Running the Wolf

I’ve been learning how to be a whitewater kayaker for four years so you’d think I’d be better at it by now. But when it comes to playboating tricks I still can’t loop, cartwheel or blunt. I attribute my poky learning curve to my advanced years; that’s my ego-protection rationale anyway. However, yesterday I made another slow-but-steady step forward by paddling Section 4 of the Wolf River. Section 4 is known to kayakers as one of the most challenging segments of Wisconsin rivers. It’s rated by American Whitewater as a class II-III most of the time; up to class IV at high levels. The reason I was there on a Monday morning was because a handful of kayakers were invited to paddle the Wolf by Big Smokey Falls Rafting, operated by the Menominee Indian Tribe. The Discover Wisconsin TV show contacted Big Smokey Rafting to feature rafting and kayaking in an upcoming episode. So off we went. It was a great experience and hopefully we’ll show up on TV show instead of on the editing room floor. The episode is scheduled to air March 5 and 6, 2016. As they say, check your local listings. Here’s some video from my kayak-mounted GoPro camera. Look closely to see the Discover Wisconsin video shooter standing atop the left bluff.

Mike points out his suggested line over Big Smokey Falls.

Mike points out his suggested line over Big Smokey Falls.

We ran Big Smokey Falls four times Monday morning. Photo by Mike Brown.

We ran Big Smokey Falls four times Monday morning. Photo by Mike Brown.

It may be hard to tell because of the helmet but I'm all smiles after successfully paddling Big Smokey Falls. Photo by Mike Brown.

It may be hard to tell because of the helmet but I’m all smiles after successfully paddling Big Smokey Falls. Photo by Mike Brown.

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