Saturday, June 12, 2010

Long Live Pepie

43 more miles today ending at mile marker 789 just north of lake Pepin. 

"Lake Pepin is a naturally occurring lake on the Mississippi River that is backed up by the sediment of the Chippewa River’s delta. The lake is 40 square miles, with an average depth of 18 feet, and is the largest body of water on the river. Pepin stretches from Bay City, Wisconsin, in the north, down south to Reed’s Landing, Minnesota.
In 1890 the Sea Wing ferry capsized in a bad storm, killing 98 people. To this day the Sea Wing disaster is still one of the worst maritime calamities to occur on the Mississippi River.

Perhaps the local lake monster, Pepie, had something to do with the ferry accident. Pepie was first spotted on April 27, 1871, and is still seen today on rare occasions (or after a few shots of tequila).

An American Invention: What would summertime in the U.S. be without baseball, hot dogs, the Fourth of July, and water skiing? On June 28, 1922, eighteen year old, Ralph Samuelson started experimenting with a thought that if you could ski on snow, you could ski on water. After attempting the new sport with barrel staves and snow skis, Samuelson shaped lumber, leather straps, and a window sash to make the first pair of water skis. On July 2, while being towed by his brother, Samuelson discovered that leaning backwards with the ski tips pointing up was the best strategy, and an American aquatic favorite was born on Lake Pepin." (written by Aaron prior to departure).

Tomorrow, being a Sunday, Aaron and Jake may run into numerous recreational boaters, jet skies and water skiers.  Who knows, maybe one of these waters skier will be a direct descendant of Ralph Samuelson.

posted by Aaron's dad

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