As many of you know my good friend, Nora, is getting married this month and I have the honor of being her Top Maid. (aka - Maid of Honor... no, wait.... MATRON of Honor. Yes, that makes me sound very old. Let's just go with Top Maid ;)
Nora and Pat requested a joint bachelorette/bachelor party of canoeing down the Wisconsin River and camping on a sandbar. So no, not your typical high-heel wearing, panty-line, bar hoping, penis decorated, cab ride home kind of night. That kind of night wouldn't have been very 'Nora' and it most definitely wouldn't have been very 'Pat.' ;)
It took some planning, researching, and learning how to read a map, but all in all it was a FANTASTIC day of celebrating Nora and Pat. It was a 23-mile canoe trip down the Wisconsin River with about 30 people. The plans were to camp on a sandbar half way, but b/c the river was so high, we couldn't find a suitable sandbar until we had canoed about 19 miles. eeeek! Let's just say we had some ladies with sore arms at the end of day one.
Here are some pictures from our canoeing adventure, followed by a few tips for the rookie canoe-trip-planner. I guess it is just a list of what I would have liked to know before I started planning.
|YES! She is making hummus, avocado, sprout and roasted red pepper sandwiches for all of us! I about died I was so excited!|
|The Bride & Groom|
|Not sure what is going on here|
|It was pretty beautiful that next morning. Too bad I felt like death! UGG!|
WHAT TO BRING:
Each person needs to bring:
- A tent
- Sleeping bag INSIDE A TRASH BAG in case anyone tips
- Bug spray
- Swim suit... duh!
- Something to cover up - the sun will cook you
- Long sleeves and pants for night
- Sun screen
- A hat (if you want one)
- Some sort of cup to keep your drink cold - like one of these or a koozie
- A cooler with whatever you want to drink - beer, hard alcohol, whatever floats your boat... or canoe. ;)
Just remember - NO GLASS on the river - buy cans
- Snacks and food to eat for breakfast on the next day (we only organized dinner on day one)
- Toilet paper
- A plastic ziplock bag for your phone, wallet, camera, etc.
- Water shoes (nice, but not a necessity)
- Extra garbage bags for your trash - you need to carry out all of your trash
- Drinking water - the recommended amount is 2 gallons per person
One person needs to bring:
- Firewood, lighter fluid, lighter, and s'more fixin's of course!
- A small grill (if you decide to grill for dinner)
Things I wish we would have known:
- We were given the recommendation on putting our sleeping bags in a garbage bags, but I wish we would have put EVERYTHING in a garbage bag. Even though we didn't tip, water still gets the the canoe from rowing and all of Logan's clothes and most of mine got soaked.
- If you have a group as large as 30, make sure you have a canoe dedicated to being the HEAD of the group and one canoe dedicated to being the TAIL. We kept losing people because they kept thinking they were behind everyone when they were really ahead of everyone. It made it hard to stop and hang out all together when we wanted to take a break or to all decided on the camping location.
- This one comes from personal experience - If you are going to use a clip-on bug shield, do NOT shut yourself in your tent with it running and forget to open up the windows. I am pretty sure I killed a few brain cells and it was the cause of my puking sessions. Or was that the vodka? Maybe it was both. Either way, learn from my mistake and don't do it.
The canoe rental company we used:
Blackhawk River Runs
They were so helpful! I called them several times with questions and they even sent me a hand written letter about the trip with a map!
The trip we took:
23 miles down the Wisconsin River
Started in Mazomanie - ended in Spring Green
They will pick you and your canoe up and shuttle you back to your car
How we organized dinner:
I had the groomsmen take care of bringing the grill, meat, buns, condiments, plates, napkins and eating utensils and each of the bridesmaids made a side - fruit, pasta salad, chips and dip, etc.
$60 a canoe (2 people to a canoe - $30 per person)
I had one person buy all of the alcohol and each person pitched in $20. You can do that or just have everyone bring their own. If you are going to buy a barrel, bring a back up tapper.
Ok, I think that is all my canoe-trip-planning knowledge summed up in one every long blog post. It really was a great time! I hope this helps if anyone decides to plan a trip!