Minnesota River cleanin’ – first 5 days photo tour

July Heat. Mosquito Swarms. Waist-deep Mud.

20170703_210036-01With 64 miles paddled and 347 pounds of trash and hazards to the river removed, it’s safe to say the Minnesota leg of Adventure Stewardship Alliance’s 2017’s Three Rivers Project is underway.


At every bend, the Minnesota River has demanded a complete surrender of any expectations or preconceived notions of how a river ‘should’ be.

20170703_200731-01It instead beckons us to observe. Use all senses. And when crossing 13 mile Lac Que Parle in a headwind – paddle hard and meet the locals.


The upper stretches of the river is the summer home to one of the largest American white pelican populations in North America. These rock islands are almost always populated with resting pelicans, cormorants, and seagulls – can’t we all just get along?


For the first time in our lives we witnessed the genesis of a storm with 2 opposing fronts metting directly overhead. The cracking thunder told us to get off the water – now. This was ok with us as we were then greeted by this rainbow.

SnapseedBut it ain’t always sunsets and rainbows out here – nope, sometimes the moon decides to get involved.


Believe it or not, this illumination is from a near full moon shining over the Milan Bridge on Lac Que Parle.

Joyful to finish crossing the 24 miles of big water on the upper Minnesota, we found the current, and got back into the river flow.SnapseedThis lead us to the strainers (fallen tree pieces collecting and jamming together in place).


Sometimes strainers even consist of growing plants, and if you get to see one in 2017 on the Minnesota, you’ll likely even observe plastic, glass bottles, and styrofoam taking hold!

This is no problem if you are an adventure steward. Simply tie off your boat, CAREFULLY tread the logs, pack out the trash, and add styrofoam armor to your vessel!


Thanks for checking the photo tour of the first 5 days on the Minnesota – about three weeks and 238 river miles to go!

If you care to follow further or get involved with this seasons 1200 mile by canoe Three Rivers clean-up, check out our FacebookInstagram, and email us Adventurestewards@gmail.com

for the river,

Michael and Paul

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