Welcome to the second part of the James Apollo Diaries. His album Born Lucky is out on Materry Music on April 11th (preorder - here)
“So, what do you want to do now?” “You kidding? Look at that ride!” We were 20 miles outside of Duluth, Minnesota, where James Apollo and the Sweet Unknown were spending the weekend playing a couple shows at Fitgers Brewhouse. This meant we had the full day for adventure before entertaining the local gentry with some tumbleweed sounds. I had a plan. I borrowed a canoe from a local friend. We'd have to sneak it past the ranger's office or they'd never let us in. I had found a part of the St Louis River that the French called Grand Portage, because they were too smart to go through it. I was not encumbered by this intelligence. So, in the dawn hours, our tour manager Dagger, and myself, snuck the boat over a ravine, down a cliff, and into the white waters of the river. Waterfall, paddle, rocks, smash, crash, down, down, down. Terror etched new smile lines on our faces with each sinister descent. Dagger was in front, punching rocks with his paddle. His job was to keep us moving forward. I was in back, punching rocks with my paddle. My job was to keep the rear of the boat behind the front. It's an important job. Hours passed as we rolled, soaking, through waterfall after waterfall. I had know idea what we were doing, but I knew it was one of my finer accomplishments. I suggested perhaps the Dagger and I should switch places. He agreed to steer. I took the helm. We hadn't gone 20 feet before the next fall, where the bow hit a rock, hard. Slowly, the rear of the boat started coming forward. Within seconds we were lodged against the rocks at the top of the falls. Within another few seconds, the canoe was capsizing under the angry rush of the rapids. Our struggle proved fruitless. The borrowed boat was not budging. We pushed and pulled from all angles. Running in and out of some mighty dangerous water. An angry park ranger named Blue found us after a few hours, “You were WHAT!?” “Taking this canoe down the rapids” He was not pleased. Blue gave us some ropes, and a diagram of a pulley system to dislodge the vessel. But after 4 hours of knots and grunts and entanglement, we knew that boat wasn't going anywhere. And I did have to do a show at Fitgers Brewery. The Dagger and I ascended the hill and made a slow, defeated walk back to our car. Boat-less, hands raw from rope and paddles, backs sore from unforeseen toil, knowing smiles of the day's adventure etched deep in our cheeks. I returned the next morning. The water had risen. The boat had been swept out to the open waters of Lake Superior. The moral? Don't lend me anything.