On Tuesday, June 20th, 2017 we begun our adventure down the Mississippi River. To commemorate the first 15.6 miles that we traversed on day one, here are 15.6 facts.
1) The “Mighty” Mississippi starts off pretty wimpy: Unless you're a fan of small rock walls, and ankle high water there isn't much to see at the Mississippi headwaters.
2) Shoebies: Just because there isn't much to see hasn't stopped everybody and their mothers from coming all the way out here. Then again, maybe we're just jaded because our moment at the start was overrun by a high school field trip.
3) Be ready to get wet: Much like you guide a dog on a leash the river’s shallow beginnings initially had us walking the canoe downstream more than paddling it there. Hey, at least it beats portaging it.
4) So much for majestic: Not only is the river shallow, it also starts off more as a swamp than anything else.
5) The Mississippi River never learned the definition of a straight line: No wonder it only takes a day to drive from Minnesota to Louisiana. The river has more turns than a roundabout, and it appears we’ll be zig zagging our way down to Bourbon Street.
6) People from Minnesota are awesome: Whether it was Ranger Greg, or any of the other wonderful people we’ve met thus far (including our long lost cousins) we've been greeted with open arms and a smile.
7) We've named the canoe: While on the water we've settled on the name; Jean or Ranger Jean. (Fact 7.6) Jean may be her Christian name but she also goes by, “The big mean Jean green machine”.
8) Class one rapids are…interesting: You won't have to worry about the speed of a class one rapid on this river. Out here the current is the equivalent of putting a hose into your pool.
9) Class one rapids part 2: The best way to describe going through these things has to be Trent’s (Clark) analogy of a hot slide. It's not overly fun or dangerous. It gets you where you need to go faster, but you'll also walk away with a sore butt (or a scraped canoe).
10) Jean is a tank: While we've made it a habit to try and avoid rocks we haven't always been successful. However, besides a few scratches our green beauty (and paddles) still work just fine.
11) Bald eagles are amazing: As we neared the end of our first day we saw a bald eagle take off from a tree. I immediately stood up and sang the Star Spangled Banner followed by Proud to be an American.
12) Forgetting the seat backs ranks as one of my all time mistakes: Clark and I stumbled off the boat with some of the worse sore lower backs we've ever had.
13) Oh bugs where art thou: Sure the flies are terrible on land, but once we got on the water They all but left us alone. I'm not complaining just stating the facts.
14) That was easy: Another shoutout to Minnesota, the first leg of our journey has been throughly mapped out, and well marked by the state parks.
15) Down but not out: While it may hurt to even sit here and type this article, don't think for a second we’ve been scared off from day two of our journey. As for day three, let's not get too ahead of ourselves.