Saturday, September 5, 2015

Iron County Lakes and Rivers Alliance presents Loony Paddler, Kit Bogenschneider

Having grown up on the shore of Lake Mendota in Madison, Wisconsin, my soul is nourished whenever I get on water. I feel blessed to be living in an area that is a maze of lakes and river channels, and I delight in every opportunity to explore those water highways and byways.” Kit Bogenschneider.

Iron County Lakes and Rivers Alliance is pleased to present the founder of Mercer’s Loony Paddlers, Kit Bogenschneider, on Saturday, September 12th at 9:00 AM at the Mercer Community Center.  Kit will delight the audience with a slide show and anecdotes of many of the Loony Paddlers’ favorite adventures. She will discuss how the group got started five years ago, what to consider when choosing a paddle trip, and what the area lakes and rivers have to offer. Since there are many choices of kayaks, each suitable for certain purposes or paddlers, purchasing the right one can be daunting for the newby. Kit will share her knowledge on what to consider when buying that first kayak.

Kit began paddling a canoe when she was very young and has continued the activity throughout her life and now in retirement. The Bogenschneider family, Kit, husband, Gary, and kids, have canoe camped on the Manitowish and Wisconsin Rivers, Lake Allequash, the Boundary Waters, and St. Mary’s River in Florida. A year after moving to their current home on the Turtle Flambeau Flowage 11 years ago, Kit bought her first solo kayak because she wanted a boat she could handle alone, even in the wind. A couple of years later, she and her son signed on for a one-week “Whales and Glaciers” kayaking adventure in Alaska. In 2013 and 2014, she was invited to assist a Mosinee Boy Scout troop paddling down the Wisconsin River.

When Kit retired five years ago from Marshfield Clinic, she organized the Loony Paddlers, a Thursday morning kayaking group for women modeled after the Minocqua group the Lady Yakkers. Then, responding to requests from Mercer males, she started the Tuesday evening co-ed paddle group, Paddle Mercer. All together the two groups have paddled over 50 different rivers and lakes from as far away as the Bois Brule to the many waterways at home in Mercer, with difficulty varying from placid evening lake paddles to class 2-3 rapids. Every summer she offers a moonlight paddle, open to anyone willing to get out of their comfort zone.

Experienced kayakers, novice kayakers and non-kayakers will enjoy this presentation by a gutsy, passionate paddler who lights up the room when she talks about her past and future paddling excursions.  This ICLRA program September 12th is free and open to the public.

Iron County Lakes and Rivers Alliance is a non-profit organization of lake associations and individuals who care about preserving the waters of the county. For more information call 715-476-2881 or email

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