It was tempting to lounge on the couch all day,, but I pushed that idea out of my head. When my hosts arrived back at 8:00, they offered to take me into Bemidji and buy portage wheels to replace my broken ones. I agreed. This put me on the water a little before 10:00 AM.
I turned up river and started paddling. I wasn’t going to get to the gulf and then think about the 2 miles I missed. I moved pretty quickly and when I came to an impassable section. I looked at my GPS location. I was only 50 ft away from how far I made it yesterday. Those 50 ft cost me a whole day.
Now it was time to head back down river. I passed Iron Bridge campsite where I had planned on having lunch the day before.
I saw my first dock on the river.
Shortly after, I was on a new section. Some paddlers came up behind me, the first other people on the river I had seen. Apparently the 4 of them had also started at Itasca. I found out they had managed to get through. They had one guy jump out of the boat and cut through part of the cattail island and then push chunks out of the way. That’s way too risky of a move for a solo paddler anyway.
The next few miles of river were close to trees and became a bit of an obstacle course. I was in and out of the boat several times, sometimes pulling the boat over, and sometimes under trees. Once I even had to unload it and pull it a ways up on shore. By time I arrived at the next campsite I was a bit frustrated. It was around 5:00 and there was no way I could make it to the next site 11 miles away before dark. I was really hoping to get to Bemidji today and get some pizza.
Mileage: 10.8 + 2 bonus miles
Total mileage: 51.8