Saturday, November 2, 2013

River Rumble '13 - Day 7

Buddy takes a breather on the shore of the St. Croix.
This morning we had breakfast catered at the park in Hudson. The tents came down, packs were loaded in the trucks, and after the usual skippers’ meeting, we were off on a 17-mile paddle from Hudson to Prescott, WI. The paddling pace was even faster. We’d make a wild dash of 5 or 6 miles, and then take an hour break. It seemed a steadier pace would make more sense, with a more relaxed cadence and shorter breaks, but that’s just me. The good news was that we were in the wider sections of the river, and fate or luck had given us a reaching wind out of the northwest.

An hour's relaxation and a dive into the food sack.
It was Friday, 2 Aug., and both the wider, deeper river and the approaching weekend brought out the powerboats. By the afternoon, the boat traffic was both fairly heavy and constant. No one seemed to be seriously bothered by the wakes, however, and we marched on.

A slough along the St. Croix with its peaceful setting.
After passing under both the Point Douglas Dr. bridge and the railroad lift bridge, we were at Prescott, and had passed into the confluence with the Mississippi River. Prescott was founded in 1839 by Philander Prescott, who established a trading post at the junction of the two rivers. With its strategic position along two rivers, it’s a bit surprising that there is no commercial shipping there, but it is a haven for recreational boating.
A Google Earth image shows Prescott, where the crystal-clear
waters of the St. Croix try to mix with the muddy Mississippi.
After paddling past the condos, we went ashore at the public boat ramp next to the yacht harbor, stowed our canoes and kayaks in a grass and gravel plot between Second Street and the railroad tracks, and walked back toward town. The climb up Kinnickinnic Street (pronounced kinney-kenick) seemed like a mountain ascent by this time in the day, but the wide expanse of closely mowed grass around the middle school’s tennis courts made for a very relaxing and comfortable night. Dinner was again on our own. I and a couple other paddlers found a small, unassuming Chinese restaurant where the food was both good and plentiful. After another climb up Kinnickinnic Street, I relaxed awhile in my camp chair, but soon found my way to the tent for an early night.


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