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Paddling the Red River of Grand Forks ND

posted Jul 20, 2011, 7:45 PM by Ted Bibby   [ updated Jul 20, 2011, 8:08 PM ]
Today I did a little run and float circuit. I thought I'd give an update with some times and distances. Check out the Google Map below.

Packraft in Grand Forks ND

Leaving my bike locked at the North pedestrian bridge, it took me ~30min. to run to lincoln park. I stopped a few times along the way, so good runners can complete it in way less time. I'm more like an old bear running, especially with a pack on. In my pack I had an Alpacka Scout Raft. It took less than 5 minutes to inflate once I reached the boat ramp and away I was, floating down the Red from the Lincoln park boat ramp. The river is still high and flowing at a good clip. It took 1 hr exactly to make it to the Demers boat ramp on the East Grand Forks side. I was floating most of the time, just paddling so often to stay out of snags and in the center of the river. I lazily floated under the train bridge and on to the North boat ramp where my bike was locked and waiting my safe return. The 2nd leg of the river took ~45min, and I was consciously paddling more, but using only my bare hands. I tried different techniques and would have been much speedier with some hand paddles. So total float was 1:45. My finale was paddling through the rapids. Even though at this water level there is barely a wake, my heart rate jumped a few beats as I floated through. I think my largest concern was any underwater snags stuck in the rocks that make up the rapids. It was sometimes eerie to see upwelling water next to turbulent water, but alas I hit nothing with my bottom and I enjoyed my parade into the boat ramp where it appeared a cat-fishing tournament was ending, with strange looks as a man rowed in, on a small  raft and silently disappeared on a bicycle and trailer.

The line of Alpacka pack rafts below: The scout is on the far left.