I had my first bit of open water experience in the Old Town next approaching Bemidji. After a stop at the grocery store, post office and county office building for boat registration, I paddled underneath the three bridges and into Lake Bemidji. The wind was blowing 5-10 mph and i quickly learned what thay warning sign on the map was about. I made it along the southern shore of the lake to a hotel beach and waited for the winds to die down for an hour. Burger King was directly across thr street so I thought "what the hell?"
Approaching the eastern side of the lake, conditions improved and i enjoyed the remainder of my time to the bridge and commencement of the river. It was growing late so I kept at it and paddled as the sun sank below the pines. The river here had become "scenic" with many boat docks, pontoon boats and fishing craft dotting the shore. The gleam of a campfire and wisps of smoke drifted from the northern bank, the sounds of gleeful children carried on the wind. I passed Joel, a local canoeist who chatted with Zach at Stump Lake Camp and a female paddler a day ahead. At sunset I made it to Stump Lake camp where i found Zach relaxing after a long day. W3 chatted while I made coffee and a peanut butter wrap before heading to bed.
I was up at 6 and soon on the water. In 2 miles, I came to the first legitimate portage at the Power Dam. Putting together the homemade canoe cart, I watched it bow under the weight of my boat and gear. It managed to function successfully and in 10 minutes I had completed the 300 yard portage and was back on the river.
As the day wore on, I continued down river and soon met Allen's Bay off Cass Lake. This body of water was larger than Lake Bemidji and I was happy there were only 5 mph winds. They still made for some interesting moments but was less stressful than yesterday.