Friday 4-28-17

Greetings and welcome!

I have about 100 things to do today and my update here will be first so that it doesn’t get missed.

This weekend is a big one for me with Pesh-Fest coming up at Kosir’s. There are a lot of people coming to play in the whitewater, enjoy the music and food, and there will be some vendors too. I will be there with my flashlights, and I know of at least one other person setting up shop.

The river is the highest that it has been on this date in the 18 year history of the USGS gauge. My guess is that it is about +29 or +30″ right now. This picture was done at a similar level about 4 or 5 years ago taken at First Drop. It is a 16′ raft with 13 people in it. There are going to be some epic flips, crashes and disappearing acts this weekend.

The high water should make the PeshFest downriver race interesting too. Those that can keep from swimming should flush down in 45 minutes or less.

If you are into whitewater to feed the adrenaline rat this would be an excellent weekend to go for a paddle.

We had a lot of rain this week. According to the USGS gauge by Kosir’s, we have had just over 3″ of rain in the last 8 days. My gravel driveway is again muddy like it is frost-out time, but it is just from all of the rain.

Yesterday’s storm had the radar dark green all day, except for where it was pink or white from the snow or snow mix. We had snow here in the afternoon, but it did not accumulate other than on cold surfaces. Some areas to our northwest had white ground and accumulating snow. It got below freezing last night and iced it all up, but sunrise fixed that.

One of the storms hit Oconto Co and the Lakewood area with  probably 2″ more rain than we had. That is going to make the ATV trails very interesting. When I was in Lakewood and Townsend this week there were some big washouts and huge puddles on the ATV trails. Some of us would find blasting through a 40′ long 2′ deep puddle or some rugged terrain  quite attractive. The clubs on the other hand really have their work cut out for them.

Spring is progressing a little ahead of schedule. The maples are dropping their little red flowers. The grass is growing and will need to get its first cut in a week or so. The birch trees are starting to get their catkins, and some trees are unfolding first leaves. I usually figure May 10-May 15 for the big green-up, this year we are a little ahead of that.

People camping this weekend will want to bring their warm gear. We have been down in the upper 20s and low 30s the past few nights. The weekend forecast is a little better with NWS predicting lows of 28 tonight and 34 Saturday night. Saturday looks nice with a sunny day and a high of 52. Saturday night (20% chance) into Sunday morning (50% chance) another system will bring us rain and snow. That storm will rain on us right through Monday or Monday night, so Sunday is looking soggy.

A passing thought this week was that maybe I should stock up on Repel the next time that I hit WalMart. With all of this rain I would expect a bumper crop of mosquitoes for May. I hope to spend a lot of time outside in May, it it will be good to be prepared.

Well the clock says that I need to be about 4 things farther down my list than I am, so I had best get to work. Have a great weekend and thank you for visiting!

RJB

 

Wednesday 4-26-17

Oconto ATV Trails Open this Friday 4-28

Greetings and welcome!

I did not forget to do my Tuesday report this week, I had planned to be a little late with it.

With a pretty good storm heading this way I thought that I would hit one of my favorite sunset spots Tuesday night. Extra moisture in the air will make a sunset really colorful, and the storm clouds make some dramatic structure for the sun to peek through. Curses, foiled again. The storm was a couple of hours ahead of my plan and we were socked in with overcast. No sunset for me. Maybe later in the week as the storm departs I can get the pictures I was after.

It was a really nice weekend and beginning of the week. Temperatures in the 60s and 70s and no bugs made outdoor activities very enjoyable.

Monday I went for a walk in my back field to see how spring was progressing. I was surprised how much the grass had come along in the past week. One plant was flowering and the willow-ish bush in my pond was busting out too. There were no trillium yet, but I expect them soon. I really need to get on my yard work that I need to get done before the grass and ferns get too tall.

The only entries from the insect world on my walk was one mosquito and two wood ticks. That is pretty good for my field.

Last weekend the water in the Peshtigo River was at +26”, just rippin’. A lot of people took to the river for some whitewater rafting, and had a great time in the big water.

I headed down with my camera and caught a little of the action..

This coming weekend is Pesh Fest, a big party and whitewater downriver race at Kosirs. The way that it sounds they are in for a big turnout.

I will be there with my red tent selling flashlights. I have been saving up for this event and have $5 and $10 specials. The rest of my inventory I will be selling at Pesh-Fest only prices. My tradition at Kosir’s and Rapids resort goes back a long way. I will do some special pricing for this event.

The forecast for the weekend looks ok as long as the timing doesn’t change. Friday and Saturday look mostly cloudy and in the 50s. There is a chance of rain starting Saturday night and increasing for Sunday and Monday.

As far as water levels we should be in good shape. We are probably at +17 or 18 right now, and it is raining. There is a decent sized storm that is expected to bring potentially an inch or more of rain. The TV just showed a QPF graphic showing about 1.25”. As of mid-afternoon Wednesday one line of rain has already blessed the watershed with a pretty good drink.

The Peshtigo River watershed is long and narrow, and Wednesday rain is perfect for weekend paddling. It is hard to predict river levels without knowing what the storm will bring, but at the moment my wild guess is mid to upper teens, and maybe 20+ if the storm brings a lot of rain. Anything over 12 is awesome, so we should be in good shape for paddling the weekend.

A friend mentioned yesterday that he was up by Goodman Park earlier this week and Strong Falls was just magnificient with the big river flow. I thought that a waterfall tour would be an excellent suggestion. My top picks would be Goodman Park, Long Slide Falls and 12 Foot Falls.

When I was at the local gas station Tuesday I renewed my fishing license. It won’t be long before it it time to hit the lakes.

A passing thought on the way home is that the lakes will be a lot warmer than usual. Not only did we have a mild winter and early thaw, runoff from all of the rain we have been getting warms them up too.

The ATV trails in Oconto County are expected to open this weekend. The weather has not been kind to them. Heavy rains a week ago caused some trail erosion and there are some big big puddles. The last word that I have as of Wednesday evening is that they will still open Friday.

That is it for tonight. Have a good week and thank you for visiting!

RJB