Sunday, November 15, 2015

Chundered on the Baraboo River!

Devon and I paddled the Baraboo River, putting in at Giese Park (off Rock Hill Road, not marked on Google Maps as of 12/11/2015) and taking out at Highway 113 using paddles done by MilesPaddled.com as a guide. It was one of the best paddles I've done recently and well worth the one hour drive from Madison even though the day only warmed to 55 degrees.

My paddling partner in his Alpacka packraft.

We ran the class I rapid just before the Highway 12 bridge in Baraboo but I decided I wanted to paddle back into it for another go. I was using a kayak without a skirt since I don't have one (time to go shopping) and after I paddled back into the rapid for another go I got swamped and ended up upside down.

It was my first underwater exit in moving water but the water was deep and everything went about how you'd expect. I exited, grabbed the boat and caught my breath after a sudden submersion in cold water. I'm not sure it was a true chundering (a combination of churned and under) but I think the term is hilarious.


The packraft in the "rapids."
Drying off. We both had more dry clothes and it wasn't that cold for November in Wisconsin. If I kayak more in cold weather I'm going to need a skirt and a wetsuit. If I was desperate I could have bought new clothes at Gander Mountain since we could see the sign for the store from where this picture was taken!
Welcome to the Town of Merrimac sign in the river.


Old school kayak. It's not very forgiving.
Some riffles in town.
If you're looking for some small drops and riffles the Baraboo River is a good choice. The river was at about 340 cfm and 7.85 feet on the gauge. The bike shuttle was an easy one. The parts of the river outside of Baraboo were relatively flat so next time we might drop in at the Highway 12 bridge and take out at the end of town.

Note that similar paddles on the Baraboo are detailed in Mike Svob's excellent Paddling Southern Wisconsin:

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