September Big Falls
September Big Falls

For it isn't the same river, and you aren't the same man.

Flow
Flow
The Path to the River
The Path to the River
Icy, Clear, Perfect
Icy, Clear, Perfect

The Bois Brule is beyond beautiful.

Pothole of Sparkles
Pothole of Sparkles

The water was making pot holes in the sandstone, which meant for all sorts of nifty water flows.

Gorge Falls
Gorge Falls

There is something truly special about the Black River canyon in the U.P.

Precipice
Precipice
Everywhere
Everywhere

Went pretty far north for this one. There is water everywhere up there, of all shapes, sizes, and flows.

Wisconsin Oasis
Wisconsin Oasis

Everyone has their special little spots. This is one of mine.

Fall, Turn, Push, Flow.
Fall, Turn, Push, Flow.

Feel it.

Finishing Upper Hemlock
Finishing Upper Hemlock

Evan finishes up the final portion of Upper Hemlock rapid on the Paint River in Michigan. This was a gorgeous U.P. river with a few peppy rapids that stretched for almost a half mile. 

Isolation
Isolation

An island in the middle of a harsh lake during the time it gets angry the easiest, give me that.

Dancing Over the Edge
Dancing Over the Edge

One of my favorite hidden spots. Found a few Brook Trout in the pool.

This Creek
This Creek

This creek is a special place. 

Every Scale
Every Scale

All of it, some of it, just a little bit, it all is good at the river.

As the Gorge Turns
As the Gorge Turns

Falling water is.

Upper Hemlock Rapids
Upper Hemlock Rapids

The Paint River has a lot of great scenery and a few sections of rapids, although this one is just the warm-up to the Lower Hemlock section.

Border Brule River
Border Brule River

7 hours and 42 miles later and I've found a new favorite! The Brule River makes up the border between Wisconsin and the U.P. and it is spectacular!

Spring along the river.
Spring along the river.

The river valley is showing many signs of life, spring is here.

"Go With the Flow" said the river
"Go With the Flow" said the river

The river has many lessons for you, if you are willing to listen.

Eddies.Currents.Falls.
Eddies.Currents.Falls.

You could hear the roar well before getting a glimpse of the falls. You could feel it through the ground vibrations, through the moisture in the air. In every way you are surrounded by the river and falls. 

Mishicot Falls, April 3rd 2016
Mishicot Falls, April 3rd 2016

Mishicot Falls looked fantastic today, smooth leading to gnar.

From the Sisters
From the Sisters

This image was captured on April 3rd in Pier's Gorge. There was a fresh dusting of snow that seemed like winter's last dance.

Lost in the Motion of the Waves
Lost in the Motion of the Waves

Moving and falling water holds endless beauty, always changing, never the same.

EC River Waves mar2016 004.jpg
Baptism's Eye
Baptism's Eye

There is a mysterious quality to the mouth of the Baptism River. 

Illgen Falls. Close up.
Illgen Falls. Close up.

Illgen Falls is well hidden. Located within Tettegouche State Park along Minnesota's north shore of Lake Superior, it doesn't get labeled on most maps. Just my kind of waterfall.

Self Portrait, January 2016
Self Portrait, January 2016

This isn't a self-portrait at all, but rather a composite that feels most true to myself. Isn't that what a self-portrait should be anyway?

Vermillion Falls on the Vermillion River
Vermillion Falls on the Vermillion River

The juxtaposition of Man versus Nature at Vermillion Falls cannot be ignored. Large waterfall and rocky outcroppings on one side seemingly dwarfed by man's desire to rule...or at least that was the plan. I like to think Nature is holding off Man here at the falls, maybe even making a push back.

Montreal River near Peterson Falls
Montreal River near Peterson Falls

As I stood on the precipice of Peterson Falls I glanced down the river valley. Although there for the falls, this view was my favorite. From the bird's eye perspective at the top of the falls you can see quite a ways down the corridor.

Peterson Falls on the Montreal River
Peterson Falls on the Montreal River

Here the Montreal River makes the border of Wisconsin and Michigan, even as it spills over 40 feet to the pool below. This isn't the last large waterfall before making its final descent into Lake Superior, that title goes to Superior Falls, a 100+ foot behemoth near the river's mouth.

Small stream meet Lake Michigan
Small stream meet Lake Michigan

While exploring the Lake Michigan shoreline on an early December morning, we stumbled upon this creek spilling into the lake. It was neat to see the flow of this tiny little trib meet the entirety of Lake Michigan.

Swimming With a Fantail
Swimming With a Fantail

While sampling a small Wisconsin creek for invertebrates I accidentally netted this fantail darter. These guys are a nifty looking little fish, most notably their "chopped" dorsal fin. The parallel bars on the fishes tail also add to the neat look.

Willow
Willow

Willow Falls, September 27th, 2015.

Movements on the Surface
Movements on the Surface

The variety and shapes and textures photographed water can take on is amazing. Get lost in a drop or 30.

Willow Falls in Late September
Willow Falls in Late September

We hiked around Willow River State Park and were impressed with the views. Willow Falls was definitely a highlight as it crashes violently through the gorge. An overlook perched high above the falls gives the hiker another option to explore. Continuing around the lake there were some awesome views looking south as well, and again, a bit unexpected. Good stuff Willow!

Great Lake Life
Great Lake Life

Lake Superior has so much variety to offer along its shoreline. I find myself enjoying the landscape dotted with sailboats quite a bit, although the raw wild landscape will always be my preference. This was captured near Duluth, Minnesota.

Dells of the Eau Claire
Dells of the Eau Claire

I grew up near the Dells of the Eau Claire River. As a kid I loved to play on the rocks and watch the water split the islands and boulders. As an adult I have the exact same wanderlust for places like this and still like playing on the rocks and watching the water.

Flowering Watershield in Northern Wisconsin
Flowering Watershield in Northern Wisconsin

In late July and early August the football shaped lily pad Watershield begins to flower. At the peak of flowering entire backwaters can be filled with the green footballs and tiny flowers. This image was captured on Audie Lake in Northern Wisconsin in late July.

Scenes on the Paint
Scenes on the Paint

There is always something unique to enjoy, along the Paint River I am consistently in awe. 

Good Morning Eau Claire!
Good Morning Eau Claire!

Thanks to historical industry in downtown Eau Claire we now have these great footbridges all over town. Never a bad time to go explore!

The Chippewa River Waking Up
The Chippewa River Waking Up

I really enjoy my bike ride to work. Every now and then the river really stands out. This morning was one of those days, with the light fog dancing over the glassy surface of the river. As the sun began to gain momentum the scene was set. Another beautiful day in Eau Claire!

Sunrise on the Peshtigo River
Sunrise on the Peshtigo River

After I put on my wetsuit and booties I shuffled across the 20 foot ice chunk to the edge of the river. It was going to be a great day for some whitewater. It turns out I can't find a "bad" day on the water.

Moose and the Yellow River
Moose and the Yellow River

Moose and I were both impressed by the personality of this segment. Below Cadott, WI the Yellow River curves and winds its way under a beautiful canopy. The small rapids and riffles along the way just add to the adventure.

A Sliver of the Eau Claire River
A Sliver of the Eau Claire River

You could spend an entire lifetime visiting a stream and never see the same thing.

Spiral Stump
Spiral Stump

As I hiked and explored along the Minnesota River this unique tree stump caught my eye.

Sunrise on the Eau Claire River
Sunrise on the Eau Claire River

The Eau Claire River has so many amazing features and areas to explore!

Lake Michigan Dreams
Lake Michigan Dreams

Playing with light and water is a pastime of mine. Here the crisp, frigid waters of Lake Michigan dance with the light for the first time since icing over last year. Spring has arrived in full force.

Gorge Frog
Gorge Frog

This frog was hanging out in Pier's Gorge, soaking up the sun and taking in the view. I was doing mostly the same thing and we got a long great!

Piers Gorge on the Menominee River
Piers Gorge on the Menominee River

Piers Gorge on the Menominee River is something to see at every time of day. As the sun starts to think about dipping below the trees, my mind begins to wander to runs of paddles past. Along this section of river the Menominee drops quite a large amount, leaving class III and IV whitewater for about 1/4 mile.

Larval Fish on the Eau Claire River
Larval Fish on the Eau Claire River

Stopping to smell the roses and found some fish too!

Blue Heron Surveying the Scene
Blue Heron Surveying the Scene

I feel fortunate to get sightings of Blue Herons nearly every day I am working in the field. They have an ancient quality to them and their archaic calls only add to this. This one was intently watching something ahead, oblivious to our existence.  

Exploring the backwaters of Townline Lake
Exploring the backwaters of Townline Lake

Townline Lake is located in northern Chippewa County and has a paddle-in campsite with fire ring and pit toilet. The lake is surrounded by extensive forests with many other paddle options in the area.

Rock and Water on the Eau Claire River
Rock and Water on the Eau Claire River

The swift water moves past rocks on the Eau Claire River near Big Falls. Rock outcroppings from the Niagara Escarpment produce numerous falls and waves at this location. This is the same bedrock layer that creates Niagara Falls.

Rocks of Mount Simon line Dell's Pond
Rocks of Mount Simon line Dell's Pond

Dell's Pond was originally created as a storage basin for lumber. These days it gets more use as a recreational destination.

Side canyon on the Black River
Side canyon on the Black River

The Black River has an endless supply of surprises as you float downstream. This and many of the side canyons provide awesome side excursions with large canyon walls rising an impressive level above the stream.

Scouting the Kickapoo
Scouting the Kickapoo

Spent the night camping at Wildcat Mountain State Park and then set out to scout the Kickapoo River valley and find out a bit more about the paddle. 

Sandstone along the Kickapoo River
Sandstone along the Kickapoo River

One of the oldest rivers in the world, the Kickapoo meanders through sandstone cliffs among the peaks and ravines of the driftless region. 30+ species are endemic to this river valley!

Eau Claire River Afternoon
Eau Claire River Afternoon

From Lake Eau Claire to Lake Altoona the Eau Claire River meanders through the countryside with many large sandy banks, some reaching over 80 feet above the river. It is no wonder this river system is notoriously sandy as one afternoon will make that very clear.

Sunset on the Lake
Sunset on the Lake

Never a shortage of good spots along the southern shore of Lake Superior. This one was in the Porkies.

Island Camping in March
Island Camping in March

On a balmy Saturday in March I launched from Eau Claire for what would be a 33 mile paddle, and the season opener. Although the river was flowing, I was surrounded by floating ice chunks the entire time. At one point a city block sized piece was dislodging and threatening to block my boat in and wreck havoc if I didn't get moving. Nonetheless that only made for more adventure and excitement. While capturing this image a beaver swam a few feet from me and gave a friendly snort. We are all friends on the river.

The Kickapoo River Valley at Sunrise
The Kickapoo River Valley at Sunrise

The view from Wildcat Mountain was fantastic as the fog rolled through the river valley below. Shortly after this image the clouds had already burned off.

Fall in Arkansaw Creek
Fall in Arkansaw Creek

The leaves settle in many places, sometimes under the surface of a river or stream. Arkansaw Creek is surrounded by steep sandy cliffs and dotted with riffles and small rapids. 

Rapids on Cedar Creek
Rapids on Cedar Creek

This one was found in the middle of Cedarburg, Wisconsin. Sometimes the perfect scene is right next to a sidewalk.

Music and a Swim on Coon Fork Creek
Music and a Swim on Coon Fork Creek

Tyler and I hiked the shoreline of Coon Fork Creek, exploring the rock features and rapids. As the sun poked through the trees I decided to jump in for a swim. 

Evening Paddle on Half Moon Lake
Evening Paddle on Half Moon Lake

Formerly a branch of the Chippewa River, Half Moon Lake now serves as a recreation destination right in Eau Claire.

Lower Big Falls on the Eau Claire River
Lower Big Falls on the Eau Claire River

There are many sections to Big Falls, especially during low water levels. Exploring a new area is like visiting a new rapid of waterfall.

Horserace Rapids on the Paint River
Horserace Rapids on the Paint River

The Paint River flows through the Upper Peninsula of Michigan amongst spectacular northern forests. Numerous rocks of all shapes and sizes poke through the trees. Given the variety of mosses and lichens, one could add colors too. 

Soo Line Bridge in Eau Claire
Soo Line Bridge in Eau Claire

A rare "S"-shaped bridge in the city of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Below, the Eau Claire river flows swiftly to its confluence with the Chippewa River a short distance away.

Bends and Riffles on the Yellow River
Bends and Riffles on the Yellow River

Quiet, intimate streams like the Yellow River are the type of paddle that make Sunday Worship an outdoor activity.

N55.2
N55.2

There are numerous camping options along the Namekagon River. On this trip we caught good water and covered 89 miles of the Namekagon + 5 on the St. Croix for a 94 mile trip over 3 days.

Flatwater
Flatwater

Marko preps his paddlers before they enter the class IV whitewater that is Pier's Gorge. As you learn what to do in the rapids, the anticipation builds, then you hear the dull and distant roar grow louder and louder. The rapids hiding themselves below the horizon only adding to the excitement. Seconds before the turbulence your guide yells, "ALL FORWARD!" and it begins.

The Soul of a Wave
The Soul of a Wave
Hamilton Falls on the North Fork of the Eau Claire
Hamilton Falls on the North Fork of the Eau Claire

When you look at a map of Eau Claire county only 2 falls are listed. The first, Big Falls, is well visited by many. The lesser known of the 2, Hamilton Falls, is on the eastern edge of Eau Claire county. It is a shelf/staircase waterfall with a few feet of drop. In high flows the rapid disappears altogether with a gentle slope in its place.

Winter Exploration on the Eau Claire River
Winter Exploration on the Eau Claire River

Cold temperatures plus irregular splashing and flows can do amazing things on rivers in the heart of winter. The Eau Claire River always has a few tricks up its sleeves. 

Good Morning Minnesota!
Good Morning Minnesota!

April on the Minnesota River is an exciting time. The wildlife is awake and abundant, complimenting the early hours on the water quite nicely. Spending that time with your dad makes it just about perfect.

Copper Falls in Winter
Copper Falls in Winter

Copper Falls has a quiet and calm allure to it in during the coldest months of the year. 

High Bridge Opens in Eau Claire
High Bridge Opens in Eau Claire

It was only a few years ago that this "High Bridge" was nicknamed "Scary Trestle". The run crossed the bridge when it was just rail ties with a big gap between them and no railing. I don't think I ever quite appreciated the view in those days.

Mishicot Falls in February
Mishicot Falls in February

Every day and every season the river changes. When the water flows during winter there is a peaceful serenity mixed in with the chaos.

Watershield Party
Watershield Party

These lily pads were quite thick in many of the backwaters on Audie Lake. Although the title claims a Watershield party, it appears as though they let a White Water Lily join them. Glad to see the different species getting along!

The Eau Claire River Wakes Up
The Eau Claire River Wakes Up

It seems like the rivers are making a push to thaw out a bit lately. We will see if this keeps up. Enjoy it while you got it!

September Big Falls
Flow
The Path to the River
Icy, Clear, Perfect
Pothole of Sparkles
Gorge Falls
Precipice
Everywhere
Wisconsin Oasis
Fall, Turn, Push, Flow.
Finishing Upper Hemlock
Isolation
Dancing Over the Edge
This Creek
Every Scale
As the Gorge Turns
Upper Hemlock Rapids
Border Brule River
Spring along the river.
"Go With the Flow" said the river
Eddies.Currents.Falls.
Mishicot Falls, April 3rd 2016
From the Sisters
Lost in the Motion of the Waves
EC River Waves mar2016 004.jpg
Baptism's Eye
Illgen Falls. Close up.
Self Portrait, January 2016
Vermillion Falls on the Vermillion River
Montreal River near Peterson Falls
Peterson Falls on the Montreal River
Small stream meet Lake Michigan
Swimming With a Fantail
Willow
Movements on the Surface
Willow Falls in Late September
Great Lake Life
Dells of the Eau Claire
Flowering Watershield in Northern Wisconsin
Scenes on the Paint
Good Morning Eau Claire!
The Chippewa River Waking Up
Sunrise on the Peshtigo River
Moose and the Yellow River
A Sliver of the Eau Claire River
Spiral Stump
Sunrise on the Eau Claire River
Lake Michigan Dreams
Gorge Frog
Piers Gorge on the Menominee River
Larval Fish on the Eau Claire River
Blue Heron Surveying the Scene
Exploring the backwaters of Townline Lake
Rock and Water on the Eau Claire River
Rocks of Mount Simon line Dell's Pond
Side canyon on the Black River
Scouting the Kickapoo
Sandstone along the Kickapoo River
Eau Claire River Afternoon
Sunset on the Lake
Island Camping in March
The Kickapoo River Valley at Sunrise
Fall in Arkansaw Creek
Rapids on Cedar Creek
Music and a Swim on Coon Fork Creek
Evening Paddle on Half Moon Lake
Lower Big Falls on the Eau Claire River
Horserace Rapids on the Paint River
Soo Line Bridge in Eau Claire
Bends and Riffles on the Yellow River
N55.2
Flatwater
The Soul of a Wave
Hamilton Falls on the North Fork of the Eau Claire
Winter Exploration on the Eau Claire River
Good Morning Minnesota!
Copper Falls in Winter
High Bridge Opens in Eau Claire
Mishicot Falls in February
Watershield Party
The Eau Claire River Wakes Up
September Big Falls

For it isn't the same river, and you aren't the same man.

Flow
The Path to the River
Icy, Clear, Perfect

The Bois Brule is beyond beautiful.

Pothole of Sparkles

The water was making pot holes in the sandstone, which meant for all sorts of nifty water flows.

Gorge Falls

There is something truly special about the Black River canyon in the U.P.

Precipice
Everywhere

Went pretty far north for this one. There is water everywhere up there, of all shapes, sizes, and flows.

Wisconsin Oasis

Everyone has their special little spots. This is one of mine.

Fall, Turn, Push, Flow.

Feel it.

Finishing Upper Hemlock

Evan finishes up the final portion of Upper Hemlock rapid on the Paint River in Michigan. This was a gorgeous U.P. river with a few peppy rapids that stretched for almost a half mile. 

Isolation

An island in the middle of a harsh lake during the time it gets angry the easiest, give me that.

Dancing Over the Edge

One of my favorite hidden spots. Found a few Brook Trout in the pool.

This Creek

This creek is a special place. 

Every Scale

All of it, some of it, just a little bit, it all is good at the river.

As the Gorge Turns

Falling water is.

Upper Hemlock Rapids

The Paint River has a lot of great scenery and a few sections of rapids, although this one is just the warm-up to the Lower Hemlock section.

Border Brule River

7 hours and 42 miles later and I've found a new favorite! The Brule River makes up the border between Wisconsin and the U.P. and it is spectacular!

Spring along the river.

The river valley is showing many signs of life, spring is here.

"Go With the Flow" said the river

The river has many lessons for you, if you are willing to listen.

Eddies.Currents.Falls.

You could hear the roar well before getting a glimpse of the falls. You could feel it through the ground vibrations, through the moisture in the air. In every way you are surrounded by the river and falls. 

Mishicot Falls, April 3rd 2016

Mishicot Falls looked fantastic today, smooth leading to gnar.

From the Sisters

This image was captured on April 3rd in Pier's Gorge. There was a fresh dusting of snow that seemed like winter's last dance.

Lost in the Motion of the Waves

Moving and falling water holds endless beauty, always changing, never the same.

Baptism's Eye

There is a mysterious quality to the mouth of the Baptism River. 

Illgen Falls. Close up.

Illgen Falls is well hidden. Located within Tettegouche State Park along Minnesota's north shore of Lake Superior, it doesn't get labeled on most maps. Just my kind of waterfall.

Self Portrait, January 2016

This isn't a self-portrait at all, but rather a composite that feels most true to myself. Isn't that what a self-portrait should be anyway?

Vermillion Falls on the Vermillion River

The juxtaposition of Man versus Nature at Vermillion Falls cannot be ignored. Large waterfall and rocky outcroppings on one side seemingly dwarfed by man's desire to rule...or at least that was the plan. I like to think Nature is holding off Man here at the falls, maybe even making a push back.

Montreal River near Peterson Falls

As I stood on the precipice of Peterson Falls I glanced down the river valley. Although there for the falls, this view was my favorite. From the bird's eye perspective at the top of the falls you can see quite a ways down the corridor.

Peterson Falls on the Montreal River

Here the Montreal River makes the border of Wisconsin and Michigan, even as it spills over 40 feet to the pool below. This isn't the last large waterfall before making its final descent into Lake Superior, that title goes to Superior Falls, a 100+ foot behemoth near the river's mouth.

Small stream meet Lake Michigan

While exploring the Lake Michigan shoreline on an early December morning, we stumbled upon this creek spilling into the lake. It was neat to see the flow of this tiny little trib meet the entirety of Lake Michigan.

Swimming With a Fantail

While sampling a small Wisconsin creek for invertebrates I accidentally netted this fantail darter. These guys are a nifty looking little fish, most notably their "chopped" dorsal fin. The parallel bars on the fishes tail also add to the neat look.

Willow

Willow Falls, September 27th, 2015.

Movements on the Surface

The variety and shapes and textures photographed water can take on is amazing. Get lost in a drop or 30.

Willow Falls in Late September

We hiked around Willow River State Park and were impressed with the views. Willow Falls was definitely a highlight as it crashes violently through the gorge. An overlook perched high above the falls gives the hiker another option to explore. Continuing around the lake there were some awesome views looking south as well, and again, a bit unexpected. Good stuff Willow!

Great Lake Life

Lake Superior has so much variety to offer along its shoreline. I find myself enjoying the landscape dotted with sailboats quite a bit, although the raw wild landscape will always be my preference. This was captured near Duluth, Minnesota.

Dells of the Eau Claire

I grew up near the Dells of the Eau Claire River. As a kid I loved to play on the rocks and watch the water split the islands and boulders. As an adult I have the exact same wanderlust for places like this and still like playing on the rocks and watching the water.

Flowering Watershield in Northern Wisconsin

In late July and early August the football shaped lily pad Watershield begins to flower. At the peak of flowering entire backwaters can be filled with the green footballs and tiny flowers. This image was captured on Audie Lake in Northern Wisconsin in late July.

Scenes on the Paint

There is always something unique to enjoy, along the Paint River I am consistently in awe. 

Good Morning Eau Claire!

Thanks to historical industry in downtown Eau Claire we now have these great footbridges all over town. Never a bad time to go explore!

The Chippewa River Waking Up

I really enjoy my bike ride to work. Every now and then the river really stands out. This morning was one of those days, with the light fog dancing over the glassy surface of the river. As the sun began to gain momentum the scene was set. Another beautiful day in Eau Claire!

Sunrise on the Peshtigo River

After I put on my wetsuit and booties I shuffled across the 20 foot ice chunk to the edge of the river. It was going to be a great day for some whitewater. It turns out I can't find a "bad" day on the water.

Moose and the Yellow River

Moose and I were both impressed by the personality of this segment. Below Cadott, WI the Yellow River curves and winds its way under a beautiful canopy. The small rapids and riffles along the way just add to the adventure.

A Sliver of the Eau Claire River

You could spend an entire lifetime visiting a stream and never see the same thing.

Spiral Stump

As I hiked and explored along the Minnesota River this unique tree stump caught my eye.

Sunrise on the Eau Claire River

The Eau Claire River has so many amazing features and areas to explore!

Lake Michigan Dreams

Playing with light and water is a pastime of mine. Here the crisp, frigid waters of Lake Michigan dance with the light for the first time since icing over last year. Spring has arrived in full force.

Gorge Frog

This frog was hanging out in Pier's Gorge, soaking up the sun and taking in the view. I was doing mostly the same thing and we got a long great!

Piers Gorge on the Menominee River

Piers Gorge on the Menominee River is something to see at every time of day. As the sun starts to think about dipping below the trees, my mind begins to wander to runs of paddles past. Along this section of river the Menominee drops quite a large amount, leaving class III and IV whitewater for about 1/4 mile.

Larval Fish on the Eau Claire River

Stopping to smell the roses and found some fish too!

Blue Heron Surveying the Scene

I feel fortunate to get sightings of Blue Herons nearly every day I am working in the field. They have an ancient quality to them and their archaic calls only add to this. This one was intently watching something ahead, oblivious to our existence.  

Exploring the backwaters of Townline Lake

Townline Lake is located in northern Chippewa County and has a paddle-in campsite with fire ring and pit toilet. The lake is surrounded by extensive forests with many other paddle options in the area.

Rock and Water on the Eau Claire River

The swift water moves past rocks on the Eau Claire River near Big Falls. Rock outcroppings from the Niagara Escarpment produce numerous falls and waves at this location. This is the same bedrock layer that creates Niagara Falls.

Rocks of Mount Simon line Dell's Pond

Dell's Pond was originally created as a storage basin for lumber. These days it gets more use as a recreational destination.

Side canyon on the Black River

The Black River has an endless supply of surprises as you float downstream. This and many of the side canyons provide awesome side excursions with large canyon walls rising an impressive level above the stream.

Scouting the Kickapoo

Spent the night camping at Wildcat Mountain State Park and then set out to scout the Kickapoo River valley and find out a bit more about the paddle. 

Sandstone along the Kickapoo River

One of the oldest rivers in the world, the Kickapoo meanders through sandstone cliffs among the peaks and ravines of the driftless region. 30+ species are endemic to this river valley!

Eau Claire River Afternoon

From Lake Eau Claire to Lake Altoona the Eau Claire River meanders through the countryside with many large sandy banks, some reaching over 80 feet above the river. It is no wonder this river system is notoriously sandy as one afternoon will make that very clear.

Sunset on the Lake

Never a shortage of good spots along the southern shore of Lake Superior. This one was in the Porkies.

Island Camping in March

On a balmy Saturday in March I launched from Eau Claire for what would be a 33 mile paddle, and the season opener. Although the river was flowing, I was surrounded by floating ice chunks the entire time. At one point a city block sized piece was dislodging and threatening to block my boat in and wreck havoc if I didn't get moving. Nonetheless that only made for more adventure and excitement. While capturing this image a beaver swam a few feet from me and gave a friendly snort. We are all friends on the river.

The Kickapoo River Valley at Sunrise

The view from Wildcat Mountain was fantastic as the fog rolled through the river valley below. Shortly after this image the clouds had already burned off.

Fall in Arkansaw Creek

The leaves settle in many places, sometimes under the surface of a river or stream. Arkansaw Creek is surrounded by steep sandy cliffs and dotted with riffles and small rapids. 

Rapids on Cedar Creek

This one was found in the middle of Cedarburg, Wisconsin. Sometimes the perfect scene is right next to a sidewalk.

Music and a Swim on Coon Fork Creek

Tyler and I hiked the shoreline of Coon Fork Creek, exploring the rock features and rapids. As the sun poked through the trees I decided to jump in for a swim. 

Evening Paddle on Half Moon Lake

Formerly a branch of the Chippewa River, Half Moon Lake now serves as a recreation destination right in Eau Claire.

Lower Big Falls on the Eau Claire River

There are many sections to Big Falls, especially during low water levels. Exploring a new area is like visiting a new rapid of waterfall.

Horserace Rapids on the Paint River

The Paint River flows through the Upper Peninsula of Michigan amongst spectacular northern forests. Numerous rocks of all shapes and sizes poke through the trees. Given the variety of mosses and lichens, one could add colors too. 

Soo Line Bridge in Eau Claire

A rare "S"-shaped bridge in the city of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Below, the Eau Claire river flows swiftly to its confluence with the Chippewa River a short distance away.

Bends and Riffles on the Yellow River

Quiet, intimate streams like the Yellow River are the type of paddle that make Sunday Worship an outdoor activity.

N55.2

There are numerous camping options along the Namekagon River. On this trip we caught good water and covered 89 miles of the Namekagon + 5 on the St. Croix for a 94 mile trip over 3 days.

Flatwater

Marko preps his paddlers before they enter the class IV whitewater that is Pier's Gorge. As you learn what to do in the rapids, the anticipation builds, then you hear the dull and distant roar grow louder and louder. The rapids hiding themselves below the horizon only adding to the excitement. Seconds before the turbulence your guide yells, "ALL FORWARD!" and it begins.

The Soul of a Wave
Hamilton Falls on the North Fork of the Eau Claire

When you look at a map of Eau Claire county only 2 falls are listed. The first, Big Falls, is well visited by many. The lesser known of the 2, Hamilton Falls, is on the eastern edge of Eau Claire county. It is a shelf/staircase waterfall with a few feet of drop. In high flows the rapid disappears altogether with a gentle slope in its place.

Winter Exploration on the Eau Claire River

Cold temperatures plus irregular splashing and flows can do amazing things on rivers in the heart of winter. The Eau Claire River always has a few tricks up its sleeves. 

Good Morning Minnesota!

April on the Minnesota River is an exciting time. The wildlife is awake and abundant, complimenting the early hours on the water quite nicely. Spending that time with your dad makes it just about perfect.

Copper Falls in Winter

Copper Falls has a quiet and calm allure to it in during the coldest months of the year. 

High Bridge Opens in Eau Claire

It was only a few years ago that this "High Bridge" was nicknamed "Scary Trestle". The run crossed the bridge when it was just rail ties with a big gap between them and no railing. I don't think I ever quite appreciated the view in those days.

Mishicot Falls in February

Every day and every season the river changes. When the water flows during winter there is a peaceful serenity mixed in with the chaos.

Watershield Party

These lily pads were quite thick in many of the backwaters on Audie Lake. Although the title claims a Watershield party, it appears as though they let a White Water Lily join them. Glad to see the different species getting along!

The Eau Claire River Wakes Up

It seems like the rivers are making a push to thaw out a bit lately. We will see if this keeps up. Enjoy it while you got it!

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