Welcome. Here’s a photo of my wife Lois and me goofing around.
We’ve paddled the Minnesota Boundary Waters together over several years and I’ve done some short forays on Lake Superior, a trip to Quetico as well as several other Mid-West rivers. My buddy Dave up in Alaska put me in a tandem Klepper and we paddled around the waters off Valdez in Prince William Sound. Here’s a few photos of our Mad River Malecite in a sleepy backwater of the St. Croix river just south of Marine on the St. Croix.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I’d put my rear end through the caning of the stern seat by day’s end. I think the stuff was brittle with age.
Now, look carefully at the top portion of my head.
Although the camera was incapable of recording it, swimming around in my brain are nearly fully developed ideas on how I might take this same canoe and paddle it 300 miles from a landing below Fort Snelling in Minnesota to Madeline Island Wisconsin. My unsuspecting wife,
though familiar with my rantings about such a paddle over the past several years, has no idea that I’m this close to springing the plan.
It will take a few more months after this photo was snapped to sit down together and talk that out. Well, I’ve been saying out loud to some carefully chosen folks for a couple of weeks now, “I’ll be leaving St. Paul and paddling to Madeline Island.”
Am I going to finish the trip? Well, the chances have greatly improved with the counsel of some great and generous paddlers and equipment manufacturers and sellers. At least I’m more informed. And I’m more confident that I can build on my knowledge, skills and overall fitness over the Winter and Spring. I want to do this and do it now for several reasons – adventure, personal challenge, love of paddling and love of paddling the St. Croix in particular. The St. Croix is protected but mistreated. Private interests continue to press against public policy legislated to preserve scenic waterways and I’m worried about that. The route, in total, is a lovely package – four rivers, several medium-sized lakes, one really big lake, history, geography, geology, and nature with a historically significant place to begin and end. I want to try my hand at writing and I hope this trip makes a good story in the telling. Now? Well, fates permitting, I’ve staked out the month of May where I don’t have to be somewhere else each morning. Also, I’m 55, old, but not real old. I hope I’m saying the same thing when I’m 65 and 75.
So thanks to Lois for her love, encouragement and tech support and to lots of other kind folks who have given me their time and counsel. You’ll be hearing more about them.