Snacking at a river campsite. There are campsites every 10-15 miles, most accessible only via the river and they are primitive (no facilities save maybe a picnic table and lean-to hut). Less common are the nicer sites popular with fishermen. Most of them have potable water, and occasionally even a hot shower
Fast water after a portage, the chop is due to rocks below the surface. Portaging around the small hydroelectric dams is a pain – we load the canoes on portage carts, drag them over what is usually a steep hill and then down the other side to rejoin the river. The silver lining is that the current is faster on the downstream side. The water was still very clear at this point. Only after Grand Rapids did it begin to get murky.
Dale and Richard paddle fast and don’t wait for slackers. The first week I was reluctant to pause and take a photo for by the time I was done, they would be 200 yards ahead and it would take me 20-mins to catch back up with them. Since then, my paddling and picture taking are both speedier.
It was very cold that evening. We left Bemidji around noon and paddled until dusk, and as the sun began to set the air got cold quickly – it was time to set up camp. This small peninsula was home, and also where Neal from NBC shot video the next morning. Apparently that news piece made the rounds. Between it and a front-page article in the Bemidji paper, virtually everyone we saw in the coming days knew who we were.
The trees are budding. A week from now, and 100 miles farther south, they’ll be full-on green. It’s fun being able to enjoy Spring twice this year. During the first 10 days, most night-time temps were in the 30s or 40s, and days ranged from 40s to 70s.
Tyler (trail name: Tallboy), from Cleveland, OH, joined us somewhere along the way and has been part of the team since. He’s the main fire builder. This was a great wild camp on the peninsula of lake Winniebegoshish.
We see eagles most days, also swans, hawks, buzzards, egrets, and others. And the bird chatter from the trees has increased. Still no mosquitos, but they’ll arrive soon. All the locals keep telling us they’ll be bad soon – “you betcha”
One of our fancier campsites – next to the public library in Grand Rapids. We were able to use their free wifi, and as it was Saturday night, we knew the library would be closed until well after we were gone the next morning.