Canoeing Adventures

May 2002
One of my photos was selected as photo of the week by 

7/21/02 - 7/23-02

My son, Tom, and I canoed the North Fork of the Flambeau River in Northern Wisconsin. This was a wonderful trip on a very nice stretch of river in the unspoiled north woods of the Flambeau River State Forest. Sunday night we car-camped at the nearby Lake of the Pines campground. The next morning we launched at the Highway W landing near the forest headquarters after I drove our vehicle to the Beaver Dam landing, which is about 22 miles down river. I received a shuttle ride back from the operator of Big Bear Lodge. We had originally planned to camp overnight at one of the river campsite near the Camp 41 landing.
However the river was running higher and faster than normal. It only took us about 2 hours to reach Camp 41 so we decided to keep going another 3 hours to the campsite called Cedar Rapids. 
This was a good decision because it was an absolutely beautiful place to camp, with the roar of the Class II rapids just a few feet from our tent. After setting up camp, we ran the rapids successfully... that is until we turned to head back to shore. That's when the canoe lodged against a boulder, turned sideways and quickly filled with water. I was dismayed (to say the least) to see my beautiful Wenonah cracking against the rock, but after we got it to shore we were able to patch it with good old duct tape so we could continue our trip Tuesday morning. 
We loaded up the camping gear and headed on our way to our takeout point, Beaver Dam Landing. This segment of the trip had the most rapids. Despite our fully-loaded canoe, we successfully ran them all. It was a blast! However, we did defer at the final rapids: Beaver Dam, which Mike Svob describes in his book, Paddling Northern Wisconsin, as a "solid Class II+". 
It has a sheer drop of 4 feet, which is the biggest drop on the North Fork. With the river running high, we knew we should not attempt this one, so we portaged on the left bank trail. Take out at Beaver Dam Landing was just another half mile downriver. All in all, a great trip.