We are putting the miles behind us. Tailwind or headwind, downpour or warm shoulders, we paddle. Well, we at least float. We've taken up the habit of procrastinating on sunny days. Instead of paddling, we lean back and catch some floating shut-eye. We wake with pink faces and unaware of the time. Other days, when it rains, we put our heads down, enter a state of zen, and paddle until we get to camp.
Our first event was a huge success. Yesterday, we hosted eight hours of eclectic music, 20 gallons of soup, and several barrels of delicious beer, compliments of Summit Brewery. By 10:30 a.m., youngsters were running around with face paint and sidewalk chalk. By noon, their parents stood, watching the kids climb all over the St. Paul Fire Department truck and the St. Paul police car. Fortunately, anyone who went in the backseat didn't have cuffs on. The public servicemen donated their time and resources to entertain the kids and adults alike. Later in the day, the party got cranking, people got to dancing, and before we knew it, we were getting more barrels. The raffle was a huge hit, too. The Bending Branches paddles and Joe Mauer's signed baseball were huge money-makers. We raised just under $2,400. That puts our running total over $10,000. That's a lot of dough that's going to help out a lot of people in Haiti. So many people pitched into the event and made it happen smoothly and flawlessly. Everyone had a ball and was eager to hear about the trip and the cause. We thank Adam Johnson most of all. A true networker and a motivated individual, AJ worked for months, sleeping little, stressing much, and pulling all the strings, to make this event what it was.
Tomorrow, we hit the River again, get back into our stride, and migrate with the geese. Sometimes the crew ends up in a V-pattern and I wonder if it's instinct. The full moon has been wonderful, reflecting off the River at each bend. We may try to use the still large waning light to do a night paddle. Weather looks to be cooperative for the coming week. Temperatures are undeniably lowering. Leaves are turning summer into autumn. We will chase these colors to the Gulf. We've determined we'll begin the journey of borders tomorrow as we leave Minnesota's body and, instead, have it on our right, while Wisconsin will be on our left. This is all quite exciting. We're getting a bit rough around the edges- real River Rats.