• spuffer

Day 26- June 29, 2018

Day 26 - June 29th 2018 My eyes open to the sound of a train across the river. I’m already drenched in sweat. The tent is very hot. Mom and Dad warned me of the high heat advisory. It’s not even 7am yet.

Luckily when I crawled out of the tent it was much cooler. My only thought last night when setting up was where is the most level ground to put this on. Past days I considered where the sun would break and warm the tent. Last night not so much a thought.

Breakfast this morning was to Carnation Breakfast shake powders and two packets of instant oatmeal and a healthy shot of protein powder. That’s fast food out here. Shock it up and down it went. Not bad at all really.

A lot of dredging and piles of sand climb skyward. Heavy equipment pushing the river sand onto barges probably to end up in a bag you buy from Home Depot for $3. I slept on a million dollars of it last night.

The wind is strong out of the south today making moving forward very difficult. We made it to Lock and Dam 5. The headwind was so strong it was painfully slow getting into the lock. It was a 2ft drop and then a slog to paddle out and beyond it.

There is a little place called Bass Camp half mile from the lock. We paddled into there and took a break from it all. It is hot and humid today. We hung out in the shade for a few hours. Filled our water supplies up and headed back out.

Have you ever seen those videos of dogs hanging their head out the window and the wind blowing their mouth open? That was the wind coming at us. If anything in the boat that was attached to it would be gone. I remind I’m in a kayak, not bass boat with a 300 hanging off the back. I keep paddling one deep long stroke at a time just trying to get somewhere.

Seen eagles catching fish today. So cool to see them swoop in and catch a meal like that. Their behavior is also different on these windy days. They stay lower and close to the ground. Seen several sitting on log jams. Usually they take high perches in trees towering over the river.

We arrive at the Lock and Dam 5A and our first real wait comes. We’re told an hour and a half before they can get to us. Traffic is growing with the river.

We get through and move on down into Winona, MN. It’s turning into a total bust for the day. Godfather’s Pizza which is next to the boat ramp is closed like locked the doors and threw away the key closed. It’s getting late and we feel that familiar feeling of desperation to find a camp and figure the rest out. We move on down to the marina nearby. Again no help! Nobody knows how to respond to us. Minnesota nice appears to be a sales gimmick for sure!!

I look across the river and spot a boat on and island that appears to have a small beach. I point it out to Matt and he says they are river people if they are hanging out there. Let’s see if we can work our way into a spot.

We get across and meet Teresa Knepper and her husband, friends and family. They were the blessing we had hoped they would be. They shared some ice cold beer with us and invited onboard for a chat and offered us a bit of food. They made us feel at home.

Minnesota your on notice! The Knepper’s May have saved any remaining shred of Minnesota Nice we were counting on.


For photos and more details of my journey follow me at facebook.com/slpuffer

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