A last minute trip up to the property with Bryan. I had thought we would be able to get up there sometime over the next few weeks, but sometimes life just gets in the way.
We needed to get up there to clear the winter damage. There are always trees, limbs, branches and such that come down in the winter, and we always need to clean that all up before mowing can commence.
Beyond the normal clean-up, we also wanted to check out a few of the paddling put-ins and take-outs. As usual, I mentally bite off more than I can chew; I thought we would check out Hall's Creek, Wedges Creek, and Black River-South, but once we got going, it was obvious some of this was going to take more time than I allotted for.
There had been approximately 3" of rainfall in the area over the past few days, so the waters were all running pretty high. The rain was much needed as there had been a minor drought occurring, raising the fire danger. So, it was good that Bryan was able to see what the high water looks like.
After unpacking and setting up the pop-up camper, we decided to sit and take a quick rest before we took off and our local bald eagle flew right over us at tree-level, almost as if he/she was welcoming us back for a new year. I'll take it as a positive omen and a sign that it will be a good year. A bit later, I was down on the new trail leading to where the stairs will exist, thinking about pulling out my phone to take a picture of Small Hall's Creek, the "waterfall" feeder creek across Hall's Creek from us. Just then, the eagle appeared below me flying the canyon upstream. If I had pulled out my phone instead of just thinking about it, maybe I could have snapped a picture. This is the third time I have seen this eagle (assumption here that I see the same eagle each time) flying up the canyon, and it is a really cool sight to see.
While I had been to Garage Road put-in/take-out and Trow Lake Dam put-in, Bryan had not. So, we checked those out, took some pictures for publication here on our website, and did some basic mapping work. Since we were going to Trow Lake via Merrillan, we also stopped for a bit at the first dam on Hall's Creek right in Merrillan, creating Oakwood Lake. This is a very photogenic dam, and we had to stop and take a look.
Since this was a quick trip to the property, I really didn't mess with packing a bunch of food. So, we intended on hitting Rozario's for some poppers and pizza, but they were too packed for us, so it was on to Hansen's IGA, which is the former Gordy's, which came after Burnstad's Market.
Regardless of what name they use, the fried chicken is still simply amazing. So, some fried chicken, some coleslaw, and some chips and salsa made for a very nice meal. Bryan started fire with just a piece of char-cloth and some dead fern leaves... not too shabby, Bryan! Just hanging out at the campfire and enjoying the stars to cap off the night, and then off to some good sleep in the cool nighttime air.
Of course, campfire breakfast is always a must, so some eggs, bacon and coffee, followed up with a desert of doughnut holes makes you ready for a new adventure. We finished cleaning up and packing things up so we could go check out Black River-South. Wedges was going to be a 3-hour adventure, most likely, so that is one for another day. But, we could check out Black River-South.
Black River-South is our term, and it represents the waterway that starts up near Hatfield at County Road K, and continues down to the dam in Black River Falls. We had been to the Hall's Creek Canoe Landing multiple times, and up to County Road K put-in/take-out, but had never checked out the two other intermediate put-in/take-out locations along the waterway.
The first stop was Brickyard Road Canoe Landing. I really did not have high expectations for this put-in/take-out, but I was sure wrong. This is a very nice location, with ample parking and a very easy trip down to the water. We look at the kayaking leg from Powerhouse Road put-in/take-out down to Brickyard Road put-in/take-out to be a beginner's stretch of kayaking, but with higher water you can sure see how a timid section of water can turn pretty wild. But beyond that, it is just a really cool place to go and just hang out on the granite and maybe dip your feet in the water...... at lower water levels.
As far as Powerhouse Road Landing, I thought I knew where it was, and was wrong. We bypassed it when we were driving looking for it, but pulling the trailer made it difficult to turn around, so that is for another day also; but next time I do know where to go.
After a quick trip to the campground to shower before our trip home, we headed out. I should mention that Bryan picked up four ticks, but was able to eliminate them. We think he got them when we thought we were hiking to Powerhouse Road Landing. Just shows that even when you take the right precautions, you can still pick up ticks. Unfortunately, with the beauty comes things like ticks.
A really good trip for being kind of a last-minute quick trip.