Thursday, July 31, 2014

Carpe Diem Paddle Club

Living in the Winona area provides many opportunities to see some great scenery and get some upper body workout exercise while floating quietly on water. Every Wednesday evening when the water hasn't changed from a liquid to a solid there is a group of people that meet to paddle kayak or canoe (had to get the science references in there).

Start of the Trip

Entering Backwater

Open Area in Backwater

This Wednesday we put in at the boat ramp in Fountain City Wisconsin for a wonderful evening of paddling, one of the longer routes we have taken providing two hours of solid paddling. The weather was perfect although a little hazy for good photography. This section of the Mississippi River has a relatively narrow main channel and a large amount of backwater area.  It is wise to go with someone that knows the backwaters or you can get lost for a time.  I don't think we were lost on this trip just took one turn that ended in a dead end.

Surrounded by Woods

Fawn was Spotted Along Shoreline

In the backwater the scenery is constantly changing; sometimes it is rather open, other times it is really narrow. The water was down to a more normal level while earlier this season it was at flood level. Often the water is only a few inches deep in the backwater and motorized boats would be stranded. There was only one spot on this trip that we were hitting the bottom with our boats requiring some pushing with our hands on the bottom for a few feet. In other places there are logs in the water or overhead that you must maneuver through.

Entering Narrow Path Single File

Path Through Aquatic Plants was Really Narrow

Getting Closer to Main Channel

We often spot various wildlife along the route. On this trip I saw a bald eagle up close, blue heron, and a fawn that was barely visible along the shoreline. In the fall of the year the near silence can be broken by duck hunters shooting, hopefully not at kayaks.

Boat Landing is Just Ahead

Bill Kuhl


* By using Google Earth someone computed our trips to cover about Seven miles.

Google Earth Image of Route We Took

Additional pictures from the potluck afterwards.


  1. Beautiful photos, Bill. And since Margaret and I are, ahem, among the "bottom-feeders" of the Paddle Club, it is wonderful to see the route you all took last night. It was really something! A highlight of the season so far, I imagine. Thank you!

    1. Thank you for the comment Ray, I will have to attach slightly larger versions of the pictures to the email list next week. It would have been nice if I could come up with a 30 second video but ran out of time this year.

    2. Update, Ray has been out paddling in a canoe the last two outings easily passed me by this week.