We've now paddled 5 full days on the river, much of which has been in extreme weather! The first few days were filled with wind and rain, the last couple have been dominated by the sun with temperatures reaching 115 Fahrenheit (42 C!!!).
Of the five nights so far we've been lucky enough to be taken in and provided with a bed three times! Day two ended with Dave giving a talk in Red Wing, having battled through thunder and lightning all afternoon.The next night we were put up by one of those attending the talk in a beautiful house on Lake Pepin; this was a more relaxed day as were invited for coffee at the river side soon after starting the day, we also stopped for a quick beer at the start of the Lake with a few locals out on their motor boat.
Day 4 was probably the toughest so far as we struggled to cross the 14 miles or so we had left of Lake Pepin; we were heading in to the wind, battling the waves and the heat! We ended the day having paddled 36.4 miles with a crazy 10 hours and 24 minutes on the move - I was pretty dead by the end of it!
Thunder storms meant day 5 started late, we crawled from our tents late and set off paddling to get as close to La Crosse, for Dave's talk, as possible - another tough day and temperatures reaching 115 F! The talk got a huge audience and went down well; each talk brings a new crowd and new reactions which is great to see, and a nice way to relax after hard days of paddling.
More updates coming soon, here's a little video. After a tiring first day from Minneapolis we enjoyed a good drink!