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The Bark Canoe

Well… After the start of a long summer, I finally got the bark canoe out for some repairs and a good paddle. The canoe needed some relashing with spruce root, a few ribs reset, and some more pitch. My canoe is an old one (I am guessing 20 years or more) and has been treated not so great by some of its past owners. I am the fourth owner and when I got it (I traded a flintlock rifle for it), I had to do a bit of repair work to make it seaworthy.

The next day, my wife and I took the canoe to the Black River for a leisurely 12+ mile paddle downriver. This stretch of the Black River is a nice secluded stretch and we didn’t see any other canoers the whole way. There are also some nice rock walls and caves along the edge in some places.

We also saw a lot of wildlife. We saw a number of eagles, a dozen or so deer, an otter, and much more. At one little sandbar where we stopped for a lunch break we saw the eagle tracks.

These were some of a few of the tracks and I was amazed at the size and the talon marks. On exiting the river, we could see Decorah’s Peak in the distance. This is a rocky peak where famed Winnebago, One-Eyed Decorah, hid out from an Ojibwe war party. He then descended down to the river and made an escape to a winnebago village upriver. This is the same One-Eyed Decorah that escorted the Famous Black Hawk to Prairie du Chien to surrender. Below is a photo of the peak in the distance from the river.

All in all, a good trip!


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