Day 19: the Mosquitos have officially hatched! We started bright and early and much to our dismay were swarmed with Mosquitos, especially under the boat. There were many reasons why we began our adventure in early May. Getting as many miles under our belt before the bugs got bad was definitely one of them. We are happy we made it 19 days with no problems. The day was warm and a relatively easy day all around.
We paddled to a campsite on the Mississippi. On first glance from the water it looked like a rundown site. Once we had pulled out of the water and walked up the hill we realized the site was very well maintained. There was plenty of wood already chopped and stacked. We have also apparently entered bear country! The site had a nice bear locker which helped keep our gear and food safe and dry. We had to spend some of the evening in the tent during storms, but were able to make it for a few hours to enjoy a large fire and some dinner.
Day 20: We went to bed last night with predictions of severe thunderstorms. However, we woke up well rested and concluded that the storm had never materialized. The sky was cloudy and it had definitely rained most the night, but at the moment no precipitation fell. We packed up camp quickly and paddled back to the water access point we had left off at the day before. We knew we had been pushing fairly long days throughout the trip to give us some flexibility on the back end of the trip, and today would be no exception. If we portaged between 12-14 miles we would be in Grand Rapids by late afternoon.
The day proceeded without a hitch. Although fatigued from the last week, we kept moral high through the pouring rain in the morning and were grateful for the sunshine in the afternoon. As planned we made it to Grand Rapids! We are really coming down to the home stretch. Tomorrow will be a day off to rest our feet.
Nothin' to it, but to do it.