Ahead of my trip, I’ve been out on a few kayaking adventures to test my equipment, make sure all of my supplies will fit in the boat and strengthen my rowing muscles. While out on some of these pre-trip shakedowns, I was greeted by bald eagles, heard the call of the sandhill crane and witnessed the beautiful bluffs of the Upper Dells. I’m looking forward to capturing more of these sounds and sights during the real trip, but here’s what I’ve captured ahead of time!
Wisconsin River Upper Dells
Lower Wisconsin River eagle encounter
Orion Boat Landing, Wisconsin River. Near this site is a special State Natural Area: Orion Mussel Beds. Some of the rare mussels found here include the rock pocketbook , monkeyface , wartyback, and the federally endangered Higgins’ eye mussel.
Wisconsin River cranes bugling in the distance
One of the spectacles of nature is to watch and listen to sandhill cranes flying in to congregate on the sandy flats of the Wisconsin River in the fall. The cranes are staging for their migration south. The cranes seek the safety of the sandbars that protect them from raccoon and other predators. To see the cranes, quietly sit at dusk as they fly in over your head to stand in the shallow water.
Coldwater Canyon, Upper Dells Wisconsin River
The Upper Dells of the Wisconsin River have several canyons and gulches that are fantastic to explore by boat. Coldwater Canyon is an offshoot from the main river formed by sandstone walls left by ancient Cambrian seas. The walls of the canyon are covered with moss and liverworts. This part of the Dells is protected by a permanent conservation easement that ensures the natural beauty will continue for future generations.