May 25, 2010–West of Aitkin

Enjoyed breakfast at a café in Palisades before setting out.  Though quite hot, the day was perfect and I made the 31 miles to Aitkin without incident.  The river is now high enough that I encountered no obstacles and was thus able to make excellent time.  I continue to travel through hardwood-lined banks, interrupted by the occasional vacation home or old farm, often accompanied by a crumbling old wooden barn or a silo.  The current flows quickly, perhaps 1.5 mph.  Was plagued further by noseeums in the night, despite the mesh of my hammock.  I find now my back to be covered in itchy bumps.

Was feeling depleted upon arrival in Aitkin during the peak heat of the day, but after refreshing my thirst and hunger at a local tavern felt greatly invigorated.  Also obtained in town a long-sleeved cotton shirt and tall cotton socks which will hopefully protect me from the bugs and the sun.  Returned to the river at 5:30 and enjoyed another 2.5 hours of paddling in perfect calm and fair temps.  The sun now behind the trees.  Was stopped only by the approaching darkness.  Many beaver on the river at this hour.

Day 11: 43 miles


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