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By Rob Rohde-Szudy - Madison, Wisconsin - USA

Making Time - The Lower Wisconsin River - Pt 2

click for bio

Part One - Part Two

BULLETIN: Now is the time to reserve campsites for the Rend Lake Messabout for 2012. Check the "messabout" or "messabout_rendlake" yahoo groups, or email Rob directly. But act now - these sites go FAST and the messabouters need to make a coordinated effort to reserve an entire loop. Thanks! --Rob

Most islands have at least one side with a drop-off that makes it easy to beach a motorboat.

If you look closely, you can see the remnants of a prior vistor's fire near where we beached.

Looking up we have a big flock of grackles hanging out in a tree. This is hardly exotic, but boy are they noisy!

After jumping a small inlet, we got to the main part of the sandbar.

Sometimes Donovan is really an artist with the lens.

And sometimes not.

There was a strong breeze out of the West.

That's a tough little plant, isn't it?

The clouds were amazing too.

Sorry my camera can't properly expose both clouds and land. It seems Donovan's can!

We wanted to head further upriver, so back to the boat.

So we headed upstream.

With 93 miles of undammed wilderness, this river is a good place for wildlife viewing. The sharp-eyed observer can usually catch a glimpse of turtles sunning themselves on fallen tree branches.

miles of Sauk, this stretch of river did not disappoint.

[Does not enlarge]

Unfortunately neither of us could get a really close shot. We had the same problem with the herons.

On the sandbars, there was a really silvery, grasslike plant. I have no idea what it is, but it is a nice contrast to the golden willow leaves.

As we get closer to Sauk City, Ferry Bluff rises rather steeply and majestically above the river.

A nice thing about a flat bottomed boat - you can go where it's too shallow to run the motor.

On the way back, we were pushing into that stiff wind, which was blowing upstream to make a spray-generating vertical chop. In a power sharpie the only thing to do is throttle back and take your time. And put away your camera!

Once the boat was back on the trailer and we were driving back, Donovan acknowledged that he really needed a boat, and he'd love to build one. His challenge is limited spare time. We started talking about pirogues, since they are perfect for this river and quick to build.

That sort of sounds like a project!

Click Here for a List of Articles and Columns by Rob Rohde-Szudy