The wildness, beauty and joy of the upper St. Croix River really shines through in this piece from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel by Paul Smith, the paper’s outdoors editor.
We push off and begin a leisurely trip down the river. The banks are lined with alders, white cedar and an occasional white pine; the water is pocked with gray boulders.
The river here is Class 1, meaning “no worries.” Bartz paddles solo, Zeug and I share a canoe. We dwell around the deeper holes, casting with floating crank baits and soft plastics.
When the canoe scrapes bottom, we get out and pull. The water is 70 degrees Fahrenheit, a near match for the air.
“I think I’ll just stand here for a while,” says Zeug, standing calf-deep in a gurgling, natural Jacuzzi.
He wouldn’t have to move because of river traffic or bank-side voyeurs: over five hours, we don’t see another human being.
The description of their stop for lunch, which closes the article, is alone worth the read.