After my story was published in “Northern Wilds” magazine about our first canoe adventure down the Whiteface River in northern Minnesota, someone contacted me by Facebook Messenger.
This secret nature informant let me know about an easier route on the river than the one that Russ and I took a couple of years ago. They said we could canoe for an hour without running into any pesky rapids. In fifteen years, they only ran into another person once. Because they wanted to keep the route unpopulated and “secret,” they asked me not to let anyone else know about it.
I am honoring their wish – mostly – by writing this post and not letting you know the specific location.
With canoe in hand (on truck) Russ and I left our cabin one grey day a couple of weeks ago. In keeping with our newfound desire not to let the threat of a little rain stop us from being outdoors, we continued onward to the Whiteface.
During our adventure, we discovered that my secret nature informant was correct, the river was placid and rock-free for about an hour’s paddle one way. Blooming white and yellow water lilies filled its sheltered bays. Old beaver houses lined the banks, and animal trails led from the water to the inland wilderness.
Unlike the previous stretch we had canoed, this part of the river was wilder. No homes lined its banks. No cars could be heard from a nearby road. If a person got in trouble, they’d have to fend for themselves.
A light rain began to fall, but we just donned our raincoats and kept paddling. The drizzle stopped and started, but we barely registered it as we marveled at the bounty of nature before us.
I hope to return to this stretch of river with my paddleboard one day. It would also be a great place to bring our grandchildren for a placid canoe ride.
If we visit often enough, perhaps one day we’ll meet my secret nature informant.
No doubt, they’ll be dismayed that we’re there!