Fox Wisconsin Heritage Parkway

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Day 4: Paddling with Reuben Thwaites

In his classic book, Historic Waterways. author and
paddler Reuben Thwaites writes, ” One sees and
feels so much, canoeing, that the days are like
weeks of ordinary travel. 200 miles by river are more
full of the essence of life than 2000 by rail.” This is
what we have been craving. Early in the trip I asked
my mates,”Why do we do these trips?”  Before
anyone could answer , we paused to listen to the
throaty primordial call of the Sandhills crane! It
was the obvious answer-obvious because of the
knowing nods between us. As we have paddled into more
settled parts of the Fox River, the distinction
between backcountry camping and established
campgrounds ( though they are mostly empty) has
sharpened. Our tents are up and we sit in the midst
of many muti-colored stuff sacks which only a
moment before were neatly contained in a Frost
River  Old Number 7.( Frost River packs are made in
Duluth, MN) A fellow campground resident rolls up
and asks, “Are you camping?” There is really only
one answer to that question given our situation.
“yup!”
A beautiful morning paddle down Buffalo Lake.
Warblers are numerous along the lake edge. The
portage at Montello is a bit rough yet, but should
be serviceable in a couple months. (Look for an
alternate route through town for now.) Just a mile out of
of town and in time for lunch we are treated to a
spectacular horizontal rainbow. We have stopped for
the evening to dry tents, tarp and catch up on our
individual journals.
We are always looking about and scanning the skies while
while paddling. Remember the old outdoor ed saying,”
“Up, down and all around!” It is also good to
remember what George Perkins Marsh wrote,”Sight
is a faculty.” “Seeing is an art.”

Early am paddling on the Buffalo

Early am paddling on the Buffalo

Your blogger-"shameless selfie"

Your blogger-“shameless selfie”

Floating the Fox River below Montello

Floating the Fox River below Montello

Pete and Ejner bird watching during lunch- they reported seeing a black capped gray beard

Pete and Ejner bird watching during lunch-
they reported seeing a black capped gray beard

View of the Fox just before PuckWay Lake

View of the Fox just before PuckWay Lake

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