I kept my eyes peeled for the landing to meet Jim Lewis, and was glad I was coordinating my Google maps location on my phone with the paper map. The landing was hidden behind a swath of reeds, and I only knew it was actually the landing because “Trommald Landing” was painted above the stormwater drain. I pulled in, texted Jim my GPS coordinates and waited in my tent a couple hours as he drove to pick me up. Jim had already hiked 24 miles today, so to come pick me up after that was really generous. I thanked him profusely. We loaded up my boat, Jim remarking, “My, that IS a lot of water you’ve taken on!” and headed to his house.
We stopped on the way in Aitkin, snagging a quick bar meal, and sharing some past adventure stories. We also stopped at the Lutheran church where his wife, Sharron, is Pastor, to turn out all the lights and lock up. I enjoyed seeing the space that fills Jim and Sharron’s life with light--it seems like a strong community, doing a lot of good. Their home was spacious and comfortable—I briefly met Sharron (Jim said, “this is my new best friend, Alyssum!” Sharron said, “He always has new best friends.”), took a shower and headed to bed. I realized that a shower in a house is more effective than a shower in a campsite—there was still a bit of toenail polish on my big toes under all the mud that had been caked on for so long!