Eventful Fourth 
Mom mentioned to me that she wanted to do something for the Fourth. Maybe a canoe trip? Joe decided we should maybe check out the next section of the Cloquet River. Last year we canoed from Island Lake down to Munger Shaw Rd. So, this time we went from Munger Shaw Rd to 53.

The trip started out great. The temp was perfect even if it was a bit windy. Eventually, we did run into some rapids. For the most part, they went all right. There ended up being one chunk that was bad enough that Joe had to jump out because we got stuck on a rock. After quite a bit of maneuvering, we were able to work our way further down the river.

There were far more rapids than any of us were all that comfortable with, but we were getting closer to the end and didn't have another problem. Then, there were more rapids coming up that looked like big rocks right across our path. Basically no way through. We tried anyway and Joe ended up having to jump out again when we hit a rock and got stuck. Papa then got out also, unfortunately, when he was trying to put the paddle in the canoe, he missed and it went floating down the river. Joe and papa walked it down until the water got too deep. Then they gave the one paddle to me to get through that section of rapids and they both hopped in. We made it through fine, but ended up seeing yet another section of rapids ahead of us before a landing that we could see that must be near the highway. Since we didn't have another paddle, we ended up heading to shore. Mom and I hopped out and walked through the woods to the road/landing. The rest of the way to the landing looked like it was clear of rocks, but by this time the bottom of the canoe had quite a bit of water in it and I didn't want to risk my camera getting wet.

Joe and Papa continued to the landing without incident. Joe then jogged the short distance to the car. Mom and I came out on the road not far away and we loaded up the canoe to then drive and get their car at the beginning of the river. The entire trip was almost 10 miles and we did it in about 3 hours. We didn't end up seeing any fireworks that night since we were all pretty worn out and wet.


A raptor we saw perched along the river.

A Great Blue Heron hanging out on the top of a pine tree.

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Short Canoe Trip 
It's been a bit since we went on this canoe trip but I was terrible at getting the photos uploaded. Anyway, Joe, Mary, Teddy and I went to the Canosia Wildlife Reserve with a canoe. When the gate is open, you can drive down near the water, which is what we did to put the canoe in. Teddy did very well sitting in the canoe. We saw more wildlife during that short canoe trip than I think Joe and I have seen on all our other canoe trips we took this summer. This was most likely the last canoe trip of the season since it's getting pretty chilly now.

Teddy in the canoe.

A juvenile Northern Harrier.

Sandhill Cranes taking flight.

Lesser Yellowlegs. I let us get pretty close, then later when it took off it flew around us quite a bit, which we pretty surprising for Teddy.

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Canoe Trip 
On Sunday Mom, Papa, Joe and me went for a trip down the Cloquet River in a canoe. The beginning was a little rough with rocks, but not terrible. During the trip we saw quite a few Bald Eagles, some immature and some adult. We also saw Great Blue Herons, lots of Belted Kingfishers, mergansers, flycatchers, mallards and even an Osprey and its young. We were almost to the car we had parked at the car (about 3 hours after we started) when we ran into a spot that was a bit too rocky. We tried an alternative route, but still ran into rocks. We tried getting through it, but kept hitting rocks and getting stuck. Eventually Joe and Papa got out to help maneuver the canoe. Of course Papa was in tennies and jeans, so he was soaked.
Once we got back to the car the mosquitoes were so insanely bad we had to run into the car, drive back to the beginning to get Mom and Papa's car, drive back and get the canoe on their car as fast as possible before getting eaten alive.

Great Blue Heron taking off.

Mom and Papa. A dragonfly decided to hitch a ride on Mom's hat.

Adult Bald Eagle

Deer that was down taking a drink.

Great Blue Heron

Osprey and young.

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Canoe Trip 
We went for a 4.7 mile canoe paddle in Ashley Lake today. The lake was gorgeous and the day was perfect. There were lots of birds all over. We saw a number of baby ducks and we got out at one spot and walked around a little. There were songbirds all over, but it was just slightly too dark to get any good photos and they were all moving around so fast. :) There was also an eagle we kept running into. We spotted it while we were paddling, then I all of a sudden noticed it sitting in a snag above us (photo below) and when we got out to walk around apparently we weren't that far from the eagle's nest. Which I spotted once between trees just because the eagle landed there, but I couldn't find it again without going closer, which we weren't going to do. The eagle seemed to be watching us. It flew to a few different trees around us and awhile after left it flew over top of us, circled back and flew right over us again, relatively close (by this time we weren't far from the landing and no where even near the nest).
Oh, there was also a loon family that we saw. I saw the one first and got a bunch of pics (look on DA for that one) and then I noticed the other one farther away and it looked like it probably had chicks with it, so we left them alone.
All-in-all, a fun canoe trip.


I believe this is a Golden Eye and its chicks. (click on it for a larger image)

The canoe and our stuff before we got back in after our walk.

The eagle sitting in the snag, and we were that close before I even spotted it.

The eagle's second pass, apparently checking us out.

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Inflatable Canoe Trial 
We tested the Inflatable canoe, Very Good Boat!
Stayed dry and not that slow!, very comfortable. It's a Sevylor Colorado.
Paddled around the entire little lake. not much other than a pair of loons and some birds.
Lots of Waterbugs.

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