Monday, May 25, 2009

Kayaking the Fever

Saturday, we took a kayak trip down the Fever River, also know as the Galena River. We saw the river on a new dvd that we purchased entitled, River Trails of Southern Wisconsin. We watched all the segments on the video in our area and the Fever was one that Kevin liked, mostly due to the riffles they showed and not mentioning snags in the river or bugs. The weather on Saturday was a little sketchy looking, but we headed out to take a chance. The put in was great, a newly developed area with a picnic table, grill, and a gravel parking area. Chad dropped us, boats, and all the gear then headed to park at the takeout. He biked the route back on his fixed gear which I think was more of a challenge than expected because there were quite a few large hills along the route. Of course when he met back up with us, it started pouring rain. We waited it out under the bridge for 10 minutes or so and it stopped, so we put in and were on our way.

Another reason we picked this river was the chance to explore two abandoned railroad tunnels along the way. We even found a geocache location in the area of the first tunnel. The water was a little on the low side, reported at 3.08 the day before, and there was some scraping on the bottom along the way. The tunnel we stopped at was cool, and I mean literally, the temperature difference at the entrance was significant.

We saw plenty of animals down river, from cows hanging out in the river, to bald eagles flying overhead. We did have to limbo under an electric fence, which was probably the most harrowing part of the trip. Most of the cows moved out of our way as we approached, and there were some calves chasing us along the bank. The take out location was unexpected since the parking area discussed in a guide book we have was fenced, chained and locked. We had to pull and push the boats up a steep slope and Chad carried them down a gravel drive and around a fence to the Jeep. It began raining again as we packed our final stuff into the Jeep and strapped the boats on the trailer. We finished the day with a short trip to nearby Galena.