Thursday, August 18, 2016

Paddling the Rat Root River and Rat Root Lake

Today's forecast called for winds in the 5-7 mph range. Having not been out on the water in a while Noelle, Sierra and I decided to take the canoe out for a paddle. I didn't want to be out on Rainy Lake in even a 5mph wind and so we headed down to my town of Ericsburg to paddle a section of the Rat Root River and Rat Root Lake which I figured would be somewhat sheltered from the wind.

We arrived at the boat ramp which is just off of Koochiching County Road 119, just before a bridge crosses over the Rat Root River.
Rat Root from bridge
This boat ramp does not seem to get nearly as much use as many of the others in this area. I would guess, however, that there is some use during the duck hunting season. We put in among the blooming asters
aster
and goldenrods
goldenrod
and then headed into a world of cattails. We were aided by a gentle breeze at our backs as we paddled the river
Rat Root River
and into the first section of Rat Root Lake. Then the water started to get a bit choppy. Our destination had been a picnic site along the banks of the river, but the water got so rough and the wind so strong that we ended up turning around at a solitary boat dock in what seemed like the middle of nowhere.

The paddle into the wind was not much fun at all. It was hard work and Noelle and I realized that if we stopped to take a break we would get blown back in the direction from which we had just come. Finally we made the turn from the lake into the river and nestled in among some cattails to eat lunch on the boat.
stopped for lunch
After having eaten lunch and taken a break from the wind we resumed our paddle upstream on the Rat Root River. We paddled through some scattered beds of wild rice
paddling through wild rice
wild rice
rice
headed back to boat ramp
and were quite relieved to be back at the boat ramp. Our shoulders were sore as we hoisted the canoe on top of the car for the drive back home.
interesting plant

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