Because of the unpredictability of the spring melt in the Northland, the annual whitewater kayak race on the Lester River can happen anytime in April or early May, with only a few days notice. This year was the first year in which the race was scheduled on a day we were free to attend.
According to the official race website,
“The unique setting of the race course within the city limits of Duluth and with easy access from the Lester River Road, makes this event a great opportunity for spectators, photographers, and families to watch expert paddlers race in the type of whitewater usually only found in remote, inaccessible rivers.”
Excited to watch the racers, we parked at the golf course, crossed the road, and hiked down to the river, finding a spot as close as (safely) possible to rapids.
We were close enough to watch the kayakers’ faces as they “read the water” and took deep breaths just before entering the roaring rapids.
It was a thrill to watch people challenge themselves at an outdoor activity that I’m not likely to do, ever. I thought it was pretty adventurous when our family hiked IN the Lester River, but I lean more towards “flatwater” experiences such as the St. Louis River Guided Kayak/Canoe Tour.
However, being that our children are “from Duluth,” where outdoor opportunities abound, chances are good that someday they will be riding Lester’s class IV-V rapids or surfing (!) the waves of frigid Lake Superior (love this town).
If they do, I’ll be right there _on the shore_ cheering them on.
Have you watched the Lester River Race? Share your experiences in the comment box below. Thanks!