Part 2: 21-Days on the Bloodvein River

Article and photos by Ben B., / Great Miami Outfitters

Part Two:
Summing Up 21-Days in One Hour

“Gracefully gliding by like a canoe on morning glass, we venture on into the thick of the winding water. We watch the past ten day in which we endured split and intertwine behind us. Making our way through the Canadian woods – whimsically thinking of the beauty, sweat, perseverance, laughter, and will, we take grace of one another and the natural wonder around us.”
-Elijah Blase

From its headwaters just west of Red Lake, Ontario the Bloodvein River flows westward for 190 miles emptying into Lake Winnipeg. Two parks encompass this body of water; the Atikaki Provincial Park and the Woodland Caribou Provincial Park.

The Atikaki section is primarily flat water paddling with portages between lakes. There are beautiful sections of waterfalls and landscapes to keep your attention for the first week. Following the lakes come the near eighty sets of rapids, many runnable by the novice paddler, until they dump into Lake Winnipeg.

The nice part is each set of rapids has a portage trail around it. So whether your interest is gazing at the natural beauty of the river or pushing your limits on the class IV and V rapids, the choice is yours on how you will experience the Bloodvein.

Planning and preparing for the trip was a ton of fun but also a huge headache. Part of the preparation involved taking shorter length trips to Voyagers National Park and taking a two-day whitewater canoeing course from the University of Minnesota, Duluth.

The headache came from juggling the tasks of working in the camp and managing a group of kids all while planning each aspect of the trip. Needless to say I was happy to finally get on the river and see it all come to life.

It has been two years ago since I signed on to lead this trip. The best part about creating these blog posts and this presentation has been collecting all the resources and creating an all-encompassing view of the experience.

Since the trip ended, I have never been able to fully explain the experience to anyone other than the group I was with. There is only so much you can explain in one conversation. Even a one-hour presentation will only scratch the surface. However, I intend to give insight into what goes into planning a trip of this length and the impact an experience like this has on an individual.

I hope to see you all there on February 21st!

Sign up for the Ben’s presentation here.
Read Part One: 21-Days on the Bloodvein River


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