Today I arrived in Bemidji, MN. Mark, the athletic director at Bemidji State University, picked me up and began to drive me around town and to the campus. He is an adventure hound that will run with the best of them. He helped arrange for me to have a place to sleep while I am waiting for my boat and all my gear to arrive. It is in MSP as of this evening. Mark introduced me to another Mark(#2). He offered me a place to stay while I am waiting. He lives right on the MS river. It goes through his backyard. It is a meandering river that is about 15′ wide. I am told it will be like that for the first 100 miles. My boat will be big, but I will learn to work it well. Mark #2 took me to a kids birthday party. I was introduced to other paddlers and collected some good tips. While at the party, I offered to help a woman light the gas grill. The gas was on while I lit it with a long match. I think I lost most of my right arms hair. It stunk and I relearned to be careful with gas. I returned to their house. I was entertaining their twin 5 year olds. They were fun. After they went to bed, I talked with Mark’s wife for a bit. There are a lot of cool things that happen up here. After they turned in, they let me take a car into town to check things out. I didn’t last long as I am tired. Now, after a shower, I am sleeping on a memory foam mattress in their camper. The windows are open. The temp is around 65 and there is a symphony of frogs and wildlife outside. I do believe that this adventure will be amazing.