Start: 12:50 PM - Riverside Park Portage WI
Finish: 4:15 PM - Pine Bluff (Lake Wisconsin)
Daily dist: 20 miles
Total dist: 20 miles
Companions: Doug (on a stand up board)
Weather: Fair sunny and calm high in upper 30s
Notes: Start day with over 40 people at the put in.
On the way to the restaurant a wrong turn gave me a chance to pre scout the route and I was very relived to see that Lake Wisconsin (the last lake on the Wisconsin river) was not frozen as the lakes are up north.
With a bunch of help from family and friends we got the boat off my truck and set it up for everyone to sign. Meanwhile I changed into my dry suit and gear then gave a bit of a speech to the group. I was afraid that watching me climb into my boat and paddle away would be as interesting as watching paint dry but the spirit of the moment made it special and everyone seemed to have a good time.
We quickly loaded up my boat and gear and they whisked me off to the nights accommodations they had already scouted. This will be the program for the next week or so as they help me put on big miles in an empty boat to get me just a little further south before I commit to camping out in the snow and cold. On one side I do feel a bit like I’m cheating but on the other (especially with the nasty weather that’s predicted for later this week) I am very glad they have volunteered to give me a boost on my way in the beginning of this trip.
Tomorrow the plan is to give me a ride back up to where I left off. Mom and Dad were going to cruise back up to Portage to grab a couple copies of the local newspaper with the article about the trip then move on down the river to Spring Green near tomorrows takeout destination.