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One of the Most Beautiful Days of My Life…… September 4, 2008

Posted by cosmicsense in Brule River, nature.
Cedars on Brule

Cedars on Brule

Private Bridge on Brule
Private Bridge on Brule

Last Sunday I made my virgin canoe trip down the gorgeous, winding Brule River in Wisconsin. ( I had only paddled around once in a small calm lake before this. Not being a swimmer, I had fears about canoes, always used a rowboat instead.)

Four of us entered the Brule River Canoe Rental early in the morning, paid our $40 per couple, picked out our life-jackets, & drove to the landing site to await a big vehicle pulling multiple canoes. We were driven to a spot 12 miles up the river where the canoes were unloaded & we put them in the water & paddled away…back down the river. I couldn’t believe how simple it was and how delightful! …for the first two or three hours.

The day was perfect; sunny, quite warm, breeze gentle at our backs, with occasional strong wind so no bugs. The water was crystal clear, shallow enough to step into here and there with little rocks, sand, & many bigger rocks to navigate. The air smelled fresh, pure, & woodsy like the huge cedars & pines. My eyes were almost overwhelmed by the constant beauty of this primeval place as we wound around each turn and bend on this majestic, unadulterated river.

After eating our substantial sandwiches we hit the first of the rapids that were more than the fun wavy rides that had come before. I had just caught part of The African Queen on TV the previous night and laughed about feeling a kinship with Katherine Hepburn.( Keep in mind this whole twelve mile leg of the Brule River is the easiest part as far as rapids go.) As we continued we went through a more difficult passage, in fact two of them where the current was fast, the rocks big and we got slightly bumped around. We congratulated ourselves for doing so well as novices. ( just a note: I found out taking photographs isn’t so easy in a moving canoe.)

The canoe man told me the Ordway family of St. Paul has owned 4400 or 44,000 acres (didn’t have a pen) on the Brule for generations & has kept it pristine & private. The last hour or so we passed many “cabins” & assorted-sized summer homes. I was finally starting to feel tired ( but not sore) & thought that 4 hours is quite long enough to truly absorb, through ALL my senses, this absolute gift of nature. Thank you Mother Earth. It is also of the perfect duration for really wanting to STOP….right then, when I thought I couldn’t paddle another foot, we rounded that last bend & came to the landing dock. We only had to wait for a group of little kids (& chaperons) who were heading off down the more difficult section in their little kayaks, which reminded me that we all choose our fear levels and hang on to them for as long as we want.

My trip canoeing down the Brule is one of the best things I’ve done lately…right up there with sitting on the beach watching the sunset on Park Point.

My First Canoe Trip

My First Canoe Trip



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