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Mississippi River Canoe Route (Day 2)

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May 24, 2013: Sheridan Rapids bridge to Hwy #511

Travel Time: 1.5 hours

It was a very cold 4 to 6 degrees, very windy and snowing when my granddaughter launched me below the bridge at Sheridan Rapids.

My maps showed the Sheridan Rapids (P.19: 400m North side) but I must have missed the sign for within minutes after launching I was in the first of them.

Maneouvering at a 45 degree angle to avoid a haystack an unseen four foot drop-off threw me into the water. It was indeed warmer there for my first swim of the year. Great fun!

It was exhilarating to just scramble back onto my trusty open cockpit Aquaterre and boogie off down the river.

I assumed that was “it” for the rapids so was intrigued to find several more 2’s or 3’s in quick succession one of which must have been (P.19: 400m North side) which I also missed completely. Having “successfully” manoeuvred the first upside down the rest were just fun including P.19 Rapids. At about the fifth one Old Dam site (P.20: 75m North side) I ran it all but about 10 meters which I lined around a rock on the north side.By then, I was really into it and enjoying the incredible beauty of the river, with its incredible variety of Ontario coniferous and deciduous trees lining the deep cool waters and with muskrat, blackbirds, great herons, loons and ducks accompanying me it was a great ride. I even took breaks to enjoy the scenery.

Again, a lovely ride down the slightly meandering, beautifully tree lined widening river, and while there were several great heron there was only one hawk, three turkey vultures and blackbirds to be seen.

Read all Bob Kelly’s posts from his paddle of the Mississippi River Canoe Route in the spring of 2013.