Sunday, July 12, 2009

The first day

We got up at 4 am to finish getting ready. We left Diamond Lake about 8 am. My dad Bruce, his buddy Bruce Moe, and Matt's dad Jon drove us and the raft to Bloomington.

We brought 2 gas motors, that we had planned on taking as backups, but the bigger one hadn't been running well. And the electric motor, but the speed controller for it that Matt and Ben bought on eBay didn't work so we couldn't control the speed, and the cables and motor got to hot and couldn't be used for very long at a time. We got a newer motor on the way to the river thanks to a deal from Crystal Pierz Marine.

The boat launch location in Bloomington on the Minnesota river that Ben posted was off by a few miles, we didn't figure that out until we got there. So it was kind of crazy giving everyone who was coming to see us off the new directions. Plus every driver got a 5 dollar fine for driving in a state park without a sticker. It took a while to get us loaded because we had too much stuff, including extra plywood and 2x4s in case we needed them.

When we started going the raft was very low in the water, we hadn't tested it with it loaded up with all our gear. Waves from bigger boat wakes splashed up over the front, and the bottom back studs were plowing water. Half way to the Mississippi we decided we needed to get rid of a bunch of weight. We called my Dad and Bruce who met us at a marina on the Mississippi. On the way there we were stopped by the sherifs water patrol for being over loaded, they couldn't see our registration numbers because the raft was too low in the water. We had to unload the electric motor, 5 of the 6 batteries, the gas generator, the solar panels, one gas motor a couple full gas cans, and a bunch of extension cords. It was much lighter but we wouldn't be relying on electricity to power us like Matt and Ben had planned. We went a few miles down the river and stopped in St Paul for the night and had supper at a restaurant on the river then went for a walk and relaxed on the raft. We'll post some pictures tomorrow, but its late and we've had a long day


  1. Good decision to lighten the load, guys. I just checked the weather for Lake Pepin for tomorrow and the good news is low winds are forecast. But make your parents happy and tell them you will stay close to shore. Jon and Darlene

  2. It was fun to watch you guys load & launch. Good thing your dad stayed in town so he could help you lighten the load. We went to our boat & slept over nite to think of you on your adventure. Of course we missed out on your champagne toast so we had to take our own bottle of wine. We look forward to more of your adventures. Safe & dry journey. Darrell Moe & Pam

  3. hey guys!

    Hope everything goes well on your trip! Have fun and be safe! Ill be thinkin about ya :)