Monday, June 7, 2010

The Wall & The Log Jam

After a 51 mile day yesterday that ended at midnight the guys "hit a wall"  this afternoon and finished with 28 miles today.  They had to portage the canoe and gear in Brainerd which really took a lot out of them.  Even a small portage requires 3 trips, two for the 400 lbs. of gear and one for the canoe.  They are camping at Crow Wing State Park on the opposite bank from Camp Riley Military Reservation.

Question: What takes 150 lumberjacks, 5 teams of horses and one steam engine 6 months to break up?

Answer: The largest log jam in history. In 1894 a pile of logs a half-mile wide, 60 feet thick, and almost seven miles long was stuck in the Mississippi River near Little Falls, MN. The logs were being floated to the sawmills in Minneapolis and St. Paul to meet the demand of lumber for booming cities such as Chicago and New York. River divers were sent in to remove the key logs holding these jams together. These lumberjacks were some of the most highly skilled and the most respected in camp. It was not uncommon for as many as five or six loggers to die at once while trying to free the jams. Because of this specialized, dangerous job, the divers were among the most highly paid lumberjacks: seventy-five cents to a dollar a day wages. Some logs remained in place, gathering sediment and eventually becoming the islands that break the river’s path today.  (written by Aaron prior to departure)

Tomorrow Aaron and Jake will be passing through this area now referred to as the “Thousand Island” area of the river.

Posted by Aaron's dad


  1. Colleen (Carol's friend)June 7, 2010 at 8:21 PM

    I'm loving the progress reports Brian! The guys are putting my little 3 day, 60 mile walk for breast cancer to shame! :-) Congrats for all the hard work thus far!!

  2. Jake and Aaron,
    I'm so proud of you both. Keep up the good work. We miss you, but know this is an adventure of a lifetime! Thank you for all you're doing. I know Kelly is smiling as you paddle down the Mississippi.