Day 8

After sitting things out due to stormy weather,  I was ready to get back on the water. The lightning was out of control. The thought of lightning and an aluminum canoe just doesn’t sit well with me.  Today was a gorgeous day! No wind, no rain, no heat! It was easy paddling for the next 30 miles. One thing I should mention, the days in Minnesota are extremely long during the summer. The sun doesn’t set until about 1030 pm! You can paddle some serious miles with days like that.

The water after a dam is always swift and it feels great cruising easily down the river. The scenery changed once again.  I went from a forest back to another wetland full of tall grass and reeds. It seemed never-ending and quite lonely.  I had my sights set on campground a few miles before Grand Rapids.

As I approached a bridge I had been waiting patiently to see (it was my landmark letting me know I was close to my stopping point) I noticed a house to my left with a “WELCOME PADDLERS” sign on a bench facing the river. There was a man sitting in the back of his boat so I paddled over and said hello. Turns out this was one of the river angels! River angels are people who live along the river and help out anyone paddling.  They are usually paddlers themselves.  They are a great asset for anyone thru-paddling the Mississippi River.

Jeff and Sandy Bromenschenkel were very friendly and accommodating. They cooked me dinner, let me shower and wash my clothes and put me up for the night. What a moral boost!  I feel like a million bucks! What truly amazing people to offer strangers this kind of hospitality! I’ll be sure to pay it forward. Acts of kindness like this is what makes the world a better place.

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