The weather is getting cold, I can't get my socks dry, and yesterday I lost the flashlight I was using to find campsites the previous two nights.
And one thing I don't think I've mentioned here is I've been operating on a shoestring since my arrival in the US because I had no bank cards and my savings is locked up in a certificate of deposit in Bank of America - which has no branches in Minnesota.
But worse than that, a large crack has been developing down the center of the hull.
I am trying to decide what to do. Many an adventurer has in the past over-wintered with the natives, from Lewis and Clark to Peter Jenkins of "Walk across America" fame. On the other hand, when the Thief River Falls newspaper posts a front page story saying I face obstacles that others haven't - "darkness and colder weather", it sounds like a challenge.
It may take at least a day or two to make this decision, and certainly that long to make any repairs, if possible. Buying a replacement canoe is perhaps a possibility, although it makes the bicycle portage look even more ridiculous. I hope my friends and family here can offer advice on how best to proceed and honor the help that I have already received.
One thing is certain: these nine days on the Mississippi have convinced me more than ever that I must float the entire river. The question is "When, and in what boat?"