse at what makes the Wolf River
known as one of the Midwest’s finest white water river.
The next day we got up and made our way up to the the Peshtigo River
. This would be the first time on the river for both of us. We put in at the public landing and had a short section of flat water and then started in on a long rock garden, that would have been more fun with a little more water.
Next we came to the first of five drops. We got out to scout and made the decision to portage. The river pushed on to the next drop which we used the time honored method of scouting known as kneeling up straight and pronouncing that it looked good right down the middle. We quickly found out that when a canoe is full of water it does not want to deftly steer around large boulders as much as one might like. It does do a good job of raising one’s adrenaline to the same levels as a roller coaster without the peace of mind that if wasn’t safe, they wouldn’t let you ride the thing.
After the next drop is a rapid called Horse Race Rapids
it does live up to it’s name, this rapids happens very fast there really is no place to scout so either hold on to your paddle and keep it the water, an air brace here and you might be taking a trip to the washing machine.
After this we were treated to a long stretch of Class II wave trains. With a few more inches of water in the river the Pesh would be awesome from start to finish. On the way home we reveled in the thought that after two days of whitewater, we had not taken an unplanned swim. Yeee Hawww!