In Wisconsin, you just don't know which day's going to be the last warm one. So when you wake up on October 6th* and realize it's in the mid 70s and sunny, you get your work done as quickly as possible and hurry to get outside. There may not be another day like this for six or seven months... This was such an urgent need that we almost pulled the kids from school. But today, we wanted to get on the water and we only have two kayaks.
Ever since we attended Canoecopia in Madison last Spring, we've wanted to bring our Hiker's Hummus along on a kayak excursion. We've spent the last year telling people that you can reconstitute it easily and enjoy it while floating downstream. While there was no reason for us to doubt that, we'd never actually had a chance to try it ourselves. So that was our goal for the day, to make this suggestion come from experience instead of imagination. That and to enjoy the sun.
We are fans of our migratory waterfowl. Being restless introverts who enjoy travel, we find them relatable. Part of the joy of being in a kayak is finding yourself close to the water and in close proximity to creatures like this Great Egret. We've visited with them in Florida, California, and other spots, so they seem like old friends. These birds were nearly hunted to extinction in the 19th century, thankfully peoples' taste in hats changed!
This is the time of year when nature—if you can call this nature with all these non-native species—is at its messiest. Concatenations of vegetation like this always make me think of Jackson Pollock.
Here's a sequence:
Unfortunately, our heron friend kept on finding scraps of bark, reeds, and other vegetation. Later, it was spooked by a grandmother pushing a stroller.
These photos were all taken during the easy, downstream portion of the jaunt. With the strong wind, the trip back to the launch involved too much paddling for photography. And by the time we were alongside the launch, we were ready for a snack. The Hiker's Hummus, as per usual, was satisfying. Enjoying it while sitting in a kayak is really no different than enjoying it anywhere else, just be prepared to drift with the current.
* Unseasonably warm days are bittersweet in the Anthropocene.