Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Change Your Bookmark!

Hi Ladies!

Long time, no post : )

Tammy here, wanting to let you know that I've not forgotten you, or this blog.

Our family is putting roots down in Gunnison, Colorado; have been here about a year now.

We're loving it! So many paddling, camping, and hiking options here. You could hike a new trail every day for the rest of your life here.

I wanted to let you all know to change your bookmarks, readers, etc.

I won't be renewing the www.waterdivas.net domain name at this time. I will, however, continue to admin this blogsite. I'm starting to meet many female paddlers out here in Gunnison, and can certainly see WaterDivas taking off here too.

Continue to get together, as you have in the past. If you'd like to submit a trip report & pix to be posted here at WaterDivas I be glad to do it for you.

Take care & keep paddling!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Chippewa River Slideshow - 4/2009

Trip Report - Chippewa River - Spring 2009

The following post was submitted by Kathy, a fellow Diva, who wholeheartedly committed herself to getting the Divas on the water this spring. After reading her submission, there is no doubt in my mind that I missed out on a wonderful time of camaraderie & excellent paddling.

A slideshow of trip photos, submitted by fellow Diva Paula, will follow shortly.

Six of us converged on the Chippewa River, four kayakers and two in a canoe, undeterred by gray skies and early morning drizzle, determined to paddle from Highway D in Sawyer County to Imalone in Rusk County. It was Saturday, April 25, 2009, when we embarked on the inaugural Water Divas Chippewa River two-day paddle. Our fine, waterproof trip maps promised “A rollicking ride…one of the best river stretches in Wisconsin…” and warned of “two dozen rapids in this five-hour trip.”

A diverse group of women were we, freed from our winter cabins none too soon. In the stern, Sue, an experienced paddler, and in the bow, Michelle, also an experienced paddler. Friends for many years, they had seldom, if ever, paddled a canoe together. Dorothy, in her red kayak, experienced on flat water and lazy river, approaching the early “rapids” with some trepidation. Trip-leader Kathy, in her old, blue, T-Canyon with skirt. Paula, a veteran diva, in her yellow recreational kayak, paddling and taking pictures. And Paula‘s home-town friend and new-found paddling buddy, Teresa, all the way from Oakfield.

After a brief stop at Kathy’s cottage to unpack clothes and store enough food for a week, we loaded two more yaks and headed up to Highway D in four silver-hued vehicles, a mark of diva-hood. We were on the water by 11:50 a.m.

The first hour of the trip we got our feet wet (not literally) on this shake-down paddle. The river proved to be just as much fun as promised, with a half dozen or so sets of riffles, one maybe approaching class 1 rapids. Our trepidation soon vanished. We were accompanied by bald eagles overhead and northerns below. The skies continued to clear as we floated southward, and by the time we stopped for lunch, we were treated to peeks of sunshine.

We continued into Rusk County through several more sets of riffles and a deep, slow-mowing stretch where the kayakers could feel the northerns below. A pair of muskrats, or possibly otters, were spotted below as well. Along this stretch we also saw people on the riverbank - two groups of them - a most uncommon siting on the Chippewa River. From Murray Rock to the Highway 40 landing, we were treated to repeated riffles and another possible class 1 rapids. Paula and Teresa had switched boats at lunch, and when Teresa ran aground, her trepidation returned and quickly reminded her how not to lean.

At the Highway 40 landing, we took a quick refresher course in navigating through strainers. South of the landing we made our way through a series of islands large and small, littered with trees, branches, and strainers left by the spring run-off. When green, this is one of the most beautiful stretches of the Chippewa, tempting you to take a good long look while challenging you to avoid its clutches. The islands were followed by a long, deep, slow-moving stretch to Imalone, during which the sun was steady enough to burn. We paddled under the Imalone bridge and down Shield’s “Rapids” to the take out at the cottage. Although the water levels were not particularly high, we made the entire trip in five hours.

Sue left her canoe and took off for Eau Claire. The remaining five changed into dry clothes and dove into the food cache. A couple rounds of hot beef sandwiches, chips, dips, salsa, cookies, fruit, apples, dip, and on and on. A few beverages were imbibed as well, although we had the good sense to pour the clove-heavy wine down the sink rather than drink it after the Sangria. Teresa, paddler turned artist, suggested having the blue bottle made into a cheese tray, a common practice in the eastern part of the state. She also wore a unique fleece headband, which we westerners had never seen before. Perhaps there’s an import/export business in such items, if you can “import” things from Fond du Lac to Eau Claire.

After dinner, we headed out to the campfire, which proved to be more effort than the group expected. Paula fanned the flames and kept the oak burning, while Kathy fed the fire with her special mix of confidential client files and toxic waste. Coyotes yapped and howled, first to the southeast, then to the north, under a clear, starry sky. We wrapped up the evening with a rousing game of Quiddler, with Teresa jumping off to an early lead, Paula dozing, Michelle forgetting her turn, and Dorothy finally pulling out the win. Then we crashed.

Sunday morning we awoke to clouds and mist, which increased to steady rain. Keeping up the food tradition, the five of us had a full, hot breakfast, then Michelle decided to call it a weekend and head home. The four remaining paddlers scrounged for water-proof clothing and resolved to paddle the one-hour stretch from the cottage to the Highway A landing on river left. Just as we headed out, decked out, Sue and her husband arrived to retrieve their canoe. Sue advised us we were all nuts.

The paddle proved otherwise, however. The stretch south of Shield’s Rapids is deep and slow-moving all the way to the Highway A landing. We paddled slowly under a gray sky, in steady rain, with no wind, on perfectly calm water. For each of us it was a relaxing, almost spiritual experience.

With a feeling of equanimity, we loaded up boats and packed up gear, said our good-byes, then Dorothy and Teresa headed directly home from the landing. Paula and Kathy headed back to the cottage, where we unloaded Kathy’s boats (thank you, Paula) talked for awhile, then Paula left for home. Kathy picked up a few things at the cottage, turned off the well pump, hot water heater and lights, locked the door, and headed home. Bittersweet.

Friday, January 2, 2009


If, by any chance, there's still someone reading this blog I thought I better post an update.

Since late last summer, hubby & I have been actively job & home searching out west. It is our hearts' desires to relocate to my old stomping grounds - Colorado.

With the search, homeschooling the kiddos, running hubby's business, and life in general, this blog has fallen through the cracks.

While kayaking is still a passion of mine, I'm afraid maintaining this blog is not.

I don't intend to delete it at this point, as I suspect a move out west could open up all kinds of kayaking prospects. However, for now, this blog is on the back burner indefinitely.

Paddle on!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Upcoming Classes with MiZiZak

Good morning fellow divas!

Well, I have to say... those of you that couldn't join us for family camp truly missed out on a fun time! We enjoyed lots of sunshine, swimming, paddling with our family, fishing, and camp cooking. Can't wait until next year! I hope to post some pix soon (with some help from Paula).

The real reason for this post though is to promote a fellow club member's paddlesports business.

Gigi Stafne has an incredible business in the Blue Diamond vacation area, north of Bloomer & east of Highway 53, you may have heard of it....

Mi Zi Zak Kayaks

The above link will take you to her calendar of events page. I hope you'll take the time to see what she offers throughout the summer.

Gigi has an excellent selection of boats for rent, and offers shuttle services as well.

With summer winding down, now is the best time to get that friend or loved one out on the water with you! Show them why you're a WaterDiva, and why we love our sport so much! Go rent a boat for an afternoon or weekend, take them paddling. You won't regret it!

And for those of you who are interested in improving your paddling skills, Gigi offers an excellent opportunity for learning in her safety, fitness, or advanced paddling clinics.

So don't delay...

Check out MiZiZak Kayaks!

Monday, August 4, 2008

August Family Camp

Attention all WaterDivas!

Well August is upon us, and it's time for our 1st annual Family Camp!

Back in February, you may remember, we decided to include our families in one of our outings. We decided on August, and it's here already. Can you believe it?

One of our members, Paula - from Chippewa Falls, suggested a Washburn county park that she has camped at with her hubby. If anyone has questions that the following blurb doesn't answer, then please contact her directly. I will include her email address in a short email sent out to all members regarding family camp.

WaterDiva Family Camp

August 15,16,17

Where: updated in red

Totogatic Campground:
The Totogatic Campground is located in the northwest part of Washburn County, on the Minong Flowage approximately 8 miles west of Minong. The campground has 71 sites, most of which provide electricity. Nearly one-half of the sites provide direct access to the flowage. Campground facilities include a beach, boat ramp and dock, fish cleaning station, picnic areas, flush and vault toilets, there are 2 coin operated showers in the bathrooms with the flushing toilets. There are also 2 sinks with hot/cold running water, a papertowel dispenser, a large mirror and an outlet. Dump stations, water, firewood, and a public telephone. A park ranger resides on site.

Click here for Totogatic Park Map

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Meet a Fellow Water Diva....Chris!

Name/Nickname: Chris Muhonen

Where are you from? I live in Chetek, Wi. I moved here in 2004, from Oshkosh, Wi.

Family? Do they share your enthusiasm for paddling?
My husband enjoys it a little bit, my kids & their families probably enjoy it more, but they don't have a lot of time to go.

Where do you work and how long have you been at it?
I work for JJ Keller & Assoc., from Neenah, Wi. I work out of my home, for them.

Other than paddling, what hobbies do you enjoy?
Golfing, ATVing, swimming, fishing, boating.

Tell us something about yourself that most people don't know (unusual skill, second language, ancestry, etc.)
I truly can't think of anything unusual, a little about me though, I have two children, one girl and one boy. They are in their mid thirties, and I have a granddaughter, Julia, 2 1/2 years old, she is the love of my life.

Do you belong to other clubs or associations?
I am the secretary of the Chetek ATV Cruzers, I belong to the Chetek Snow Flyers also.

When did you first try paddling, and who introduced you to the sport?
I just started paddling last year, in 2007. A few people that I go to yoga with, and golf with, got me going in it.

What kind of boat(s) do you own?
I have a 12.5 Wilderness Tsunami, bright yellow w/a little orange color.

What piece of gear always goes with you?
My paddle.

What's the longest paddling trip you've ever been on?
On the Brule, last summer, 2007. We were probably on the water for about 3 hours.

What memorable places have you paddled & What did you enjoy most about it?
The Brule was probably my most memorable, because I have not been that many places. I enjoyed the company and the faster water, and because the water was clear and you could see bottom. I have been on the Red Cedar River, and that is awesome also, there are always Eagles flying overhead.

What would you consider to be the ultimate paddling adventure?
If I was more experienced, I would love going on a huge river, such as the Grand Canyon, but I am not ready for that. So I will just still to the local areas for now.

What has been your worst paddling experience?
I have not had any real bad experiences, but I guess if I had to pick one, it would have been this spring, 2008, on the Red Cedar. It was a little cold, and then the wind picked up at times and we really had to paddle hard against the wind and rain for a little while. But it calmed down after a while, then it was fine again.

Do you have big paddling plans for 2008, or in years to come?
Nothing big, I just plan on finding more time, to paddle more often.
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