Sunday, February 12, 2017

2017 paddle season set

The 2017 Heritage Paddle schedule is now available. New paddles for the upcoming season include a naturalist-led tour of Horicon Marsh May 6 and two days on the Upper Fox River May 20-21 that we're calling -- to please the censors -- the Three Good Dams Paddle. It will take us from the Princeton Dam to the White River Dam one day, and White River to the Berlin Dam the next. Old favorites will be back -- including two days in the Peshtigo Flowage June 24-25, the 16th annual Park to Park Paddle July 22, a Moonlight Paddle from De Pere to Green Bay Aug. 4 and the Appleton Locks Paddle on Appleton's Octoberfest Saturday, Sept. 30.  See times and other details at

Thursday, February 2, 2017

John speaks loudly with few words

By David Horst

How do I describe my friend John?

He is unlike anyone else I know — a mountain man born to the wrong time and place, but comfortable at any time and in any place.

John Behnke is, above all, nonjudgmental. That’s a quality I value in a friend.

We met through a mutual friend and a mutual interest in kayaking. We’ve done more than a dozen multi-day trips together, including at least 10 wilderness paddle-camping trips to the Apostle Islands. If you can come through that kind of potential for getting on each other’s nerves, you’ve got yourself a friend.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Navarino offers big trees for a pair of sawbucks

By David Horst

NAVARINO -- For us, getting a Christmas tree is always an adventure.

Our tree is live. It’s cut by us. It is large.

We've had big fat trees, tall conical trees and bigger, fatter trees.

We’ll travel 20 miles for a tree. We have hiked every inch of an 80-acre tree farm and then walked away empty-handed when none of the trees met our -- well, really her -- standards.This year we went to the wild side. Unshorn trees in a former tree farm in the Navarino Wildlife Area were going for $20. Any size. Any species. Sales benefit the Navarino Nature Center.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Smaller turnout in the locks was OK

By David Horst

This was a far cry from 150 boats.

That's how many kayaks, canoes and stand-up boards we expected to show up at Lutz Park for the Appleton Locks Paddle.

That was before the one-week delay, due to hazardously high water flow on the Fox River, and the forecast for rain all day on our substitute date, Oct. 1.

The 38 boats that showed up didn't pack the locks full, as photos of past years' trips testify. No clanking of gunwales. No pushing of boats into the path of the lock gates.