Thursday, May 31, 2012

"Locked In"

Let me out...this water is disgusting!

Kings Bluff near Winona, MN.

Can you see the face?

River Town: Minneiska, MN.

Lock Life

You mean that little barge gets to go ahead of the "Leila V. II"?

National Eagle Center in Wabasha, WI.

Which state has the most eagles?     Alaska....Minnesota....Wisconsin....WashIngton......

Watch and Pray....

Watch and Pray....

Usually these words of Jesus are applied to "being ready" for his return or "avoiding temptation".   These words kept echoing in my mind as I paddled the river for several days these past weeks. The natural environment suggested another interpretation.  One has much to "watch" along the way. You had better pay attention to the river for potential hazards like rocks and fallen trees called "sweepers", changes in the current, and channels that turn out to be deadends. Vigilance is vital in monitoring the weather for wind direction and velocity, storms, heat, and cold fronts.  A delightful watching surprises around each bend as deer, raccoons, trumpeter swans, eagles, butterflies, geese and goslings, pelicans, and otters appear suddenly. In the twists and turns of the river watching and studying the maps is essential to making safe progress downstream. Finally, with hours of solo time, one can't avoid the "inward glance" and taking a long and hard look at my own life.  As I watched hour after hour my reflections flowed into prayer effortlessly, even gracefully.

Too often our prayers become a chore and hard work.  On the river I have been reminded that if we "watch" and pay attention more carefully to our surroundings, prayer becomes a wonderful gift!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Paddling and PIE

Reloading "carbs" at the Stockholm Pie Company with Amy, Janet, and Suzanne.

Blown off river at Lk Pepin

Hunkered down in Stockholm, WI...beautiful little town.  Stayed at Hinderlies last nite.  Waiting for bakery to open.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

A sunny day on the water

A sunny day on the water.

Butterflies on riverbank.

Morning mist leaving Aiken, MN

 Duck at dawn

Swans in flight

Calling home 

Shy raccoon

Warm shelter from storm at Charles Lindbergh State Park

Perfect day on water. 

Eagle and prey

Flamingos in Minnesota.....gotcha! 

Our national symbol

Portage sign by dam...look more closely.  

Thanks to Jim Lewis for all his amazing photos,coaching, and friendship as I paddle on solo from Minneapolis "solo".

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Launch with new boat on Wolf Lake

Launch with new boat on Wolf Lake
Ready to paddle the "Leila V II"
 Sunset on Cass Lake
Lots of storage room in new boat

Attacked by Pelicans
Sunset over "Winnie"
 The amazing "Jetboil" ...  hot water in 2 minutes
Mapping the day
"We have to go HOW FAR?"

"Breaking camp" at Gamblers Point
"Dancing Loon"

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Launching at Lake Itasca

 Launching at Lake Itasca...Mississippi River Headwaters

Portage around rocky, shallow rapids

Cozy shelter for tents thanks to Minnesota Dept of Natural Resources

Packing for day's paddle

Trumpeter swans
(photos courtesy of my great padding partner and coach, Jim Lewis)

Repairing leak in bottom of Folbot....ultimately will need new boat


Breakfast by the campfire

too close to the fire

Paddling buddy/coach/photographer, Jim Lewis

Deer swimming across river

lunch in great old bar in Mt. Iron, MN, waiting for rudder assembly on new kayak....check out the critters!

new kayak, Wilderness Sysems Kayaks Tsunami 175, from Spring Creek Outfitters in Mt. Iron.  Great family business I highly recommend. Thanks, Chuck Newberg for the "trade-in/upgrade".