Monday, August 29, 2011

Mississippi River Day 6 (Stump Lake, 75.9 miles)

Today was a long day. I had intended to only go to silver maple campsite, which was roughly 12 miles, but I got there around lunch, and it wasnt a very nice campsite. It was already buggy, even at noon, and was right next to a major highway. The only other alternative was to push through Bemidji, which meant another 10 miles or so, a town stop, and lake travel. I had intended doing it as 2 separate days, but I decided to make it a single day.

I had actually already stopped once for the day, at a campsite that seemed relatevily nice. It seemed to early to be Silver Maple campsite, but it had a toilet, a water source, and picnic tables in the middle of no where, so it seemed right. Then I read the map more carefully and realized that I was on the wrong side of the river, and hadn't passed two roads that I should have. So I decided to keep going to Silver Maple, and then eventually beyond.

Just south of Lake Bemidji is Lake Irving, which is the first real lake on the Mississippi. It was a bit wavy, but I decided to cut across instead of going around, since it is relatively small. On the way I met a man on a stand up kayak type thing, with his dog standing on the front. He advised me where the channel to Bemidji was, and then asked how far I was going. Apparently he had canoed much of this section, and he strongly encouraged me to go around Lake Winnie, where people had apparently died trying to cross. That was still several days away, so I didnt worry about it.

I pulled up to Bemidji, and luckily there was a grocery right across the street, so it was easy to resupply. I got in and out as quickly as possible, since I'm still not sure how I feel about leaving the canoe somewhere. I also stopped at Ace and McDonalds, at Ace I got a tarp and a large tupperware tote, to keep things dry. At McDonalds I was able to upload several pages of journal, and check email, before I ran into their 1/2 hour time limit and they asked me to leave. Then began my trip around Lake Bemidji. It is a larger lake, and the waves were definitly bigger. I skirted the south and east sides of the lake, and went for the downstream channel. However it was quite hidden in a bunch of bullrush, and I was only able to figure out where to go based on seeing the bridge over the channel. There were several teenagers who were bridge jumping and swimming in the channel, but I didnt stop to talk for very long. That left 7 more miles to go to get to camp, and it was almost dark by the time I got in. I had to pass through a series of smaller lakes, which were really just wide sections of river. However, they were wide enough to slow down the current, and make me have to look for the channel out. I finally got to camp, and was too tired to cook dinner, so I had a bit of lunch and went to bed.

No comments:

Post a Comment