I spent another Memorial Day weekend whitewater kayaking with the Hoofers Outing Club. This is one of my favorite trips of the year as it's beginner-friendly and we get to camp on property the club owns in northern Wisconsin known as Hooferland.
For day 2, we split up and some of the group headed to Section II of the Wolf river while the rest (including me) went down the Peshtigo River. We had a great day on the “Pesh,” with water levels much higher than last year. If we had run the Peshtigo then, it would've been the “Push To go.” We ended the day with a lentil soup, songs on the ukelele, and crazy kayaking stories around the campfire.
On our final day, we split up again, with some of us doing Wolf Section III and the rest heading down to the Red. My group got a bit of time to play at Gilmore's Mistake, a park-and-play rapid on the Wolf River.
The club provides a great opportunity to learn how to kayak in a safe(ish) environment. There are no guides, so everyone is expected to contribute however they can, which could include planning, food preparation or driving. This also keeps the costs down for those broke college students and bums without jobs. If you're interested in doing a variety of outdoors activities from kayaking to mountain biking, the Outing Club is a great option.
One tip: You don't need to be a student to join. You just have to be a member of the Wisconsin Union, which costs $50 per year.