Record breaking rainfall

Quick update: I forgot we still have to be able to get you on the river once you get to us. Currently our only accessible landing is PDS. Mazomanie looks to be out of the picture for at least a day or two. Arena may or may not be accessible in the next few hours. We've made backup plans with the trips going out today and will update if we need to move everyone to alternate landings through the rest of the week via text/email. Hwy 14 is completely impassable between Black Earth and the entire town of Mazomanie. -Ryan ====== Last night brought record breaking rains to the area between Spring Green and Madison - up to 13" in a matter of hours. One of the tributaries of the Wisconsin, Black Earth Creek, peaked at it's highest level in recorded history. Actually, that's an assumption at this point since the water is so high it's gone above and beyond what the USGS gauge can measure. Luckily for us, this rain was fairly localized and will not affect the Wisconsin River or it's sandbars beyond a temporary 6-12" of water rise and we've got plenty of capacity to handle that so no need to worry about trips being cancelled. What may be tricky is the road closures between us and Madison. The majority of you would be traveling down Hwy 14 however it's currently closed in a number of places. I've heard rumors of at least one washed out bridge but it hasn't been confirmed. Mostly there are trees and standing water so I'm optimistic the highway will be open at least by this weekend if not later today (pending something catastrophic like a bridge out). For now, I'd recommend keeping an eye on 511WI.org for up to minute updates. If Hwy 14 is still closed, you can head south on 151 out of Madison through Verona and Dodgeville, then up Hwy 23 to the landing (shouldn't add more than 10 minutes to the drive).

Another perfect weekend on tap

Our ridiculous string of perfect conditions continues this weekend.  While we're bookended by some unstable weather on either side, Friday through Sunday look amazing.  Highs in the mid 80s with light winds mostly at your back plus perfect water conditions leaving us with hundreds of sandbars but still plenty of water to make it downstream. We're mostly sold out again this weekend though a few last minute boats came up for overnight trips.  Also some day trip availability left on Sunday.  Live inventory is on our reservations page.  We're also running low for the last weekend in August but still plenty of space left for Labor Day weekend.  Get after it!

Starting to sound like a broken record

Once again, conditions this weekend are phenomenal.  Clear skies with highs in the mid 80s and nights in the low 60s.  Water levels are at seasonal lows which means tons of sandbars.  Even the winds should be light and favorable out of the north/east. This weekend has been sold out for a while now but we're getting one or two boats opening up everyday.  Keep an eye on the reservations page if you want to snag anything the becomes available last minute or go for a weekday.  Going forward, we'll likely sell out next weekend as well but after that we'll start slowing down as everyone gears up for fall. -Ryan

Pretty great weekend ahead

With one mediocre exception, this weekend is looking pretty great.  Highs in the low 90s with 50% cloud cover so plenty warm enough to swim but not so much sun you feel like you're gonna melt (but still bring sunscreen).  There's next to no chance of rain/storms and the sandbars are out in force.  I was out overnight last weekend which was about as busy as this weekend will be and there was tons of space between groups. The one downside to watch for this weekend is an increasing west/southwest wind.  This'll be a headwind with expected winds of 10mph on Saturday and 15mph on Sunday.  I don't get nervous until we hit 20mph but certainly you'll have to work at making forward progress early in the afternoon when they start to pick up.  For tips on how to handle headwinds, I highly recommend reading Tips on How to Handle Wind

Still early but the long range forecast says good things

Too soon to say anything with certainty but the long range forecast is looking pretty good for the coming week/weekend with highs getting into the upper 80s and sandbars for miles.  It's not called the river of a thousand isles for nothing and the last few weeks have proved it.  That trend will continue through at least the next week (and historically through most of August).

Nice weekend on tap

Looks like highs in the 70s with a chance of isolated storm Sunday afternoon.  Sandbars are at late summer peaks - they are everywhere.  We're sold out for this weekend but you might get lucky if someone cancels last minute (keep an eye on the inventory levels as they'll show up there immediately after being released).

Wet Thurs/Fri, clearing Sat/Sun

Looks like we've got a low pressure system slowly moving through our area this weekend.  It'll be wet today and tomorrow but by Friday evening the low should be moving Eastward.  Not a lot of instability with this one so expect mostly rain with maybe a rumble of thunder here and there. Storm prediction center says we're not likely to get anything severe. While lots of localized rainfall is possible, the river valley is very dry right now and river levels will not fluctuate more than a couple of inches.  Given sandbars are massive right now, that won't cause any trouble. Bring a poncho! Or raincoat, rain pants, and probably a tarp or two if you're headed out before Saturday. After that we're down to less than .1" of rain. Ryan

Typical summer days ahead

July 13 Update Looks like better news on the weather front.  We should see most rain or storms on Friday afternoon/evening and a limited chance of rain on Saturday.  There's even potential for the whole shortwave system to fall off to our south which would leave us fairly dry.  At any rate, we're only expecting rain on Saturday morning now with Saturday afternoon staying dry.  The cold front on Sunday has also slowed down into Monday so expect a great, sunny Sunday! ============== We're looking at a pretty normal stretch of summer days with chances for storms most every day as temperatures peak in the high 80s/low 90s with plenty of hot humid air. 80% of the time it'll be great to sit in the river, the other 20%, hold on to your tents.  Tons of summer sandbars available though so no need to worry about them going under with a little rain. Saturday currently has a 50% chance of isolated storms in the morning hours but the real chance for rain/storms is Sunday night into Monday as a cold front moves through our area.  Winds look reasonable from the south and even the southeast throughout the weekend - all in all, I'd take favorable winds and an hour or two of storms over the nasty headwinds that tend to accompany bright sunny days. Tips on how to deal with storms? I love ponchos.  Ponchos should be required canoe camping gear.  Sit in a canoe and you're completely covered by a tarp.  They're great.  Also while walking around camp, plenty of airflow in hot, muggy air.  Tarps or pop-up tents are also great if you're looking at extended rain and don't want to be cooped up in a tent or you'd rather not swim.  We had storms two weeks ago that were a great reminder about how the wind is the thing most likely to cut your trip short. When a large storm rolls through it's often accompanied by a huge, short burst of 40+ mph winds.  Two weeks ago that happened right around sunset when everyone had their tents up.  Very shortly after that a not insignificant number of people were coming off the river because, no exaggeration, almost every single tent was broken.  If things are getting crazy, un tension the poles/drop the tents for those few minutes ahead of the storm when that big gust comes through. It's very likely you can put them back up after the wind and before the rain.  Worst case, a roll of duct tape should be able to hold splintered fiberglass poles well enough through the night. Good luck! Ryan

The 4th of July Week Ahead

The outlook for this weekend is pretty phenomenal.  I'm giving it a preliminary 9 out of 10.  Highs in the mid 80s, crisp nights in the low 60s.  Sunny with essentially 0% chance of rain and light winds out of the south (i.e. not headwinds).  Water levels have been dropping like crazy and will continue to do so through the week. There will be about as many sandbars this weekend as there ever are, which is to say a lot. The bad news, we're sold out so if you haven't already booked, sorry! We're now into peak season (next week is also booked). That said, it's not uncommon to have a few last minute cancellations so keep an eye on the inventory, you might get lucky. For all of you going out during the week, there is a medium chance of rain/storms Wednesday and Thursday.  The chances are pretty sporadic and should be isolated.  We've got quite a bit of hot and humid weather this week before it clears out for the weekend which leaves us with an unstable atmosphere. No big disturbances are expected (thus the low odds) but it won't take much to kick off a small localized storm.  Basically, don't change your plans, but also be ready for a little thunder shower during the day. Thanks! Ryan

One last hurdle and then it’s smooth sailing for the week

Crazy amount of wind for a few minutes last night as the first storm came by but otherwise the rest of the night turned out to be pretty quiet with only a small amount of rain.  Still questionable what exactly happens today but looks like we'll see something come through between 12pm and 2pm.  Once that's over with, clouds will diminish this evening and it'll be sunny and quiet through the 4th. Still sending trips out today, though day trips especially are welcome to cancel given the likely timing of the storm this afternoon.

Behind the Boats

Ever wonder what life is like running a canoe company? Some people do. I've gotten questions ranging from "How many times have you been to the Boundary Waters?" (one) to "What do you do in the Winter?" (it depends) and my personal favorite "You must love paddling" (paddling is #4 on the list).