Jugs of water? Check. Yard-O-Beef? Non-check, but a roll of summer sausage will have to do. Wipes for injuries, pocketful of Kleenex for noses and butts, digital camera? Check to all; it must be a canoe trip.
We spent hours at the head of the St. Louis River a few days ago on a warm-cool cloudy-bright day. Matt found a good place to put in and we didn't hit a single submerged rock, which is really saying something, seeing as how the last time we went canoeing we chose something called the Stony River to navigate, with obvious results.
Here is where we put in. The reedy looking things in the river are all wild rice stems. We had quite a bit of rice in the bottom of the canoe by the time we were done. The whole river curved like it does on the left side of the photo.
Our guides were taciturn northern types.
I am really disappointed that I didn't get a photo of the FOUR otters that were wrestling in the water. The camera was in one of those delayed-reaction phases, so all I got was one swimming off into the rice.
By this time we were on the water for a little more than an hour but it was almost lunchtime, and everyone was ready to eat. We pulled up to a couple of large rocks but weren't able to unload on them. There aren't a lot of places to stop on a wide river that's essentially one giant rice paddy. We were considering just eating in the canoe, when we came around a bend and found a very old but clearly beloved and well-made dock. We pulled up and had a nice lunch, complete with product placement.
We took only a small trip -- about seven miles -- because it was a Sunday and we had left the dogs at home, unattended, and weren't sure what we might find when we got home (they did very well). Both kids tried paddling. It was a good day.