Week Four | Bay City, WI to Harpers Ferry, IA: the next 170 miles

What an amazing hour (plus), coming together with ten of the most generous, insightful folks from our time on the river. In the week four Zoom, we received updates from Winona to Harpers Ferry, and even a write-in update from Bay City—just to know a little more specifically how life has changed this year from last. We all know the world has changed, but it’s so helpful to hear real stories from the people whose lives we’ve become a part of. This week felt very much like a real reunion, and we’ve all agreed a true, in person reunion is …

Week Three | Rice, MN to Prairie Island Indian Community: the next 180 miles

Three weeks of virtually journeying down (and up) the river again, and we are still experiencing a few technical hiccups! It seems it can’t be avoided when phones and computers are your only line of connection. I know that these virtual platforms are no substitute for the physical, in person interactions we had last year or could have again. And yet, I want to try to think beyond those barriers and imagine what we can do within these telecommunicated connections—what kind of discoveries can we make? What kind of ideas can we generate? …if our expectations are open? I’m so …

Week Two | Jacobson to Little Falls : The next 150 miles

We are learning that these “Zoom Reunions” are a great opportunity for anyone a little cooped up and isolated during this time of distancing to take a trip down the Mississippi River and meet someone new—or in the case of Week Two, some many new people, landscapes, communities, and voices. We had a great turn out with Kent Lorentzen representing Jacobson, MN, Michael Audette representing Palisade, MN, Pam Brand (and a brief sighting of Courtney Dowell) representing Long Lake Conservation Center as well as Aitkin, MN, Abby Smith and Jill Mattson representing Crosby, Brielle Bredsten representing Cuyuna, MN, Deb Boelz …

Week One | Itasca to Grand Rapids: Relay of Voices revisits the first 150 miles

The first Relay Zoom Reunion went off well yesterday afternoon, the official one year anniversary of Relay’s launch at Itasca last year. We were virtually joined by good friends Brady Laudon of Bemidji, Sally Fineday of Cass Lake and the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, Sandy Bromenschenkel of the Deer River area, and Jonathan Schilling of the U of M Biological Field Station right there at Lake Itasca. While things didn’t go quite as planned, we improvised and adjusted to make things work with technical glitches and the schedules of our participants. All in all, we got to share so …

Lunch & Learn

A prelude to the Zoom Reunions—this “Lunch and Learn” presentation for MNDOT paved the way for Victoria and Tom to plan their virtual reunion tour down the river again.