Day 23: 100 mph, 48k cfs
Dayton to Minneapolis, MN
This amazing day began at Gary and Isniah’s home. I woke up in a screened in porch watching humming birds come and go to the feeded. I got up and made some raspberry green tea. Insiah made me some eggs and toast while Gary and I talked about road trips and speed. He likes to go fast a lot. He wanted to show me his car and then said lets go for a ride with me driving. He had a Cadillac XLR. Then he told me to jump in the drivers seat. I grabbed my shoes and jumped in. We got onto the highway and he had me get on it a bit. The car was smooth. Then we jumped into a quiet strait road. He had me “Hit it!!” and off we went. Clearing 100+ mph made me smile. We worked throughout the back road and headed back to the house… quickly. It was a fun treat to take his car for a ride. He was smiling as much as me. I had been missing my motorcycle for that speed fix, but this helped. We arrived back home and we talked for a bit more before taking off. Gary called into a few of his news contacts to see about getting news interviews for me. We will see what develops. So, off I went down the very flooded Mississippi.
I made it to Coons Rapids where I had to get out to portage around. It was pretty strait forward and not much of a problem. I made it to where I had to get back into the river. I met a fisherman, Siegsu, who was from Liberia. He had one fish on the string and was casting for more. He was telling me about the fish and how he enjoyed fishing on Monday as he did not have to deal with the weekend crown. I captured some images of him and then got back to my lunch.
I knew my late start would delay my day, but I also knew I would arrive in Minneapolis in little time with the quick moving current. I enjoyed the last bit of the openness before hitting the city. After kicking my feet up on my boat and enjoying the float, I decided to get clipping. Along the way, my photo-journalist side in me came out and I began documenting the flood as I was experiencing it. There has never been this much rain in the month of June in Minnesota. The high water adds an inherent level of risk to it, but it also makes for great photos and and a nice ride. The water rises up onto peoples backyards and over non-floatable docks. It is a sight to see. I began to make it under some bridges as I was nearing the Twin Cities. I could see the buildings in the distance and the sound of highway traffic began to beat out the sounds of the river and nature. It makes this part of the journey a little bittersweet. I am glad to see society, but there has been something very special and unique about being out in the wild.
As I arrived in Minneapolis, I turned my phone back on. I had calls and messages fro Alisa. I was told to get off the river at Boom Island. She could pick me up there vs. down the river. The first two locks were wide open due to the flood. They had closed them to all commercial and recreational boat traffic. They normally operate when the water flow is up to 30,000 cfs (cubic feet per second). Currently the river is operating at 48,000 cfs. I was told if I got to the locks, I would die. Pretty strait forward. I pulled out at Boom Island and began to unload my boat so that I could get it on Alisa’s car. She showed up, honked, and said my taxi had arrived. We have not seen each other for 20 years. She was all smiles as we began to catch up. With another persons help, we loaded the boat and the gear into the car. I had made it to Minneapolis. This is my first major city and it is also going to be a place to relax for the next two days. My arms, and more so, my shoulders and hands need a break.
We made it to her house to be greeted by her husband, Jeff, and her two little kids. After a quick High-5 to the kids, they warmed up and it was good. It was late, so the kids were going to bed. Jeff got the grill going and chicken was going to be dinner. It was nice to have a non-bagged meal. I also appreciated the ice drinks and company. We sat and talked till the mosquitoes came out for their attack. I turned in, very tired, and called today another great day.