Bon voyage on the Baraboo River

“Is that our take-out bridge? No way! I want to keep going,” I griped, just over two hours into our journey down the Baraboo River from North Freedom Park on South Linn Street in North Freedom to Geise Park on Hatchery Road in Baraboo, a trip we’d anticipated would take 3-4 hours.

I mildly negotiated a plan to move the vehicles further downriver so we could paddle on, but had no takers, much to my dismay.

The sky was blue, the winds moderate but not an issue on the tree-lined river and the brisk morning temperature had warmed up nicely, making it a wonderful day for kayaking. As we navigated the river, I paddled up and down our pack of seven, engaging in conversations with Bill, Maggie, Joe, Becky, Jenny and Greg, catching up on our summer and enjoying the ride downstream. We passed sandstone bluffs and hilly pastures and saw a cool railroad tunnel almost hidden in the shadows.

Fresh rains made the current swift, commanding our attention like a small child playing in the next room who could instigate trouble at any point. I paused my paddling to dig out a granola bar from my dry sack and was facing the opposite direction within a few seconds. Guess I shouldn’t have been thinking about my snack in an eddy (circular current)! Overall, the wide river posed few obstacles, not slowing us down much.

Experienced paddlers, we made good time, too good as far as I was concerned. I didn’t want our Saturday kayaking trip to end so early. At least we know for next time to park our vehicles a couple more bridges away.

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