Sunday, June 17th
Fathers’ Day. I’m awakened by camp noises. We’re due to have a nice hearty breakfast before we head on the way to our take out. We get to business getting the fire going, we need coals for cooking our dutch oven peach french toast.
The river is significantly higher today. Larry tells me the folks on the other side of the sandbar have been up since about 4AM when someone discovered the river was flowing through their tent. By the time I’m up, around 7, they are mostly packed up already.
We get breakfast made and camp torn down in decent time and when it’s all done we’re starting to pack the canoes around 9. Larry has a good idea and instead of trying to load the canoes in what’s now knee to thigh deep water we have the kids walk the canoes over to behind our campsite where the river is now cutting through what used to be the middle of the sandbar. This works great, and we can get the canoes fully loaded and just pull them out into the river with ease. We’re loaded and ready to go about 9:45 and the group pushes off. The river is very high today, definitely more than a vertical foot deeper than yesterday morning. We could not have timed this trip any better in regards to the water levels. I think of the other group that camped on our sandbar and wonder if they lost anything when the river was found to be invading their camp?
Our final couple miles on the Wisconsin go by in about 45 minutes. The landing for Tower Hill is a little overgrown and at first it’s not entirely clear you’re headed the right way, but eventually we found the landing. Everyone helps with getting the canoes unloaded and out of the water and Larry brings the canoe trailer down so we can start getting it loaded up. While he oversees that, Joann drives me and Brian back to the Arena landing to retrieve our cars. The guy at the entrance station to the state park is nice to us on our return and lets my car in even though I don’t have a sticker…. I told him we’re just here to swoop in and pick up our Scout group, and we’d be gone quickly. He waves us all through without another word.
We bring the cars down to the landing to load up all the gear. For the most part people have kept their own items together so there isn’t much sorting to do, just load up the cars with the equipment and then the people.
We stop at Culvers in Spring Green and get the great surprise that dads get a free ice cream today, and the flavor of the day is chocolate raspberry. It’s a great capstone on a hot, but otherwise awesome weekend!