Join Waukesha resident Brien Lee and his blog, Sir Fido, as they explore the city and report on the interesting things they find.
Email Brien at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The literature for Waukesha County Park System's 39th Earth Week initial event was pretty specific: Participants must provide their own canoe. Problem was, I still didn't have a seaworthy craft. The last time I was in one was the day I totalled it last year.
When I tried to rent a canoe I was told the season didn't start until May. I signed up for the trip anyway and hoped for the best. One of the Retzer naturalists thought I might share her two person kayak, but I had to let her know. With the calls made and messages left surely she knew I needed her help, but with no direct contact to confirm it I drove 18 miles to Monches not knowing if she got the message. She didn't. Brought only a one-person kayak.
Before leaving, though, I waited for everyone to arrive with the hope someone would have a spot for me that didn't involve sitting in the middle on a canoe bottom. Fortunately, a first-time canoe outing participant, Dennis from Whitefish Bay, had an open spot in his canoe. His wife wisely remained home due to the possibility of a little weather on today's trip.
Dennis' 45 pound Kevlar boat was built for speed, not stability. To say it was a tippy canoe is an understatement, and I prayed all the way to Loew's lake and halfway back that we wouldn't overturn. Thanks to the steady rain during the last half of the trip it was hard to tell we didn't.
The trip was a nice change of pace from the Fox River trips of the last several years and a good kick-off for Earth Week. We enjoyed the sights including all the oak-covered eskers along the Oconomowoc River, the cranes, a hawk, tamaraks, a muskrat... Trips like this are a good way to explore new territory, meet new people and learn new things. Twelve boats went out, a pretty good turnout for a rainy day, and twelve returned - all wet, but not all wet.
Thanks to the four participating Waukesha County Naturalists, and all who helped plan this trip. And Dennis, please thank your wife for me for staying home today.
Next Saturday, the 25th, is the big Earth Day Extravaganza at Retzer but there's a little something happening there all this week. Check it out. It's free!