Monday, June 27, 2011

Canoe Camping

Janice and I recently made a camping canoe trip on the Namekagon and St. Croix rivers.  Mostly the Namekagon.  The name Namekagon is derived from the Ojibwe language Namekaagong-ziibi, meaning "River at the place abundant with Sturgeons."  We live very close to these rivers and do not spend enough time on them, although this marked the forth time this year, but the first time river camping this year.  Some of my fondest memories as a child come from these rivers.  It was time spent with grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles and cousins.  Great memories ! !  
My grandfather was a guide, so he and his sons knew every inch of the river.  This was passed on to me, but in recent years I have neglected this valuable gift.  I do plan to change that. 
These rivers come under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act in 1968.  These were the first rivers east of the Mississippi to fall under this act.  I remember these rivers before that came in to effect.  I know this is hard to believe for some, but I know of places on the Namekagon where the river has completely changed it course, notice I said places (plural).  I just find it hard to believe that I have seen this happen.  No bullshit ! !  I have lived to see it happen and I don't think I am that old...must be though.

We left for the trip on Thursday evening and when we set up camp the first night, I discovered a bonehead move I made was forgetting the gas bottle for our MSR Dragonfly stove.  I store the bottle in the garage and the stove in the basement with the other camping gear.  I am going to change that.  Fortunately for modern technology, I called my parents on the cell phone (some of these photos taken by the very same cell phone,) and they bailed us out by bringing us the bottle the next day at one of the landings.  Oh, and Mom baked a cake and brought that too.  Gooooood Cake.  Thanks Mom and Dad...Love you guys !! 

We didn't need the stove the second night anyway...Steak and potatoes.  Although I did make coffee with MSR.

On this trip of roughly 36 miles, there are about 40 camp sites.  Each of them have a sign marking the site with the mileage listed.

At each campsite, there is a restroom to use.

This is the path to the restroom.

And...this is the restroom.  Bring your own paper.

We were on the river from Thursday evening to Sunday.  We usually get up early, have breakfast and get out on the river early.  I like being on the river early, picking camp early in the afternoon and relaxing on the river bank into the night.  

Trees hanging on for life.

This picture of the sunset brings us to this blog.  I started this blog mostly to be mostly about biking.  I have veered from time to time, but mostly biking.  I have recently given it a break and still haven't decided how much longer I will be at this.  First issues loading pictures, then issues with posting and now with comments.  I have tried commenting on blogs and I come up with anonymous as a poster.  Last but not least, now that I am retired, I spend much less time on the computer...don't have time.  We will see how things go.  If you take anything away from this drivel, it should be this, if at all possible get out and use these rivers...or any other rivers.   

Get outdoors and have some fun ! ! !


  1. That looks like an awesome trip! I did a canoe trip on the Mississippi several years ago and it was great. If I could have gotten someone to deliver cake, though.....

  2. Hey, post when it grabs you or don't. It's always nice to check-in and see what else you're into...there's more to an outdoors life than cycling!

  3. Man, a canoe trip with steak AND cake! It is cool and special you had the chance to grow up with family on the Namekagon. Thanks for sharing that with us.

    I occasionally struggle with blogging, but have come to the realization that being outside is more important than being on the computer. I blog when I want to (or feel like it) and focus more on other stuff.

    I hope you decide to blog once in a while.


  4. Jeff...I can imagine how it went with Mom and the cake. "They like this kind of cake. I'll throw it together and bring it along." It was good ! !

    TOB...I think I will just throw some stuff up every now and again. You're right about a lot of outdoors stuff to do.

    Big Oak...It seems each time on the river brings memories. For instance, forgetting that gas bottle with Mom and Dad bringing cake is something I will remember forever.


  5. In a previous post I think you looked like you were using a Sea Kayak. Is that the case or were you using a canoe?


  6. None...We used a 17ft Grumman canoe with room to spare on this trip. The kayak I have is an Ocean Kayak Prowler Trident 13 Angler. I had to look that up. I do intend on using it for overnight trips also.


  7. Being from Southeast Alaska we have Kayaks.So it is nice to know they might be useable on the local waterways. Depends on the class I suppose, no sharp turns:)