May 28, 2010–Putnam’s Pasture

I find I am able to keep nearly my original pace, despite the use of only one fin; though I am now obliged to paddle twice as fast, the drive offers half the resistance.  The portage around Blanchard Dam was exceedingly toilsome, requiring over an hour to complete.  The passage led up the embankment, then up a steep sandy hill, and then a series of 12 wooden steps.  Then down a steep slope, across a footbridge, up a small slope, through a woods and down through rocks to the river.  I estimate the distance to be a half-mile.  Fortunately, I have been traveling with companions, K & S, whom I met the first day of the expedition, and have recently caught up to.  Without their assistance, this portage would have taken double the time and the effort.

Later in the day a fierce headwind arose, perhaps the strongest yet, causing substantial waves in my path.  Stopped at County Park to recuperate for 45 minutes, then proceeded on to the St.  Cloud region.  Here the river is bordered by many fine homes, many boasting their own decks, beaches, etc.  Was made to portage two more dams in this area.  Also traveled through Sauk Rapids, which was exhilarating, yet not fully enjoyable as my concern for further damages to my craft is high.  Reached camp past sundown, incredibly fatigued due to the wind, portages, etc.

Day 14:  42 miles, 3 Portages.


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