Day 13

August 12, 1998

I woke up to a cool foggy morning and took a needed bath in the river. The river's temperature was about twenty degrees warmer than the damp morning air. I was on the water and heading down river at 8:30 a.m. The westerly flowing river current seemed to be more sluggish and reflected a reduced discharge or gradient. Calm hot weather and day-long paddling was taking a toll on me and I decided to stop earlier today for more rest and relaxation.

Whenever the opportunity arose, I tried to find a secondary side channel to canoe down. These passages often provided more shade due to the narrower channel and the towering silver maple, swamp white oak, cottonwood, basswood or hackberry trees that lined the banks. These jaunts off the main channel also provided a greater opportunity to observe wildlife that seemed to prefer the narrow stream corridors that meander through the dense flood plain forest.

"Bogus Bluff - Two miles below Richland City (now gone), we landed at the foot of an imposing bluff, which rises sharply for three hundred feet or more from the water's edge. It is practically treeless on the rive side." 
Ruben Gold Thwaites 1887, Historic Wayterways

Two boys were busy trying to catch snakes in the rock rip rap at the landing above Highway 80 as I paddled into Muscoda at 1:30 p.m. Riverside Park campground adjoins the landing on the dowstream side (LDB). The campground was almost empty this afternoon except for a couple of kayakers who were pitching their tent. I toured the small campground and refreshed my water supply. I decided to find a more traditional sand bar downstream since camping at the park would require a long carry from the landing and I did not desire to pay the ten-dollar fee for a night of camping.

At 4:30 p.m. in scourching afternoon sun, I landed on a large vegetation-free sand bar about two miles below Blue River. I quickly set up my tent on the hot dry sand and then napped in the shadow of the tent for about an hour. The sun's rays were still very warm as I cooked my pasta and tuna in the early evening. I eagerly entered my tent at 8 p.m. and retired for the night as barred owls called out to each other from opposite sides of the river.

Campsite on the Lower Wisconsin River.