Perfect 40-or-so-miles-from-Duluth Day


First time canoeing on the Brule River. Stones Bridge landing to Highway 2.

Started day with breakfast at Delta Diner. Awesome pancakes.

On the river by 10 a.m.

Low water, but passable – did not have to get out and drag the canoe at all.

Went with experienced paddler who knew the river and showed me some good paddling techniques.

Some fun runs through rapids, but no unplanned swims. Fine by me.

Blue skies, nice breeze, no bugs.

Lunch on an island – Rainier cherries, trail mix, carrots, string cheese, Coke.

Bald eagle flew overhead – close enough so we could hear its wings swooshing.

Passed a mother merganser with 14 – 14! – ducklings paddling alongside her.

Passed another mother merganser with two ducklings. Slacker.

Watched trout swim beneath us.

Navigated around beavers’ admirable but futile attempt to dam the river.

Admired century-old cabins and lodges along the banks. Some of them… wow.

Cold water from a hand-pumped well at the takeout point.

Drove backroads between Highway 2 and Lake Superior on the way home.

Black cat started to run across the gravel road in front of me… it got halfway, then turned around and went back (so it didn’t officially cross my path… so I won’t have bad luck, right?)

Took photos of abandoned country school and abandoned farmstead.

Got home and walked a dog with hours worth of pent-up energy.

Perfect day.



about 15 years ago

Did you see the bald eagle around the Big Lake area?  If the water was low, how were the rapids? 

Sorry for the questions... always taken a trip down the river almost every year for the past 10 years or so... looking forward to possibly doing it again in 2 weeks...

History fact... did you know the Brule river used to flow in the opposite direction?


about 15 years ago

That particular bald eagle was spotted within 15 minutes of leaving Stones Bridge. Saw 5-6 others scattered along the way, including near the lakes.

Rapids were a little bumpy but still fine to run. If the water goes down another inch, though, there might be a few spots along the way where canoes would have to be pulled through.

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