Jeff and JoAnn Go Kayaking!

JoAnn and I bought an Old Town Loon 160T tandem kayak on March 18th, 2000. This page highlights the voyages we take. Lake information can be found using the Minnesota DNR website search engine. I've also added links to TopoZone so you can see exactly where we were as well as map files generated by my Garmin GPS (if you happen to have their Mapsource product).

Click on me for a larger picture!






March 26th, 2000 - Colby Lake, Washington County
Took the kayak out for the first time. Realized pretty quickly that tandem kayaking could be a great way to ensure a domestic quarrel. The dogs came along with their little life jackets.  They didn't seem freaked at all. We got pretty wet...the wind was creating whitecaps on the lake. Decided we needed to get a rudder.
April 16th, 2000 - Mississippi River in Brooklyn Park, Hennepin County
Started at the Coon Rapids dam and kayaked about 3 miles down the river. Stopped on the island and looked around. Took about two hours total.
April 29th & April 30th, 2000 - Caribou Lake, Itasca County
Jeff, JoAnn, Cammie, and Molly (Stearns) kayaked about the lake.  It started raining, and we all got crabby. Couldn't keep the kayak going straight. We need a rudder!!
May 28th, 2000 - Rice River, Itasca County
First real kayaking adventure! Started in a chain of small lakes (Copenhagen, Heinen, Slauson, Cameron) and then traveled down the winding Rice River. Total distance: 10 miles. Including lunch, the trip took 7 hours from put-in to take-out. We were worried that we wouldn't get to the end before sundown... The trip was a bit more wild than expected: We had to portage over a few beaver dams and downed trees. JoAnn whacked me over the head with her paddle and made me bleed. We saw a lot of wildlife: Deer, beavers, ducks, and mergansers. Use of Jeff Blesi's GPS turned out to be critical for finding our way out of lakes.  It was so cool we had to get our own.. Garmin Mapsource file

Whacked with a paddle by wife and not happy (click for big photo)

July 3rd, 2000 - Trout Lake, Itasca County
Jeff, JoAnn, Molly and Cammie put in on the north end of Trout Lake with their friends Heidi and Todd. We paddled down about 1.5 miles to the Joyce Estate where we had lunch. Fished all the way back. Found a sand bar in the middle of the lake where the water was only three feet deep (N47.47403 W93.54767). 
September 4th, 2000 - BigFork River, Itasca County
Started at Hafeman's Access about 6 miles west of BigFork (N47.74872 W93.77753) and took a 9.1 mile tour of the BigFork River, ending in BigFork (N47.74444 W93.65407). Pretty tame. Stopped halfway for lunch (N47.74203 W93.70966). The entire trip took just under four hours. Spotted several otters, ducks, geese and blue herons. Used my GPS on a river trip for the first time, although we didn't really need it. JoAnn and I are getting much better at tandem kayaking! Garmin Mapsource file
May 24th, 2001 - Trout Lake, Itasca County
First trip with our new rudder. Basically the same trip we did on the last fourth of July, except with JoAnn's parents this time. We went a little south of the Joyce Estate (N47.46393 W93.55251) and tried to navigate up a stream to an adjacent lake, but the stream was too shallow. 5.4 miles. Garmin Mapsource file
May 28th, 2001 - BigFork River, Itasca County
Harrison's Landing Campground (N47.76198 W93.90660) to Hafeman's Access (N47.74872 W93.77753), where we started our first BigFork trip on 9/4/2000. Navigated two Class I rapids, but the water was so high that we didn't know we went over them... 10.5 miles. Garmin Mapsource file
July 7th, 2001 - Suomi Hills Lakes, Itasca County
Started in Adele Lake, paddled into Doctor Lake, and then portaged to Spruce Island Lake.  Tooled around there for a while, and then proceeded back over the portage, through Doctor and Adele Lakes to Beaver Lake.  Finally, we returned to Adele and made our exit. Spruce Island looks like a great place to camp (N47.46306 W93.65546)! Total trip, approximately 3 miles. Garmin Mapsource file
July 15th, 2001 - Minneapolis Lake System, Hennepin County
Windy day. We put in on Calhoun (N44.94955 W93.31263) and went under bridges to Lake of the Isles and Cedar Lake. Made a pit stop at one of the beaches and then went through a culvert to Brownie Lake. Tooled around and headed back to Calhoun. Total trip: 4.2 miles. As a note, these lakes are fairly shallow and weedy...ick! Garmin Mapsource file
July 22nd, 2001 - Sunrise River, ?? County
Holy Cow.  We set out with our friends Steve and Paula around 10:30 (got a late start due to the weather).  Put in Just above the Kost Dam. 11.2 miles, 4 hours 56 minutes, several rapids and many downed trees later (we had to get out of the kayak at least 7 times to carry it over trees), we took out just in St. Croix Wild River State Park. BTW, Steve and Paula swamped their kayak 6 times. One time was caused by Paula when she saw a spider and freaked out. Garmin Mapsource file
August 25th 2001 - St. Croix River, Washington County
Put in at Taylor's Falls at 10:12am.  Our neighbors Bill and Judy rented a canoe, as did Judy's sister Rose and her husband Patrick.  We took our time meandering down the river.  We stopped at Osceola at 11:54 (now 5.9 miles into our trip) and had lunch for about 1/2 hour. We hopped back in the river at 12:30 and the sun came out. We finished the final 8.8 miles of the trip and took out at William O' Brian State Park at 3:02pm. Total trip: 14.7 miles. Although this was our longest trip yet, it didn't seem that long due to the fact that this river was fairly straight. Garmin Mapsource file
September 3rd, 2001 - Prairie River, Itasca County
This was Patty B.'s favorite trek to date. We (JoAnn, myself and her parents) put in at the public access on Prairie Lake (just east of God's Country Outfitters off of Highway 38) and kayaked down the Prairie River to Highway 2, just before the Prairie flows into the Mississippi. We started out paddling south across Prairie Lake to "The Gorge" and then into Lower Prairie Lake.  We took out at the south end of Lower Prairie and portaged 1/3 mile around the power plant to the Prairie River.  After lunch, we put in and finished the final portion of our trip. The last section of the river featured some fun rapids. Total trip: 9.2 miles. Garmin Mapsource file
May 27th, 2002 - BigFork River, Itasca County
JoAnn, myself, Pat and Jeff started in BigFork (where we ended our trek on 9/4/2000). Traversed two sets of rapids. The first, Rice Rapids, was a 1/2 mile long and bouldery class I rapids. Fun...we got wet, and the water was pretty cold. We had lunch on somebody's property after we gave up looking for a public spot. We hit the second set of rapids, another class I but shorter than the first, right before the takeout (see the picture of Pat and Jeff to the right). On this trip, we spotted a deer, a few otters, ducks, geese (both Canadian geese and pet geese), dogs, King Fishers, and various other birds. Total trip: 14.11 miles. We've now kayaked 33.71 miles of the BigFork river. Garmin Mapsource file

Pat and Jeff master the rapids on the BigFork (click for a big photo)

This background image was swiped from Matt Daniel's site. Don't know where he swiped it from.

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