• fourthewater

Four The Water...Four Life

Updated: Jun 12, 2018

I have enjoyed every minute of paddling with the guys since we left Marquette on May 21. We tacked some miles, took some breaks, picked up immense amounts of trash, ate a lot of muck, and enjoyed the water and the sun. I love the being on the water, watching the weather and scenery change as you paddle this floating strangely shaped object. But the best part about it was we were together. For 18 days we woke up as a group of four, somebody got breakfast rolling while the others broke down camp. We ate, then we paddled, some days farther then others. We stopped for lunch (trail mix) when the weather told us to or when we all felt it was just time. Then we paddled some more. Tacking Miles. We stopped in Munising, Grand Marais, Paradise, Bay Mills/ Brimley, and Sault Ste. Marie to mingle with locals share our story, mission and usually a few laughs. South shore people are the best. It was Wednesday June 6th when I got the bad news that I would not be getting into Canada. Past mistakes have come to bite me in the butt. It was hard news to hear, and even harder to tell the guys. It was going great up until that moment. So we had a pow wow about the future and what we were to do. I knew in my heart there was only one thing to do. Let them go on without me. Enjoy the pure beauty of the North Shore. So we unpacked our boats, and seperated gear. They took some of my food and I took a few items from them. We jumped in the water, talked, laughed, hugged and said our short term good byes. Then launched as four like we have been doing for the last 18 days. We paddled west out of the Soo until there was that definitive moment where the US was south and Canada was north. That was where it got hard. I was alone, paddling backwards. We don't backtrack! Nothing felt right. I missed them immediately. It is going to be a little over a month until they cross back over into the states and I can finish the south shore with them. So here I am back in Marquette, on land, not paddling, and not with my buddies. I felt like a fish out of water. I had a month or so until they were back. I really had no idea what to do with myself. I needed to get back on the water. But theres no way I could paddle any of Superior without them and feel ok about it. Grand Portage MN thats where we'll meet. So thats when the idea started to build. Im getting back on the water. I got a plan and suddenly a purpose and the timing seemed right. I am swapping my kayak for a canoe for a month to solo paddle 300 miles from International Falls MN through the interconnected boundary waters and out the Pigeon River to Grand Portage. This route has been used for centuries by Natives is traditional birch bark canoes. I have my challenges ahead of me but couldn't be more excited to paddle through boundless interconnected lakes and down streams to eventually reconnect with my friends as the water mixes into the great Gitche Gumme. Adventure's don't start until something goes wrong.


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