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Friday, June 5, 2009

Glades Without Alligators

You don’t often put “glades” and Wisconsin in the same thought. We’re a long way from the Everglades, that great swamp down on the tip of Florida.

But a bunch of river rats found out last Saturday that central Wisconsin has some sweet glades to glide through. Their mystique is only enhanced by the fact that the glades are there until they’re gone, when the high waters of spring recede and nothing but mudflats and mosquitoes remain.

These glades are the woody lowlands along the western shore of the Wisconsin River, above the Upper Dells. Our intrepid guide to this ephemeral water world is Mariana Weinhold, who with her husband Frank owns the storied Louis’ Bluff, a high promontory along the river north of the Dells.

Paddling the glades and hiking the bluff was a fine way to spend a Saturday, as 14 souls found out that day. Organized by the River Alliance, the day captured everything the River Alliance wants to accomplish with their “Make a Date With a River” series – learn about a fine river, connect with like-minded river rats, stretch your physical capabilities, and bask in the passion and wisdom and good humor of people like the Weinholds.

Go to and click on “Make a Date With a River” for the schedule. We love rivers here, and it shows when you show up for a MDWR event.

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