Book recalls 1979 canoe adventure from Otter Tail Lake to Hudson Bay

Four decades have gone by since four young men left from East Leaf Lake, north of Henning, entered Otter Tail Lake by canoe and paddled all the way to Hudson Bay.


Dennis Weidemann authored a book, "This Water Goes North" (2008), which chronicles the 1979 adventure from Otter Tail County and ending at York Factory trading post, on the southwest side of Hudson Bay, on July 12, 1979.

His book is a recount of the 1,400-mile canoe route taken with his three fellow Iowa natives and grads of Iowa State.

On the 40th anniversary of the trip, the story is worth revisiting.

Weidemann, then 22, had just graduated from Iowa State University when he planned the canoe route with his three friends. He selected Otter Tail County as the place to begin after spending time in this region with family members at lake cabins during the summer months.

Their journey includes traveling along the Otter Tail River, from Otter Tail Lake to Fergus Falls, where they portaged around the area power dams.

Then came the journey along the Otter Tail River from Fergus Falls to Breckenridge-Wahpeton where the Otter Tail meets the Bois de Sioux River to form the Red River of the North.

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