Red Wing to south Lake Pepin.
I ended up sleeping in a bit this morning. It was overcast with on and off showers expected for the day. I talked with Charlie a bit more before leaving. He was telling me about the upcoming sights to check out. I took off from his landing and was right back into the quick moving flow. As soon as I rounded the corner, I saw a soy bean distribution center. It had a barge that it was filling up to move them out. The back half of the barge was low in the water while the front half sat up empty. I checked out Red Wing as I passes throughout the quaint town. It seemed like an old river town that has been updated for the industry. As soon as I left the town, the river opened up and I was all by myself again. I looked up and started seeing eagles immediately. I pulled out my camera and began to capture images. I could not have been happier to see a constant array of eagles.
I had entered Lake Pepin. It was a long 23 mile lake that did not have any flow to it. The river dropped into it, but the current simply disappeared. I would have to earn my miles here. I was heading towards Lake City as my first stop. I was running low on fuel so I pulled over to make a quick lunch. I set up at a picnic table and listened to the eagles scream as I waited for my food to cook. I saw one fishing, but I did not have my camera out. After lunch, I hugged the shore line as I have got good at spotting the eagles. I came upon this one bald eagle. It was facing away from me until I began to approach it. I was about 200 feet away when it took off from the branch it was on. It came down and straight towards me as its wings got lift. It was one of the more impressive things I have seen. They are so big and graceful. It is a constant treat to be able to see them in the wild.
I arrived at Lake City and followed the coastline towards town. It was a bit out of my way, but I wanted to relax a bit before one more long stretch of the lake. I talked to two couples having a bbq and gave them my information so that they could follow me. I kept heading down the shore line when a woman, Kelly, came out and asked if I needed anything. I told her a massage, ice water, and a king sized bed to sleep in. She was able to help me out with the ice water. She also brought me some red grapes and some walnuts. It was very kind of her to do that. I finished the coastline and then made a line out to where I needed to go. I would be about a mile out from shore and about 7-ish miles out. I dropped my head and hammered it. I was clipping along and making good time. I saw the wind begin to pick up and this was not good. When the wind picks up, that means that the waves began to pick up. When they do that, it requires me to watch the waves coming from all directions. It is extremely stressful and it does not leave time for a break. I looked at the destination I needed to get to and just kept moving. The waves and swells began to pick up in size. It was turning into a fight with the river.
A sail boat out playing circled around to to check on me. They said they were loving the wind, but I must have been having a challenging time. I told them I was, but I could not stop. They circled around again and said something, but I honestly did not have time to hear them as I was fighting to stay upright. They took off and I was within a mile or so of the camp area. The sun was setting and I needed to move. The waves calmed down as I got closer to shore. I pulled into Camp Lacupolis. Barbara came out and greeted me. I was beat. This many miles in the heavy water will wear you down quickly. She offered me a place to set up my tent. They had showers and a bathroom that I was able to use. She was very kind in her offerings. I showered and felt 100 times better. The sun had set and the sky was clear. The spot I was set up in was about 50′ from a train crossing. This meant that each time a train passed, they would lay on their horns. It was not one of the quietest nights, but I was happy to be there. I watched the stars and satellites that passed by as I passed out. Today was another great day.