Five men, 85 miles
Tent camping and paddling down the Lower Wisconsin River
Starlings, hundreds of them, landed on the trees close enough to hear every word we said. After awhile they flew off in undulating and coordinated waves, as though some giant puppet was guiding them back and forth and up and down. Downstream, bluffs snuggled up next to us, so close to the river banks that on frosty nights, the mist on its hills slid down into the water to create a fog bank.
We were camping on the downstream sandbar of an island on mile 92, a free campground know as the Lower Wisconsin River. It runs unimpeded from Sauk City/Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin, to Wyalusing State Park on the Mississippi River. We were some 12 miles from the river's mouth near Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin.
Up stream we gazed at islands and sandbars which we had paddled past that day. We five guys, ages 54 to 70, were exchanging small talk five days earlier at the Blue Spoon Cafè in Sauk City where our 85-mile paddle to Bridgeport Landing in Grant County started. We were old friends now.
Read Jerry Harpt's entire story in th November 2012 issue of Silent Sports. To order back issues, call 715/369-3331. Avoid missing a future issue by subscribing online here.