Fall Kayaking – The Spirit River

No surprises here. You know this is my favorite place. Get used to seeing it!

This time I was with my kayak buddy and we weren’t in the water 5 minutes when we ran across this lovely resident –

GBH on the move

It wasn’t alarmed, but neither was it thrilled with our presence and walked around that little strip of land to the back side where it could get some peace.

Up the river we paddled. It was a little windy, but not all the time.

Slow Ride

It wasn’t peak color and the water level was very low, but the day was beautiful and the rest of the week wouldn’t have been as good, so we took it as we found it. As usual it didn’t disappoint. Even without the side channels and backwaters, it was magic.

Rockin’ it

Because we could get the boats stuck on the boulders in this bend, we stopped here for quite a while and chatted while marveling at the incredible beauty around us.

Fade in
Peace in our time
Abiding

The light was amazing and somewhat changeable and I got a little distracted with the trees and sky. Glad I didn’t get too carried away because I might have missed what was to come.

The heart of the matter

The water level was so low it exposed a few muskrat dens on the banks. I never realized the entrances were below water level most of the time so it was pretty cool to see them. They aren’t to be confused with otter dens because of the stripped branches that collect nearby. Muskrats and beavers both harvest and store food for the winter months since they don’t hibernate like bears.

Muskrat den

Oh, and check out what else I found on an exposed mud bank!

BEAR TRACKS!!

As we got nearer to the launch site, we startled an eagle out of what I call the eagle tree since there’s usually one in it when I’m there. It took off downriver and I told my friend that the last time this happened I got great pictures of it in another tree and that we’d have to paddle carefully so not to spook it again.

Well, we found it again sure enough, but it was at an awkward angle for photos. The tree it moved to had a direct line of sight to the nest across an expanse of water and I decided to paddle over that way. This time the young ones weren’t in it, but in a nearby tree and it was the parents that became my models when they both flew to the same branch. Just look at them!

Always vigilant
Spirit River eagle pair
Blink 1
Blink 2

Yes this is the same pair during the same shoot that’s in my Eagle Post of a few weeks ago, but these are different pictures. They were just too wonderful not to share more of them. To revisit that post click here.

With the foliage season in full swing here in Northern Wisconsin, I have one more fall paddle coming up for you. Another river even farther north with some of the most amazing color I’ve seen. Stay tuned.

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