September 27, 2011 – Day 19 – 28.5 miles
Two huge portages again today. It’s good to be able to stretch me legs with purpose, and explore the parks that are often built around the dams. One tends to stand out when they walk through a public park with a canoe on their shoulders, and I attract a lot of questions.
I passed by a lot of upscale houses north of St. Cloud and through this rather large urban area today. As I paddled by a man standing in his yard on the shoreline he told me that he saw two males on stand up paddle boards with large packs paddling the river just a few hours before me. I hope to catch up to these guys and find out their story. I wonder if they’re ocean-bound as well.
The sun showed itself continuously and made this part of the Earth hot this afternoon. Twice I jumped into the river to cool myself and dried off with the sun’s rays. The most exciting part of the day were the two stretches of rapids near St. Cloud. I have experienced rapids before on this river, but these were much swifter and bigger. The rapids extended for hundreds of yards and were the strongest they’ve ever been. The map claims that the rapids were Class II. Definitely not scary, but really fun when you’re solo paddling a tandem canoe.
Finally the shores have turned from shoe stealing mud to sand and rocks, and with the sunset before me I get to write this from the banks of the mighty river.