By Daniel E. McGonigle
The Caledonia Argus
The oldest participant on the “Great River Rumble, 2017” is 87 years young.
His daughter, joked the group, who was also along, is “29.”
On Monday, July 31, a group 130 kayaks strong pulled into Hokah along the Root River and set up camp.
“The folks here have been so friendly,” said Rumble organizer Rex Klein.
Hokah council member Rebecca Albrecht rolled out the red carpet for the group.
They spent the night, many of them in tents, enjoyed a hot meal, watched local media coverage of the officer involved shooting as well as coverage of their arrival.
“We were even on television,” Klein laughed.
On Tuesday morning the group loaded up and shipped out for the 11 mile journey to Brownsville.
“It is a nice spot to land,” Klein said. “Nice wide sandy beach where we can all go in at once.”
The group docked for the night at Wildcat Park and spent the night enjoying the restaurants in Brownsville.
Many used the facility’s new showers. They stopped for lunch along the way at a large sand bar in the Mississippi.
The excursion will run from Saturday, July 29 through Saturday, Aug. 5.
“In total we’ll travel about 92 miles down the Root River and Mississippi River,” Klein noted.
The trip began in Rushford on the Root River and ended in Prairie Du Chien, Wis. on the waters of the mighty Mississippi.
“The Root River represents the timeless scenic and historic qualities characteristic of southeastern Minnesota. Once on the Mississippi, we will paddle through two locks as we continue to our final destination at Prairie du Chien, Wis.,” Klein said.
Some paddlers spent just portions of the ride, perhaps just the weekend portion of the journey, while others were along for the entire ride.
They came from New York, Illinois, Alaska, Hawaii and many other states for the journey.
“The Great River Rumble is an annual weeklong canoe/kayak trip. Each year it travels a different section of river, usually on the mighty Mississippi. This trip is brought to you by Midwest River Expeditions, a nonprofit organization,” Klein said.