Last Days in Minnesota

Haytmen Landing, Iowa
August 25, 2019

Dear Family & Friends:

On August 24 , I was back on the River at 2pm, paddling into stiff headwinds. The wind and heavy weekend River traffic put me in some very turbulent waters, with four foot swells, whitecaps and tricky cross currents. I felt like I was in the fast cycle of a washing machine. A power boat pulled up next to me and the occupants commented on my bravery for canoeing in these conditions. But, my canoe handled the waves and wakes really well. I never felt like I was out of control or close to capsizing.

After paddling about 20 miles, it was getting dark, so I decided to pull out at Genoa, Wisconsin right before Lock & Dam No. 8. I locked my canoe at a dock and walked into town to find a restaurant and/or motel.  I ordered a pizza at Rudy’s Bar. As luck would have it, they rent rooms above the bar for $20/night. I stayed in room number five. The king-size bed filled the entire matchbox-size room. Not the Charmant, but it worked for me.

In the morning, I had breakfast at the Big River Bar & Grille. I wish I had known about this restaurant when I ordered that pizza.

August 25 was my last day in Minnesota. I got back on the River at 8:30am and entered Lock No. 8 for the elevator ride downstream. This was a really tough day. I was battling 10-15 mph headwinds and the waves were really rough. If I stopped paddling to rest, the canoe would slowly turn around and head upstream! In the morning, it rained, but no lightning, so I forged ahead.

About three hours after departing Genoa, I exited Minnesota and entered Iowa. So, now Iowa is on the right bank and Wisconsin is on the left bank. In the afternoon, I paddled into Lake Winneshiek. This is a huge lake, comparable to those I crossed in Minnesota. As previously noted, I don’t like paddling in lakes.

At 6pm, I pulled out at Haytmen Landing, Iowa and set up camp. I hope I don’t get booted from this stealth camp. I’m done for the day.

Tomorrow, I hope to cross the Lake and get back on the River. But, the forecast is calling for an 80% chance of rain and thunderstorms tonight and tomorrow. Not happy news.

This was a 26- mile day.

It’s starting to rain.


Deluxe Suite
Campsite on August 25
Rudy’s Bar
Rudy’s Bar


8 thoughts on “Last Days in Minnesota

  1. Nice report and pix, as usual, Bill.
    Yesterday, as you paddled out of Minnesota, I was doing a 10-mile loop to the summit Mt. Baldy (10,064 ft) and bumped into three Nepali chaps. Thought of you, as we chatted about trekking and mountaineering. Were your ears warm? Looking forward to your next update! Good wishes, k;-)

  2. Thanks for all your postings! You have no idea how much I look forward to reading of all of your adventures! It makes my day….happy travels…you are in my thoughts…Jane

  3. Can’t believe how much fun you are having and what nice people you have met and still meeting weather not to good but you keep going just be safe and don’t take chances can’t wait for your book to come out have more fun love reading your posts

  4. Hello Bill, you made page one and two in the Wabasha County Herald today. Wonderful article with three color photos. I will send you a hard copy, along with my recently published book “American Eagle – A Visual History of Our National Emblem” tomorrow. I have enjoyed following your trip.

  5. Hey Bill, …your Canadian fellow follower….I really look forward to opening my email each day and looking for your post…I work hard to save it until late in the evening, when I finally can sit down and appreciate, with every word, what you are going through and I visualize it in my mind. You are truly a very special person. I am rooting for you and wish you continued safe travels.

  6. Bill, that should have read Canadian ‘ friend’ not ‘fellow’, but I am sure that you got the jest of my note…I had to laugh when I hit submit, and realize how crazy my sentence sounded.

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