|Fall in Minnesota|
Trip duration: With skipping the trip took us 77 days. This includes a start at Lake Bemidji instead of Itasca, the Atchafalaya in the end and limited seasonal daylight. Without skipping it would have taken us 90 days and this is what you should calculate as a minimum. People have paddled it in as little add 67 days, but this was without town stops and with long summer paddling. For a relaxed trip including days for sightseeing calculate 90 - 100 days depending on where you start and finish.
Maps: You don't have to pay anything for the maps for this trip! Excellent maps for the whole river can be downloaded for free from the DNR and US Army Corps of Engineering website. These maps are great and all you need. If possible try to print them in colour. You'll be able to see the different shades of white and blue for the shipping channel and the brown and green for sand bars vs land that can be useful for choosing a campsite.
Lock phone numbers: All the locks on the Mississippi can be reached by phone. Definitely download the lock phone numbers onto your phone. AT&T has the best coverage along the river. Being able to call the locks will save you a lot of problems if you get stuck behind a barge at a lock or if the water gets too choppy to pull the lock cord inside the lock walls. Believe me: you will want these phone numbers!
|Town stop with Alex|