An evening on the Fox River along downtown Oshkosh and the UW-Oshkosh campus gave paddlers a snapshot look at how Oshkosh celebrates Friday night. We passed teaming restaurants, live music and exuberant powerboat pilots.
Twelve boats — 11 kayaks and a canoe — launched from the Oshkosh Riverwalk Trailhead on Michigan Avenue. An ADA-accessible launch helped us accomplish that. We traveled downstream along the west bank to the Fox River Bascule Bridge, a railroad bridge that lifts with the momentum of a massive counterweight.
We suppressed the temptation to hit the open water of Lake Winnebago and quickly crossed as a group to the east bank and headed back upstream. Paddling from one easy conversation to the next with visitors from Cedarburg or Rochester, Minn., made the paddle all the more enjoyable.
We passed under the Highway 44 bridge and looped around the Hwy 21 bridge. After a short exploration of and rest in Sawyer Creek, we glided back downstream. Five miles and 2 1/2 hours later were back at our launch spot, still with enough daylight for loading up.