Jeff and Sandy Bromenshenkel

Jeff and Sandy Bromenshenkel, river mile 1201, celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary this coming Monday—married here along the river, and as Jeff says, they will end their days together in the same place they got their start. The Bromenshenkel’s are more than just another Mississippi River couple, they are a refuge along a long stretch of uninhabited Mississippi River terrain. Jeff and Sandy open their home to upwards of 50 paddlers—and now runner/cyclists—every year, some planned, others impromptu, people tired and weary of the unexpected trials of the first 150 river miles. Before we could even reach Grand Rapids, we …

DAY 8 – TUESDAY JULY 16

LAYOVER IN GRAND RAPIDS You know it’s a good day when you begin the morning and end the evening with a good meal among good friends. By that measure, our second day in Grand Rapids was a success. But also because we had an extra day to listen deeper to the community – thanks again to the efforts of Joni Namyst (and daughter Jenna), John Latimer, Scott Hall and the folks at KAXE-FM (Grand Rapids). We arrived at the KAXE studio on the Mississippi near the new trail bridge just after 8:00 AM. Scott invited us in to share the project …

DAY 7 – MONDAY JULY 15

DEER RIVER TO GRAND RAPIDS The day stared with a fast 5K by Victoria out of Deer River. I took over on bike, covering the remaining miles to Grand Rapids. Fought a headwind as I rode south, but relief came as I turned east. Heard the first cicada of summer in Cohasset! We stopped along the way at Tioga Beach on Lake Pokegama to meet Sandy and Jeff Bromenschenkel, our hosts for the next two nights. They live at River Mile 1201 on the Upper Mississippi – a beautiful property that overlooks a landscape free of any sign of human …