Gear list, because you asked ... well, Harry Bott did -- 17-foot Current Designs Storm touring kayak with rudder, Werner Camano fiberglass/carbon paddle, backup paddle, bilge pump, life vest, spray skirt, paddle float, throw bag, various ropes, bungees and ties, portage cart, Evolite sleeping pad, Slumberjack sleeping bag, tent, various waterproof bags and pouches, Anker solar panel, Unifun storage battery, Delorme Explorer tracker/GPS, cell phone, GoPro Session camera, VHF handheld marine radio with weather channel, kayak light, bear spray, air horn, rain shell, rain pants, two tarps, sunglasses three pair, sunscreen, bug spray, trowel, handsaw, hatchet, boy scout mess kit, Pocket Rocket stove, tin mug, water pouches 12 liters, a dozen lighters, waterproof matches, firesticks, firestarter, water filter, coffee, food and snacks, hiker hat, knit cap, long johns, two pairs of pants, shorts, trunks, shirts, handles, dry shoes, gloves .... and probably a few things I'm forgetting.
We had lunch today with Jeff and Sandy Bromenschenkel, shown here standing on the porch of the shelter they are building for Mississippi River paddlers. They are referred to as "river angels" and just do it out of the kindness of their hearts. Thanks. It was wonderful.
Doing 19 miles today from Winnie Dam to Gambler's Point. Seen otters, beavers, loons, pelicans and bald eagles. The current count on eagles is 14.
Unfortunately, we have also seen leeches, black flies, thunderstorms and too much wild rice. But there was not another human on the river today after we left Winnie Dam. All wilderness.
Big thanks to Dana Haynes, Joetta Strausser and Chazz Malott for getting me to the headwaters of the Mississippi. The drive here alone was a bit of an adventure ... and a very long drive. Thanks again. Yes, I owe you big.
So it begins. We take off this evening for Chicago. Dana and Joetta and I will stay with Chazz in Chi-Town and take off Saturday morning for northern Minnesota. Long drive.
Mike Malott – Age 60, Hartland, MI. Former Managing Editor of the Livingston Daily Press & Argus, based in Howell, MI. I've been a desk jockey most of my life. Becoming more of an outdoor enthusiast as I get older.