Like everyone else in the world, Covid has affected our lives in many ways, one of them not being able to travel. We normally take at least two major road trips across the country in a year and multiple smaller trips. This year, we cancelled our major road trips and decided to stay closer to home. We went on several day trips to go hiking, but we also did an overnight trip to Ontario Wisconsin so we could kayak on the Kickapoo River.
Ontario, Wisconsin is known as the "Canoe Capitol of the Kickapoo". People come from all over to canoe, tube, or kayak this shallow, gentle river with gorgeous scenic views.
Now I can not swim, and I am terrified of water, so I was pretty nervous about getting in a kayak. I've only been in a canoe once in my life, and never in a kayak. So my husband rented us a tandem kayak and he did all the paddling and steering. I just sat in front and enjoyed the ride.
And quite a view it was! The scenery is very diverse so you are never bored. Sometimes you are in an open, sunny area surrounded by prairie land, then you paddle a little ways and you're seeing forests and amazing rock formations.
We rented our kayaks from Drifty's Canoe Rental, but there are multiple rental agencies available in the area. You can choose how long you want to kayak ranging from two and half hours to two days. We chose the four hour trip, which was just the perfect amount of time for us beginners. If you have your own canoes/kayaks, you can just pay to be picked up.
There are multiple bridges on the Kickapoo River and they are all labeled. When you rent your kayak, they tell you what bridge to get off and then a bus or van picks you up and takes you back to your car.
We first heard of kayaking on the Kickapoo River when we went on a fall hike to Wildcat Mountain four years ago. It was on that hike that we saw all the kayakers in the river and thought how fun that would be. My husband has wanted to go ever since, but it took Covid to make it all possible because we were always headed out of state for vacations before that.
My son vacationed with us all week. He really enjoyed this experience too. He had his own kayak and like us, he never did it before either. He managed pretty well and said "Either this is really easy, or I'm just naturally good at this!". 😂 Of course we were in the most shallow, gentle river possible. There was only one small rapid part...that was my son's favorite. He wished there were more of those. I said "Well, we've never been kayaking before, and I can't swim, so we wanted a safe river." We did make a lot of mistakes. If I ever go kayaking again, I'm gonna study up on it. We almost tipped over once, but re-steadied ourselves. And it was super hard to stop and land our canoe. We almost missed our bridge stop!
We had so much fun! The only bad part of the day was that my son left his sun hat in the car. He just shaved his head and was worried about burning it so he took his shirt off and put it on his head. He ended up getting the worst sunburn of his life on his chest. He put sunscreen on his back, and he thought he put enough on his chest/stomach, but apparently he did not. I was really worried about him for days and didn't know if we should take him to the ER. We just read on the Internet what caution signs to look out for (blisters, fever, etc.) and he never had any of those so we just self treated at home.
I just bought a new Phone and I was really worried about dropping it in the water. I had a waterproof case that I purchased when we hiked The Narrows at Zion last year, so I kept my phone in that around my neck. It worked out really well!
I thought it was so cool to be kayaking and end up in the back of someone's farm land. So picturesque!
It was so nice to see my such a big smile on my son's face! He really appreciates coming home and being in nature now that he lives in the Chicago suburbs. He always says about where he lives: "Theres just too many people!" 😂
Finally, I want to leave you with a very short video of the trip where you can hear nothing but the sound of the water and the birds, and my own voice. It was so peaceful. We went on a weekday and started early in the morning, so there was hardly anyone there. When I read the reviews on-line the only common complaint was that the river was too crowded with kayakers, many of whom were loud and rowdy. We did not experience that. Our bus driver said to always come during the week, because it's a lot less crowded.
Have A Great Day! Amy
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que paisajes mas bonitos, nunca he ido en kayac, que chulo ❤️❤️❤️ReplyDelete
Yes, it was a gorgeous landscape, my first time in a kayak too.Delete
What a brave move for someone who can't swim! You did really well - and managed to keep your phone dry too. It looks like a lovely spot and the sunny weather makes me quite envious. Good on you for tackling a fear and having such a great time.ReplyDelete
Yes, I had a lot of anxiety about it, and I wore my life preserver the entire time. I think I was the only one on the river with a life preserver on since the water was so shallow ha ha! I'm sure I looked like an idiot to some people.Delete
That looks like such a great place to kayak!! You know I love my kayak. I didn't realize you couldn't swim; I think I would find it a bit nerve wracking them too.ReplyDelete
It was. No, I can't swim. I took swimming lessons and everything, but no one has ever been able to teach me to swim. I don't know what the problem is. I wish I could swim. I feel like I miss out on a lot not being able to swim.Delete
It looks so beautiful there with the gorgeous rock formations along the river! I'm too much of a chicken to go kayaking and only trust my (barely there) swimming skills in a pool.ReplyDelete
Glad you all enjoyed the adventure!
Thanks Ellie. The water was actually so shallow in spots we bottomed out multiple times so you probably would have been fine. I'm sure there were deeper spots in the water, but it seemed pretty shallow to me.Delete
What a beautiful experience. I love your photos and video. Be careful, it is addictive!ReplyDelete
It was! Thank you! I know, I want to go again! It's much more relaxing than hiking.Delete
I live in Madison. We have kayaked or canoed down the Kickapoo many times. It is a lovely river and always has pretty views. Drifty's is our rental spot too! We haven't been up there this summer, but now I want to go!ReplyDelete
Wow! What a small world! Have you ever taken one of the longer trips? We stopped at Bridge 7.Delete
Great pictures. in most places the water looked so inviting I felt like I could reach through the computer and touch it. The picture with the large cloud almost put me in mind of an angel with large wings. I love water in all its forms, so I really enjoyed this. Thanks and blessings, MicheleReplyDelete
Thank you! Yes, it was inviting. How cool that you saw an angel image in the clouds. Maybe he was watching over this non-swimmer. :)Delete
What a fun family adventure! It looked so beautiful and peaceful. A perfect getaway if you ask me. Also, I can relate to you, I am not a swimmer and terrified of water. Glad to hear that your son's sunburnt didn't turn into blisters. That just sounds horrible. I hope your week is going well and happy Wednesday!ReplyDelete
Maureen | www.littlemisscasual.com
Yes, it was so peaceful and beautiful. And I'm glad to meet another non-swimmer. It seems most people can swim. I feel so alone sometimes when everyone is enjoying the water and I can not.Delete
Loving your trip. So very nice and thanks for sharing it with us.ReplyDelete
Thanks so much!Delete
I had no idea there were tandem kayaks. I would totally do that. I don't LOVE the water at least being in it (there are too many creepy things in it), but this looks like fun. And what gorgeous views.ReplyDelete
I had no idea either, but I loved it and it worked perfect for us. I never would have been able to kayak on my own.Delete
That looks like fun! I'm amazed you did it even though you can't swim, you're very brave! it's a shame your son got sunburn but it's good you had a nice time aside from that :)ReplyDelete
Hope that your week is going well :)
Away From Blue
It was fun! And it took some nerve, but I did it! I must be getting braver in my old age as I'm doing lots of things that scare me.Delete
So glad you had fun! And what a scenic place for kayaking!ReplyDelete
Love the gorgeous photos!
Thank you. It was fun and scenic.Delete
You did really well Amy considering you can't swim! The scenery looks beautiful and what a great break for you all. #mlstlReplyDelete
Thanks so much. We may not be able to travel far right now, but we had a great staycation.Delete
Looks beautiful Amy and the perfect way to get away from the COVID blues. Thanks for sharing at #MLSTL.ReplyDelete
It was, and yes, outdoor vacations are the vacations to take this year.Delete
Girl, you are even beautiful in a life preserver!! Look at your pretty complexion!ReplyDelete
I had a sunburn once from a day at the lake that ended up with a high fever, vomiting, chills and blisters. I was so sick. Glad your son didn't experience those side effects.
Ha ha! Well thank you, because I didn't like any of the pictures of me in them and I really didn't want to post the picture I did. But I wanted at least one photo on the post with me in it so everyone could see I really did kayak. I never think selfies represent what I really look like, do you? They distort my features, especially my nose. Yet other people look great in selfies. Maybe I'm always holding the camera wrong, who knows. But yes, I'm grateful for my complexion in my old age. It's the only thing I have left keeping me looking young. ha ha! Oh, your sunburn sounds horrible. All those symptoms you describe was what I read on the Internet when to go to the hospital. Glad you made it through that. I never knew burns could be so bad.Delete
I'm glad you got this trip in, I have heard of this river and this looks fun! I have never kayaked before, believe it or not.ReplyDelete
So am I! Oh, you should go kayaking some time. Your kids would love it!Delete
Those smiles tell it all!!ReplyDelete
How terrific it is to see you at 'My Corner of the World' this week!! Thanks for linking up with us.
Oh yeah! We had fun! Thanks so much!Delete
What a beautiful place.ReplyDelete
It definitely was. Thanks for visiting.Delete
Oh wow what a beautiful place! I've never been kayaking before, but it must be so fun to explore places in a kayak, especially with rocks and scenery as beautiful as these! xoReplyDelete
thank you. Yes, it was fun!Delete
Kayaking is always such a fun activity and watch nature from river is amazing. Your photos are amazing and I'm happy to see that you have great time.ReplyDelete
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We did have a lot of fun. Thanks so much.Delete
Such a beautiful nature. I'm in love with it.ReplyDelete
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I agree! Me Too!Delete
Wow, Amy, I think you are very brave to kayak without knowing how to swim! We canoe, and I always have mixed feelings about it, but end up being glad I went.ReplyDelete
Ha ha! Well, I did have some anxiety about it for sure! But I ended up enjoying myself. It was good to start in a shallow, gentle river like this one.Delete
I saw your link at the "You're a Start" blog hop. Kayaking is a very brave adventure if you're terrified of the water! Way to go! Looks stunning!ReplyDelete
Oh, most of the anxiety happened out of the water just thinking about getting in the water, once I was in the kayak I felt very safe. The scariest part was trying to stop the kayak to get out of the river.Delete