We got to New Ulm today after paddling around 150 miles upstream on the Minnesota since our departure from Fort Snelling on June 2nd. Things are going great, and we are on schedule!
We've had a couple different challenges so far. The river is still really flooded. Everyone we've met has commented on the level of the Minnesota compared to where it usually is this time of year. We've been working really hard to get through the flooded waters. Once we tried to take a shortcut through a lagoon to cut off a bend in the river. We were in there for about 45 minutes and lost every sense of direction! When we found our way back out we were only about 10 ft upstream of where we had entered the lagoon. We haven't tried any shortcuts since. However, Ann and I have witnessed the water level dropping -- the river is easier to paddle upsteam every day!
The next day, on the way to St.Peter, we had a rough headwind. We found out later that the winds were against us at 35 mph and we can only paddle 2 mph upstream in the first place. Someone please make that into a physics question because I'm not sure how we were moving forward at all! It was a rough day but we finally made it to St.Peter to meet with Ed Lee of the St. Peter Herald. He took a video of us around our campsite and told us about the beginning of Sean and Colton's trip in 2008. Both that trip and Scott and Todd's trip in 2005 faced a lot of cold weather and rain. We were glad it was hot when we heard that.
From St. Peter we made our way to Mankato. The wind changed direction, so we cruised with a heavy tail wind. Once in Mankato, we camped in Land of Memories Campground. In the morning, we were picked up by Angie Delory of the Mankato P
|Two members of the Mankato Paddling Club|
Now, we're writing to you from New Ulm where we are having our first homestay with Anne-lise and Kurt Johnson. They are too kind! We did laundry, took showers and slept in real beds. This morning we went to Flandrau State Park interviewed with Channel 12 of Mankato and got a tour with Gary the Director of the Park. Flandrau has a lot of cool history and a sand bottom pool! Next, we're off to a
|Director of Flandrau State Park and HBB by the pool!|
We want everyone to know that the Minnesota River is a hidden gem. Even with the flooding and heat and wind, we have really enjoyed the Minnesota. We've seen otters and eagles and jumping fish and felt like we were totally in the wilderness at times. I think we've only seen about 10 boats on the 150 miles of the river we've traveled. Get out there and paddle!
Continuing on our Tour de Minnesota!
Ann and Natalie
PS We have a bunch more pictures we'll make sure to put up later!