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Spring Green, Wisconsin: Wisconsin River Sand Bar Fun

I can’t believe it took until the 4th of July to finally go camping in 2014.

May’s average temp in WI was 42 degrees with about 3” of rain and June’s average temperature was 56 degrees with 6 ½” of rain.

Not really ideal tent camping weather.

So you can imagine my excitement when July finally got here and I saw the upcoming weekend’s forecast….

Wisconsin River Sand Bar Fun Temps

Camping is my favorite summer activity, every year we make the declaration that “we’re going camping more this year than we did last year!”

Which pretty much never happens, but at least we talk about it.

We were even at looking into a new tent this year. After extensive research we decided on the Eureka Copper Canyon 6. Which ironically is the same one a gal at work just bought so I’ll be eager to see what she thinks about it.

Our schedule ran us ragged in June and we never did make it to REI or Cabela’s to check out the tent, so the last weekend in June we decided to air out our tent and check for mold or holes…..it was still in perfect condition, after 12+ years and dozens of camping trips this tent has really stood the test of time!

It made me think back through the years and all the enjoyment we’ve gotten out of this oversized piece of nylon and I was excited to make some new memories this year.

We stayed at Fireside Campground in Lone Rock, Wisconsin. If you’re looking for a great place to stay I’d recommend it. See my Google+ Review here: UntitledFriday morning we stopped to try our hand at a local fishing hole but the fish just weren’t interested.

Isaac & Wyatt were working those fishing poles.
Isaac & Wyatt were working those fishing poles.
Cousin Kevin braving the "rapids"!
Cousin Kevin braving the “rapids”!

We ended up at the canoe/tube launch on the Wisconsin River itself. There’s a little trail off the side of the parking lot that leads along the river’s shoreline.

Depending on the water levels, this provides access to several sand bars. The water level was low enough that there were a few points between shore and the first sand bar that we were able to wade across.

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The Hwy 23 Bridge sand bar in Spring Green.

If you’ve never hung out on a sand bar in the middle of a river you’re seriously missing out.

These girls had the right idea!
These girls had the right idea!

The contours of the dunes were such that water was able to flow over and around creating little puddles which held tiny minnows and 6” deep shallows that fed back out onto either side of the bar.

The current created ridges and banks and as you walked you’d often have one foot in what seemed like bath water and the other foot in cold spring water.

IMGP1754 IMGP1760The kids enjoyed it immensely. I showed them the joys of my underwater camera and they spent hours hitting record and setting the camera in the sand in hopes of capturing inquisitive minnows on video.

wi river minnows youtubeWe set up shade tents we’d brought along for the campsite (it was rather convenient having them still in the vehicles!) and spent the afternoon soaking up the rays and visiting and catching up.

Katie & Wyatt search for the elusive minnow....
Katie & Wyatt search for the elusive minnow….
The gang's all here!
The gang’s all here!
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Vodka Lemonades, suntan lotion and pretty magazines….a recipe for a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon.

My husband Zach was in heaven as he played Frisbee with the guys (something he never gets to do) on the beach and even the boys joined in, and did rather well for their age.

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For a 7 month old, Liam seemed to enjoy the fresh air and the warmth of the sand, and it was great seeing his eyes light up whenever mommy or daddy came near.

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Liam was all smiles and thought Zach was hilarious.

Zach and I walked the length of the sand bar, our bare feet enjoying the hot sand and the cold water. We stumbled on a clam slowly making its way along the bank, noted stork/crane/heron tracks everywhere and watched as birds flew here and there.

IMGP1762 IMGP1765 IMGP1770It had been years since I’d spent any time on one of the Wisconsin River Sand Bars, in the last few years we’ve camped everywhere but on this river I call my second home.

It felt good to get back to basics. To kick back and relax on the beach doing absolutely nothing. To spend time sitting around the campfire and have some cocktails and cook up some amazing food.

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There is nothing better than dinner over an open fire!

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Can’t wait till next year!


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Carrie Zylka
Carrie loves to be outside and relishes exploring the less touristy sections of the world. She enjoys bringing the reader her unique outlook on outdoor and adventure travel. Follow her on instagram: @carriezylka
http://wwocz.net

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