I wasn’t planning to kill myself today because of how the campsites lined up coming in to Minneapolis, so I enjoyed my morning. I snapped a few pictures of camp.
I was tempted to swing in to Clearwater, so I hugged the west bank of the river. The town is all on the side. There wasn’t a public ramp of any kind, only one on the opposite bank. I wasn’t going to paddle over there just to take a long walk back to town. I’m too lazy for that.
I tried to paddle on, but quickly found that it was too shallow to paddle. Out of the boat and in to the water to move it a little deeper.
After some miles I swung in to Oak Island campsite. This was my alternate from the day before, so I wanted to see what I missed.
I made a good choice at Boy Scout Point. Also, they have some really strange toilet covers on Oak Island.
Right after the island was Snuffie’s Landing. I was ready for a little break and I was hoping there was some electricity to top off my battery. Unfortunately, no power. As I walked up to the pavilion, there were some people blowing up their inflatable kayaks.
I laid down on one of the picnic table benches and rested my eyes. I’m not sure how long I laid, but I figured it was time to go. There were some construction crews making noise anyway. As I started my walk back I noticed one kayaker still on shore hollering at the other who had gone a little ways down.
My boat was a bit up river, so I walked there and launched. It was really shallow right there, so it was an in/out of the boat thing a few times. As I arrived back where the kayaker on shore was, I saw the other on walking back up river. I spoke with her as I struggled to steady my boat (and not run her over) in the current. I got the gist that they had lost a paddle. I started to offer my spare, but I really didn’t know their plans (or if they’d recover theirs) and the river was making sure this conversation was brief.
As I got down to the other guy, I chatted again about their unfortunate lost paddle, especially after spending all that time getting ready. I told him if I found it, I’d leave it at the next boat ramp and post to my blog about it. I gave him the web address.
I looked diligently as I paddled, but it was fruitless. The paddle was all black, the river was fairly wide, and you can’t see very far when you are so close to the water in a canoe.
I went by Monticello nuclear power plant. I was a little surprised they didn’t have some kind of perimeter alarm on the river. Back home at Fermi, they have a really annoying and loud one.
I saw the cooling water being put back in the river. I wondered how much warmer it’d be, so I stuck my hand in before I passed, and then again just after. Nothing.
Not much further and I was at camp for the night: Montissippi County Park. As soon as I got my boat on the ramp, I was greeted by a guy fishing and explained I was doing the whole river. Just as I got started chatting, the guy who lost his paddle walked over. He had been waiting for me. I gave him the bad news about his paddle, no luck. The 3 of us spoke for a few minutes about my trip and the topic came to food. I mentioned how nice it was to find a restaurant right next to a boat ramp, and even salivated over the ribeye sandwich I had a few days prior leaving Aitken.
Out of the blue, the guy who lost his paddle offered me a place to stay for the night. He was going to drive me but I found out he was right on the water a few more miles down.
I had gotten a similar offer once in the AT, but I admit, I never got offered one quite like this. It took me a moment to think about, but it’s an adventure, right? I was in. I suggested I just paddle there instead to avoid moving the canoe and gear by car twice.
When I stopped to check my phone (to see my location), I saw the massive spider on the dock. FYI, those are 2×6’s
I found their place just as he described. They put me up for the night. They cooked monster steaks and sides (including the first sweet corn I’ve had this season). I got a shower, and got to do laundry, and charge my stuff. It was wonderful. In exchange, I was asked to tell stories of my adventures, which I did. I hope they feel like they got what they bargained for.
Total Mileage: 446