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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Our trip to the SFZRCAW

Or as most people call it, the South Fork of the Zumbro River Canoe Area Wilderness.

I decided that I would like to take a trip with the kids down the Zumbro. This is not an easy, nor an especially smart decision, being that:

  • The canoe weighs about 80 pounds.
  • It would be the three kids and me. (Its not big enough for 3 kids to duff, and none of the kids would want to stay home).
  • In some places the water is only 6 inches high.
  • I have never really canoed more than about a half of a mile down the Zumbro.
  • The kids have very little canoe experience.
BUT, being the adventurer that I am, we set off in the van to try and find a good spot to put in.

The first place we found the water was extremely shallow and the dog jumped out of the car and ran about an eight of a mile down the road. I got him back by pretending to abduct Annika while she screamed, "Jack HELP!" Good thing there were no people or houses around.

The second place we found would have required an extraordinary amount of effort to put the canoe in and not swamp it. It was basically a three foot drop off after a climb down a weedy bank lined with boulders, broken concrete and rebar.

The third place we found was perfect. A little pond near the side of a gravel road. The canoe can slip right down the grass into the pond and there is no traffic, so we can take all the time we want. There are no houses around so no one will see us put in. The river leads from the pond directly into woods so deep they look thousands of years old, so we will immediately feel like we are out of civilization. A must for any authentic canoe experience.

As you can see, the river is lined with trees, beyond that the Zumbro Canoe Area Wilderness Farmlands are prevalent.

The fourth place we found had red and blue Slurpees.

Green is start and red is stop. Looks to be about 8-9 miles. Might be too long, but we'll see. if we start in the morning and bring our fishing poles to stave off boredom, we might just make it.