September 25, 2011 – Day 17 – 31 miles
I began my day with better gear than I started with, and a new sense of joy. In the morning I stopped at Crow Wing State Park for a run and to fill up my water containers. Crow Wing State Park is on the site of the old frontier town of Old Crow Wing. I spent entirely too long there, but it was nice to be able to speak with some of the campers and explore the forest.
Past the state park the river runs along Camp Ripley Military Reservation for 16 miles and is largely undeveloped. While paddling alongside Camp Ripley I began to notice a change in the river. The width and current of the river have both increased. It’s exciting to see this and realize that this is an entirely different river than what I started on just weeks ago. In the beginning of the river there were parts that I had to walk my boat through because of the shallow water. Other parts I was able to touch grasses from both banks because of the river’s narrow width. Now, the river reaches widths of 200 yards and the bends are miles long. I look forward to seeing what changes the river has in store downstream.
“Piloting on the Mississippi River was not work to me; it was play – delightful play, vigorous play, adventurous play – and I loved it.” -Mark Twain