Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Paddling the Bois Brule

Today Noelle and I went over into Wisconsin to the Brule River State Forest to paddle the Bois Brule River. We rented a canoe from the outfitter in town and drove to the Winneboujou Landing where the outfitter came to pick us up and drive us to the starting point of our river trip the Stones Bridge Landing.

Since it was a weekday, and not particularly sunny out, we knew it would be a good day for solitude on the river. Unfortunately, we got rained on. It rained pretty hard for about 15 minutes before the sun came out for a while and dried us out. Along the way we saw lots of interesting birds. We saw about 5 bald eagles, 30 common mergansers, some belted kingfishers, cedar waxwings, a great blue heron, pileated woodpeckers, and American robins. We also paddled past some interesting old cabins, including the Cedars, one of the summer White Houses of Calvin Coolidge. Interestingly, several other U.S. presidents have fished and paddled the Bois Brule including Dwight D. Eisenhower and U.S. Grant.

Besides the Cedars there were plenty of other neat looking cabins. Many of them were complete with elaborate boathouses with many canoes on their docks. It seems like a great spot for a vacation home. While I'm usually not really into seeing civilization while paddling, the rustic architecture and history of the cabins along the Bois Brule added to the ambiance of the paddle rather than detracted from it.

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