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Mississippi River canoe trip

Downriver Chapter 10: Amos Owen, Dakota Holy Man

Redwing, MN has a large marina, beautifully restored old homes and a great local museum. From the marina, I wandered up to the Goodhue County Museum on the hill. In the early 1850s, settlers came to Redwing to farm in Goodhue County. Land was selling for $15 per acre, and the cash crop was wheat. A few bumper crop years…

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Downriver: Chapter 7 Bill Byers the Logger

    From Cass Lake to Grand Rapids, Mike and I paddled through the land of Paul Bunyon, the legendary logger, on the river that was the highway of the Minnesota timber industry until the 1940s. The world’s largest animated man, according to theme park hype, is this display of Paul Bunyon in Brainerd. Local legends are part of the…

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Downriver: Chapter 3 Lake Itasca to Bemidgi

Lake Itasca to Bemidgi We started paddling the next morning from Wanagan  through a canoeist’s paradise. The Upper Mississippi is a canoeist’s paradise! (traveltips.usatoday.com photo) The scenery ranged from pine forests that infused the air with a sweet, pine woods smell, to marshes full of cattails with stalks higher than our heads. The wetlands were full of waterfowl.  It seemed…

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Downriver: A Mississippi River Canoe Voyage, Chapter 2

Be careful around daydreams, particularly those that won’t go away or leave you alone. They can become intrusive, and at some point will demand to be dealt with. Before I set off down the river, I worked on the night stock crew at Hy-Vee Number One Grocery Store in Ames, Iowa. I had too much time to daydream. My mom,…

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Downriver: A Mississippi River Canoe Journey

    Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to travel the Mississippi River like Huckleberry Finn did. In  1980, I canoed from the Mississippi’s headwaters at Lake Itasca, MN to the Gulf of Mexico. This is the story of that journey, and installments of  the tale will be posted here! Enjoy the trip! There is just something about…

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