“No-Regrets – 2021” – Rafting Road-Trip from Chicago to Niagara, Wisconsin

What is No-Regrets
A mancation, a tradition, where bunch of close friends hunker down for a weekend of adventure, each year, every year. Key ingredients – Road-trip and stirring adventure – white-water rafting, zip-lining, rock-climbing and a new destination to satiate our wanderlust.

All No-Regrets Trips
Rafting/Adventure Road-Trip from Chicago to Ohiopyle, Ohio (No-Regrets 2018)
Adventure Road-Trip from Chicago to Rocky Mountains, Colorado (No-Regrets 2019)
Camping Getaway from Chicago to Iowa (No-Regrets 2020)
Rafting/Adventure road-trip from Chicago to Niagara, Wisconsin (No-Regrets 2021)
Rafting/Adventure road-trip from Chicago to New River Gorge, West Virginia (No-Regrets 2022)

Why Wildman resort for white-water rafting?

One of the closest white-water rafting locales from Chicago, clocking around 4 hours.
Convenience – being an adventure resort, you get a plethora of pre-booked activities so less hassle and more fun.
Great mix of adventure activitiesfor families or adults alike.
Support staff is lively, knowledgeable and fun-loving, just like its patrons.

How to Plan your visit?

•  For accommodation, you can choose one of the many cabins OR camps inside the resort. We stayed at the Pineview cottage.

• Run through the emergency checklist.

• Run though the tech essentials to turbo charge your road trips.

•  Choose your activities and places to visit. We did the following in a 3 day trip: whitewater rafting at Menominee River; zip-lining, paintball, trekking and Kayaking. To squeeze in more activities – we took Friday off, went straight to white-water rafting and then did the rest of the activities on Saturday and early Sunday before returning late Sunday evening.

Our Trip from Naperville

Dates
June 11-13, 2021

Road Trip
Naperville to Menominee River Outpost, WI.
299 miles, took around 5 hours with many breaks along the way.

Stay
We reserved this cottage directly from Wildman.

Day 1 – The Drive and the Rafting

Rise and shine – We left sharp at 7 AM in our Durango R/T and MDX to kick-start our escapade.

We headed straight for white-water rafting outpost, the only pit-stop being here at Crivitz, WI.

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With our stuffed bellies and overflowing spirit of adventure, we sped over to the most sought-after part of the trip – R.A.F.T.I.N.G.

The beginnings were humble and uneventful. We had 2 guides in our raft who entertained us with jokes and pirate songs and calmed some nerves down, in mostly placid water.

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Some more serene moments, full of nervous euphoria.

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Things got amped up hastily.

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The guides know when to pose, don’t they.

After a few Class II/III rapids, we were motoring along towards the Class IV rapid. The guides lined up the raft perfectly to hit the tongue of the rapid.

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The drop itself didn’t seem that bad..

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Until we went further in..

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After a few heart-in-the-mouth moments, we hit the normalcy of mundane flowing river, which felt good for a change.

But the raft besides ours wasn’t that fortunate. A loose foot is a perilous disposition inside the raft.

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Woops…

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Can you spot the leg?

Man overboard!

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Where did he go?

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All eyes on the guide, may be we need a rescue?

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After a few jittery moments, he resurfaces..

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And all is well with the world again. We had a great time reliving these moments with the fallen guy in the bar inside the resort. I loved his quip – “Not everyday you get to fall in a Class IV rapid!”

The Menominee River Outpost had a fully-stocked bar with several grubbing options. There are other facilities for the patrons like cornhole, which we utilized aptly.

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Hiking at Menominee River State Recreation Area

Feeling ebullient after our skip-a-heartbeat rafting gig, we decided to take a short trek to the Menominee River State Recreation Area. The trail meanders around the Menominee River, leading to some breathtaking views of the white-water rapids we went on earlier.

These pictures only do half the justice.

You need to drop your guard and spend a few mins doing nothing, to soak in the ambience.

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Here’s the roaring rapids, with all their might.

Gatlinburg Wildman Adventure Resort – Peshtigo River Outpost

We swiftly headed towards our resting abode for the night – the Pineview Deluxe Cabin at Peshtigo River Outpost.

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After the rich exploits of the day, we retreated to our cabin, the freshly grilled food and drinks leading the festivities of the night.

Day 2 – The Resort , Ziplining and the Paint-ball

The Resort

We took a morning stroll around the resort to check things out. The resort has ample lodgings – campsites as well as cabins. The campsites are nestled close to Peshtigo River. The area had plenty of shades and picnic tables.

A short walk from our cabin led us to the tranquility of the Peshtigo River, a stark contrast to the roaring rapids the other day.

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Golfing aficionados will enjoy the teeing amenities.

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Ziplining

After a filling breakfast, we headed over to the first adventure of the day – 5 adrenaline pumping ziplines with speeds up to 35 miles an hour. We went whistling over the wooded area and the golf course.

Paint-ball Pursuit

We shared the large paint-ball arena with another sizable Church group from Chicago and mixed-up the teams. The paint-ball arena was densely wooded area accentuated with man-made shields and obstacles, it gave us a great perspective of how an actual battle in the wild would look like.

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Courtesy: Wildmanranch.com

Day 3 – The Kayaking Trip and the Return

Kayaking Trip

A trip to the north isn’t complete without a leisurely view of the Northwoods. And we leveraged Wildman’s kayaking tour at the High Falls reservoir to soak in the experience.

The lake was vast and placid.

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We swiftly ushered in and went about our away.

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Things got a bit too calm after a while and it took a literal nose-dive from the near-by cliff, to balance out the things.

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and just like that, we headed back.

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All Good Things..

Come to an end. A few hours and a pit stop later, we parted our ways, with a promise of bigger adventure looming in the air for No-Regrets 2022.

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Thank you for the memories, Wildman!


Please share your thoughts on this post or your own Mancation Road-trip ideas in the comments section.

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