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   Listening Point - General Discussion
      2018 Kruger and Voyageur Border Route Challenge is starting     
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Grandma L
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09/14/2018 05:16PM
Watch the group of 20 paddlers push themselves to complete the Challenge. Teams, solo and tandem paddlers will travel across the wilderness from International Falls to Lake Superior, all with the goal of completing the journey in 8 days or less.
Check out the tracking website: Water Tribe

Follow the Tracking Map, be sure to choose the correct Challenge and hit regenerate. Data will start to show on Saturday morning, Sept. 15, 2018.
 
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4keys
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09/14/2018 09:01PM
Good luck to everyone! I would love to do that, but know I wouldn't make it one day without a lot of serious training. So I will follow the challenge vicariously.
 
Mocha
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09/14/2018 09:55PM
Thanks for running the show again this year, can’t wait to follow along
 
09/15/2018 06:25AM
I'm wondering if any tandem teams can top BeaV's time this year? I would not bet against the man. :)

 
HayRiverDrifter
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09/15/2018 07:41AM
Paddle hard. 8:53 am and it looks like they are paddling.
 
09/15/2018 04:47PM



Beav and company... This is one tough crowd!
 
sedges
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09/15/2018 06:42PM
Looks like Beav is hanging with the tandems.
 
09/15/2018 07:48PM
sedges: "Looks like Beav is hanging with the tandems."

Yep. He who sleeps the least wins!
 
Mocha
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09/15/2018 08:16PM
nctry: "
Beav and company... This is one tough crowd!"


who are all these folks? is that Kendra in the back???
 
09/15/2018 09:13PM
Yes, Kendra is showing them how it's done. White Wolf too... They were in good spirits and ready to go!
 
09/15/2018 09:30PM
Good luck everyone! Stay safe!
 
bloody stump
senior member (90)senior membersenior member
 
09/15/2018 10:12PM
I can’t see whitewolf on the water tribe site,can anyone else?
 
HayRiverDrifter
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09/15/2018 11:45PM
bloody stump: "I can’t see whitewolf on the water tribe site,can anyone else?"

He is likely paddling with BeaV. I think they are paddling in a group of 6.

11:45 pm approaching 50 miles on day one.
 
bloody stump
senior member (90)senior membersenior member
 
09/16/2018 08:25AM
Thanks, that is what I thought since I didn’t see an icon for him showing up on the map ( I did get updates from his in reach that it looked like they laid up @1:45 and back at it around 6). The weather looked a bit intense late last night
 
09/16/2018 10:00AM
nctry: "



Beav and company... This is one tough crowd!"


I certainly wouldn't be able to keep up with them! Hope everyone stays safe out there and has a good paddle.
 
Grandma L
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09/16/2018 02:57PM
BeaV's team:
Jimmy Justice ( Jim), White Wolf (Jeff), Meat Puppet (Todd), MAKK (Kendra), BeaV, Deke (Thomas)

They and the current front runners, Peter and Matt are in Fish Steak Narrows. The winds are reporting at about 15 mph from the South. There are a couple more teams and solo canoers just heading to Entry point #12.

BeaV is a team of 6 this year. The current front runners are Kelso (Peter) and Nordstjernen (Matt) are in a tandem MN II.

All the paddlers are working hard - we have Tracking central set up at my cabin. Marcie, Mrs. Voyager, is helping track and document as she watches her husband Mr. Voyager, Russ, paddle the Challenge solo.
 
Grandma L
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09/16/2018 03:08PM
Help, some one make it look the right way - accidentally got the italics version.-Wahoo - I fixed it!
 
09/16/2018 05:20PM
We might have to be at Grand Portage by Tuesday night the way they are going. I'll bet Crooked Lake is fun in this wind...
I can't see anything on my phone... I need to run up to the fire hall and check things out...
Linden came out early... He was only going to do a shortened voyaguer challenge. But had to come out little Indian Sioux vs Mudro due to technical difficulty.
Good news is for those coming out grand Portage, is by Wednesday the frost might firm it up if it's wet at all... Haha.
When I first heard of this challenge a couple years ago I thought, yeah right! But I tell ya what, that water tribe group is a cool bunch. Wish I could go back in time and do somethings over... This would be a great one to do... The only group I've found better is... Well here at bwca.com
 
Grandma L
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09/16/2018 11:03PM
Well,it is now 11:30 pm - there are still 5 guys out paddling - they have fought the 12-18 mph south wind all day crossing LLC, Crooked and on to Basswood. They are now trying to make up some time with night paddling.


Peter and Matt - our current front runners. We now refer to them as "Flash and Zoom" They have been paddling since 5:30 AM starting today near entry point #12 at Crane lake, stopped 20 minutes for supper and are moving fast! Oh, the "we" I refer to are myself and Marcie Anderson whose husband, Voyager is paddling solo on the Challenge.
Here is Tracking Central -


 
09/17/2018 05:01AM
I stayed in the same bunkhouse as them the night before. My conclusion... What's the point in stopping if your just going to keep each other awake with your snoring... Haha.
These are two great guys...
 
Selfsuffi
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09/17/2018 05:46AM
WTG all, wish I was there.....instead of sitting at my desk at work...lol
 
Grandma L
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09/17/2018 08:08AM
"No rest for the wicked" or the Challengers. BeaV and crew were the first on the water today. My phone got a "ping" from him at 2:26 AM signalling they were on the water!
Today wind change to W-NW about 7 mph! After the high winds from the south yesterday - they are going to have a better day and make up time!
 
paddlinjoe
distinguished member (372)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/17/2018 09:19AM
Grandma L: "BeaV's team:
Marcie, Mrs. Voyager, is helping track and document as she watches her husband Mr. Voyager, Russ, paddle the Challenge solo. "


Hi Marcie,

I am having trouble finding Russ's tracking beacon. Is he listed with a group in some way?


 
BWPaddler
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09/17/2018 10:53AM
Super cool and fun to follow! Was thinking of trying to be there for the launch, but a family funeral trip pre-empted it. Fun to follow along this way and can't wait for all the stories at the end.
 
Grandma L
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09/17/2018 11:10AM
Joel, good to see you are home safely. Please comment as they pass notable points since you were just over that route and have very current information.
Russ (Voyager and Jeff (White Wolf) are not showing - some computer glitch but Marcie and I can do a work around and track them. Jeff is on an InReach. BeaV's team is pretty much staying together.

BWPaddler, miss having you with us at the cabin. maybe next time or later this fall.
 
paddlinjoe
distinguished member (372)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/17/2018 11:29AM
Grandma L: "Joel, good to see you are home safely. Please comment as they pass notable points since you were just over that route and have very current information.
Russ (Voyager and Jeff (White Wolf) are not showing - some computer glitch but Marcie and I can do a work around and track them. Jeff is on an InReach. BeaV's team is pretty much staying together.
"

Hi GrandmaL! It is good to be home, but would be better to be doing it all over again :-) Thanks for the goodie bag from last year, we made good use of most of the items in the bag this year (especially the sunscreen :-)

I can't add much regarding the front few groups. They are going at a pace and for a length of time each day that I can barely relate to.

Regarding paddling conditions, the Pidgeon River is very low. We estimated two miles of walking the canoe down the middle of the river through shallow rapids and pulling over rocks. It was more time consuming than anything, but Bert at Piragis didn't exactly smile when he saw the bottom of the rented MNII canoe. As slimy and slippery as the rocks are, they still leave their mark. The rest of the river was a very pretty paddle.

We also packed way to much stuff for the last portage. That had me suffering well beyond what I'd experienced before. Given the weight of the Kruger SeaWinds, I don't envy that last portage task for MooseLicker and ManitouCruiser, though I imagine they were perfect boats for Rainy Lake in that wind.
 
bloody stump
senior member (90)senior membersenior member
 
09/17/2018 11:45AM
Whitewolf pinged me about the same time this morning (2:18am), so he is still on the move with the crue
 
sedges
distinguished member(563)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/17/2018 02:25PM
Just for reference. What is Wadell/Kruger record for this run?
 
sedges
distinguished member(563)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/17/2018 04:07PM
Found it!

80 hours and 40 minutes

Beav's solo run was 90 hours.

The lead tandem canoe in this years run is going to have to push hard to match Beav's 2017 solo run.

They have averaged about 2.8 mph to the end of Knife lake. If they can maintain that average they be in about 92 hours. I can't imagine improving speed on the second half of the trip, but these athletes are always full of surprises.

It just goes to show what an extraordinary race Beav did last year. I felt that it would a long time before anyone came close to his solo time. It was every bit as amazing as the Waddell/Kruger tandem record and its likely to stand just as long.
 
09/18/2018 06:52AM
So is Beav's team of 6 staying together no matter what so they finish as a team? Are they establishing a finish time for 3 tandems?
 
09/18/2018 03:15PM
With the pigeon river being low that could be a challenge and slow there time's down some.
 
muddyfeet
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09/18/2018 09:28PM
I paddled the loon river on Friday morning and ran into watertribers and voyageur challengers Laughingwarrior and Hylidae at the Loon Falls portage. They looked fresh and in good spirits. I stayed on Oyster Lake that night, and we experienced quite a storm Friday night and Saturday night. About 1:30 am both nights: Endless lightning and thunder, high winds and torrential rain.

The good news: it looks like the rain fell on the Pigeon river watershed as well, as the USGS gauge shows a good jump up to about 370cfs. (Last year I paddled most of it at around 200cfs, so they might not have to walk at all).
 
09/19/2018 01:49PM
Good job Matt and Peter, go Kendra and her team.
 
HayRiverDrifter
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09/19/2018 02:28PM
Well done!
 
09/19/2018 04:56PM
Many thanks! Matt and I had a blast! It was a super tough challenge, but we're thrilled to be done. Keeping up that pace for so long was completely new to us. The first 2 days of headwinds nearly did us in, but leapfrogging back and forth with BeaV's team motivated us. They were right on our tail for so long!

On the third day we got a break from the wind and put on some good miles, but we knew that we had lost enough time due to weather that we didn't have a chance at surpassing Beav's time from last year. Now that we were attempting it ourselves, we had nothing but awe and respect for Beav's 91 hrs (solo!!) and Kruger/Wadell's 80 hrs (tandem). We still hoped that we could make up for lost time and beat the 100 hr mark.

On the fourth day we finally had perfectly calm winds. We started from Gneiss Lake and didn't stop until Partridge Falls at 3am. The Pigeon River does indeed have extremely low water levels. In the pitch darkness we must have bounced off hundreds of rocks. It was a miserable experience, and added lots of new scratches to our MN2.

Last night at 3:30am we reached Partridge Falls, slept for about 2 hrs, then hauled our way down the Grand Portage. We finished the portage in 3.5hrs, at about 10am this morning. Finish line fever and the looming 100 hr mark kept us going! In the end we just squeaked in at 98 hrs.



We can't even begin to thank GrandmaL and Marcie for everything they've done to support us and the other challengers! You two are the best. They met us this afternoon at Grand Portage and have been taking good care of us.

We're happy to be done early because now we can enjoy watching the challengers online just like all of you guys have been doing. On the water we felt like we were missing out because we had no idea where everyone else was.

Now that we've gotten our first hot meal since Friday, showers, and a hotel room in Grand Portage, we are ready to get a good nap and then go cheer on Beav's crew as they come down to Lake Superior. They're already on the Pigeon River so it won't be long!
 
Grandma L
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09/19/2018 05:09PM
muddyfeet: "I paddled the loon river on Friday morning and ran into watertribers and voyageur challengers Laughingwarrior and Hylidae at the Loon Falls portage. They looked fresh and in good spirits. I stayed on Oyster Lake that night, and we experienced quite a storm Friday night and Saturday night. About 1:30 am both nights: Endless lightning and thunder, high winds and torrential rain.


The good news: it looks like the rain fell on the Pigeon river watershed as well, as the USGS gauge shows a good jump up to about 370cfs. (Last year I paddled most of it at around 200cfs, so they might not have to walk at all). "


Muddy, you are right about the Pigeon and the rain helping. The "boys" Peter and Matt - Flash and Zoom to the Challenge tracking team - just did the Pigeon in the night - not stopping for long once they left South Fowl. They finished this morning at 10:00 - 98 hours. Great run!!
 
Grandma L
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09/19/2018 05:14PM



They are the first of the Challengers to finish! Personal goal of 100 hours - ACHIEVED!! Their official time is 98 Hours! Youth, skill and a dash of drive and commitment! Well done guys!
 
Grandma L
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09/19/2018 05:19PM
I expect to see BeaV and his brigade coming in next. They have been staying together all the way. The bigger the group the harder to keep them all moving fast and staying together. I anticipate a good Challenge time for them too. As of last night, they had made up their time lost in the winds of the early days of the Challenge. Hope to see them in Fort Charlotte tonight or this afternoon.
 
LindenTree3
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09/19/2018 06:20PM
Grandma L: "





They are the first of the Challengers to finish! Personal goal of 100 hours - ACHIEVED!! Their official time is 98 Hours! Youth, skill and a dash of drive and commitment! Well done guys!"


Is that all the gear they had in the second pic, one pack, between the two?
Impressive, either way, and congrats to you both.
 
09/19/2018 07:12PM

Is that all the gear they had in the second pic, one pack, between the two?
Impressive, if that is the case."


Yep, just one pack. We would have been a lot slower on the portages with two packs. We think that the key to fast canoe travel is to borrow from ultralight backpacking methods.
 
voyager
distinguished member (150)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/19/2018 08:14PM
Their goal was 100 hrs. They made it in 98.
Mrs. Voyager
 
voyager
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09/19/2018 08:18PM
muddyfeet: "I paddled the loon river on Friday morning and ran into watertribers and voyageur challengers Laughingwarrior and Hylidae at the Loon Falls portage. They looked fresh and in good spirits. I stayed on Oyster Lake that night, and we experienced quite a storm Friday night and Saturday night. About 1:30 am both nights: Endless lightning and thunder, high winds and torrential rain.


The good news: it looks like the rain fell on the Pigeon river watershed as well, as the USGS gauge shows a good jump up to about 370cfs. (Last year I paddled most of it at around 200cfs, so they might not have to walk at all). "


Flash and Zoom said the water was really low. Wish you were paddling too, Muddyfeet. I'm enjoying it here at tracking central. Only problem is, I get up way early and get to bed way late because I can't seem to drag myself away from the computer.
Marcie
 
09/20/2018 07:53AM
Beav's team should be done before ten.
 
09/20/2018 08:22AM
Go Beav's team go! Half way done with that portage.

You know in your head that there is a net negative elevation gain on the Grand Portage, but there are still so many darn uphills.
 
09/20/2018 09:41AM
Kelso: "Go Beav's team go! Half way done with that portage.


You know in your head that there is a net negative elevation gain on the Grand Portage, but there are still so many darn uphills."
How far is partridge falls from the beginning of the Grand portage?
 
09/20/2018 10:54AM
About 1.5 miles
 
09/20/2018 10:54AM
Congrats Jimmy Justice, White Wolf, Meat Puppet, MAKK, BeaV, and Deke!


 
09/20/2018 11:58AM
Great challenge, guys and my hero, Kendra... you're awesome!
 
BWPaddler
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09/20/2018 12:02PM
Wahooooooo!!!!!! So much fun to "watch"! Can't wait for the trip reports and gear reviews!
 
09/20/2018 12:28PM
Well done everyone. Glad you are all back safe and sound!
 
Grandma L
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09/20/2018 01:08PM
Well, it is official - Team BeaV in at 122 hours and 26 minutes!
 
LindenTree3
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09/20/2018 02:17PM
Am I watching things correctly.
It appears that Clewless is backtracking toward Cheif, who hasn't updated his position since 11:00 EDT today.
 
09/20/2018 02:46PM
Way proud of my girl Kendra! You Rock!!!
 
HayRiverDrifter
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09/20/2018 03:01PM
Good timing on your finish. The weather is not looking good.
 
LindenTree3
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09/20/2018 05:13PM
LindenTree3: "Am I following things correctly.
It appears that Clewless is backtracking toward Cheif, who hasn't updated his position since 11:00 EDT today."


Clewless is difinatley back tracking, he is west of Chief headed toward Prairie Portage
If I am correct Clewless and Gulfman were on the east end of Knife around noonish today.
 
Shartbait
member (7)member
 
09/20/2018 07:30PM
Hopefully everyone is okay.

 
Grandma L
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09/21/2018 12:41AM
Well, here is tonight's update. It is pouring rain here in Grand Portage and has been for the last 8+ hours. The predictions - yes, we have W. W. here with us - are for rain tomorrow morning and winds at 20-30 mph. Thus, some of the Challengers have decided to back track and head out Moose Lake. Some are east close to or on Gunflint Lake and will just have to hold up and wait for a break in the weather. I believe they are all OK, just held up with rain and wind.
 
paddlinjoe
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09/21/2018 08:15AM
Congrats to the folks who have finished already. It has been a lot of fun tracking your progress.

Really pulling for MZEE to get through the Grand Portage this year. Looks like he has a solid shot.

Any update on Voyager?

paddlinjoe
 
09/22/2018 08:03AM
Congrats to the Voyager Challengers Isaac and Melissa in a 16' Old Town who finished yesterday! They stuck out though so many tough and exhausting situations. I hope they post a trip report since they had lots of great stories. Good work you two!

I heard that Mzee and Voyager met up at some point and have been staying more or less together. This morning they are camped on South Fowl, presumably trying to decide whether to come out at McFarland Lake or finish the Grand Portage. Either way, they've both had a great run through very adverse weather. Well done!
 
Rdm
Guest Paddler
 
09/23/2018 10:57AM
Outstanding effort from all participants!! I followed this last year when BeaV Scorched the water and watching this year has me thinking hmm...

I’m hoping some of the participating folks would consider offering their version of a “primer” for what they think are keys to success for a first timer taking a bite at this. FWIW the voyager or moose lake challenge solo is what Is percolating in my head.

My main question is food. How many calories did you think you would expend and did you plan that many calories per day or just make a big pile of food and think that should hold me?

Final footwear and sock “management”

What do you consider as the minimum level of specific paddle training?

I was zooming in on the pictures of the finishers to glean any tidbits of information. Noticed the taped finger tips, arm bands, and footwear and clothing selection. Zre paddles medium, lightweight, or ultra lightweight?

Ok I better stop or this will get away from me with 20 questions.

Thanks in advance for any advice or musings!
 
WhiteWolf
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09/23/2018 09:53PM
Rdm: "Outstanding effort from all participants!! I followed this last year when BeaV Scorched the water and watching this year has me thinking hmm...


I’m hoping some of the participating folks would consider offering their version of a “primer” for what they think are keys to success for a first timer taking a bite at this. FWIW the voyager or moose lake challenge solo is what Is percolating in my head.


My main question is food. How many calories did you think you would expend and did you plan that many calories per day or just make a big pile of food and think that should hold me?


Final footwear and sock “management”


What do you consider as the minimum level of specific paddle training?


I was zooming in on the pictures of the finishers to glean any tidbits of information. Noticed the taped finger tips, arm bands, and footwear and clothing selection. Zre paddles medium, lightweight, or ultra lightweight?


Ok I better stop or this will get away from me with 20 questions.


Thanks in advance for any advice or musings!"



For a "primer" -- nothing beats the real thing in trips to the BWCA. However, trying to replicate successive 50+ mile days in inclement weather with little to no sleep is very hard to do so. A proper mind along with a positive attitude goes a long way.

For caloric intake, some members on BeaV's team I was member of that are much more educated on the manner figured on 200 calories burned an hour an AVG. And FTR- I didn't bring enough traveling food this time around after brining too much in previous years. It's a fine a line- especially with a 9 mile portage at the end.


Footwear- personally I like knee high rubber neoprene boots, but I'am in the minority. Normal hiking boots, Wool socks and seal skins. However, the Pigeon River will get the final say on how "dry" things turn out to be when you really want things to be as dry as possible before the GP.


As far as paddling levels-- be confident in paddling in rough conditions along with nighttime paddling in said rough conditions when your not physically/mentally 100%. Know how to navigate and at night, without a GPS. At least at night, you can't see how rough it is!! - is what I told BeaV's team and it did help crossing Namakan in a Thunderstorm.


But by far the best way to learn is to get out and do it!! Nothing beats first hand experience!!



 
JimmyJustice
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09/24/2018 08:30AM
Great job to all participants. Congrats on accepting the Challenge and giving it your all.

Another fun challenge set, met and put to bed. I am sure BeaV and others will post trip reports so keep an eye out for them. From my perspective, this year's Kruger Challenge contained more difficult paddling (heavy rains, sustained headwinds, big gusts, nighttime navigation) than prior years but to be fair, the portages, in my opinion, were in fantastic shape. Dare I say, the Fowl portage was even above average? That said, others will have differing opinions because the rain affected them (and their portages) differently than it did our crew.

Speaking of which, our crew of 6 had not practiced together (but individually or in smaller groups) so of the 6, three had never paddled together with three of the others. Two completely new members (Deke and Kendra) were fantastic. Kendras is all that and then some. Our crew gelled instantly and got stronger as the Challenge went on. BeaV takes pride in assembling his crew and it showed. We set a team goal, universally embraced it, and beat it. True team work.

A huge shout out to Mzee and Russ. Way to hang in there and see the Challenge completed. Outstanding! Way to go first timers Issac and Melissa. A big way to go for M&M who carried their seawinds across the BWCA!!!! And of course, Kelso and Matt...outstanding!

 
09/25/2018 04:08PM
Very proud of Team BeaVer Fever!! Pic of team on Granite River and pic of Pigeon River at 71 cfs stream flow (not enough).








So many stories this year!!!

-Clint and Bev Waddell as special guests at Grand Portage!
-The Norwegians (Kelso and Nordstjernen) gunning for records and achieving 98 hours!
-Manitou Cruiser and Mooselicker, both in Sea Winds, double portage the entire route!
-Mzee and Voyager refusing to give in to age, winds, and nasty weather!


 
09/25/2018 08:14PM
Good pics and an epic trip!
 
WindwardMark
 
09/26/2018 06:07AM
Congratulations to all the paddlers, what an epic challenge! Lauren and I have the Kruger Challenge on the calendar for next year, so we will be excited to read your stories. Spare no detail! Packing light is not our strong suit, so we will be interested in tips on what to bring and what to leave behind.
 
09/26/2018 08:44AM
WindwardMark: "Congratulations to all the paddlers, what an epic challenge! Lauren and I have the Kruger Challenge on the calendar for next year, so we will be excited to read your stories. Spare no detail! Packing light is not our strong suit, so we will be interested in tips on what to bring and what to leave behind."
Mark,
That would be great to have you and Lauren participate next year! Packing is much more different than the Everglades Challenge. In that event, your canoe is your home and you can put as large of a load in it as you want to paddle around. In the Minnesota Challenges, you have to carry your "home" 20 miles (assuming single portaging).

Food and drink differences- in the EC I bring bottled Gatorade and food in packages- this generates lots of garbage which is no big deal as there are places to dispose of the trash along the way. Not so in MN.

Leave the Kruger Cruiser at home.

Regarding packing- for a tandem team, each would carry a small daypack, one would carry the canoe, and the other would carry the canoe pack with food and camping equipment in it. You will need to figure out who is carrying the canoe pack and how much weight they can handle on rough terrain. With that determined, you then pack the essentials and then if room, throw in some items that are on the "do I need or not" list. The difference between an easy portage versus a hard portage is largely determined by the amount of weight you're carrying. If need be, the person carrying the canoe could also carry a second canoe pack, but this will make the going tougher.

Not sure if I will write down any stories or a trip report- I have to go canoeing!
 
09/26/2018 09:12AM
Rdm: "Outstanding effort from all participants!! I followed this last year when BeaV Scorched the water and watching this year has me thinking hmm...


I’m hoping some of the participating folks would consider offering their version of a “primer” for what they think are keys to success for a first timer taking a bite at this. FWIW the voyager or moose lake challenge solo is what Is percolating in my head.


My main question is food. How many calories did you think you would expend and did you plan that many calories per day or just make a big pile of food and think that should hold me?"

You will find some information on this discussion that may help. 2018 Trip Invite
Food- do what works for you. What works for you is best determined by your tastes and what you can stomach while exerting effort. As part of your paddle training you should try different things and keep track of how much food you needed. To be effective this training has to be a long day say minimum 6 hours of steady paddling and longer the better. Most folks bring way more food than needed. Body fat is great fuel- I burned off about 10 pounds = 6% of my weight in just 5.5 days this time around.

I don't bother counting calories or worrying about it. I just eat high calorie snacks that I like and that I can eat fast while paddling. In camp, make meals that are high calorie and fast to prepare.
 
09/26/2018 09:31AM
nctry: "
Beav and company... This is one tough crowd!"

Ha! Not so tough, mostly just out to paddle hard and have fun! Which is exactly what we did.

Thanks for your help with cheering on the finishers and helping to shuttle canoes at the end.
 
BWPaddler
distinguished member(9196)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
09/26/2018 01:00PM
Thanks for sharing some pictures - the smiles say it all!
 
voyager
distinguished member (150)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/26/2018 05:22PM
I need therapy! I was so adamant, " never again will I do the Grand Port., never again will I do the Granite R. " I haven't been home 48 hours and already I'm "what-iffing" about next time. I gained the #10 that Beav lost, peripheral edema from the knees down. Mack had the same condition and weight gain. Mzee and I traveled together some on the first day and not again till the afternoon of day 7, and all of day 8. It would have been a long, lonely 9 mile walk in the dark, in the rain, alone. We were intent on meeting our secondary goal, pizza from the casino cafe. The main dining room closed at 9PM. We knew we wouldn't make that. The cafe closes at 1AM. We made it! I regret I didn't get in on any of the partying. As soon as Mzee and I arrived at the bar, they shut it down. Can't say as I blame them, as we're a couple of bad-a$$ed 70 yr. old hombres. I didn't even get to redeem Beav's free drink card. I did get to meet Clint. What a privilege. I had seen Verlin's presentation of the x-continent trip as a young man. Now to find some professional help for this "Challenge " addiction before next year.
 
LindenTree3
distinguished member(2417)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/26/2018 06:40PM
voyager: "I need therapy! I was so adamant, " never again will I do the Grand Port., never again will I do the Granite R. " I haven't been home 48 hours and already I'm "what-iffing" about next time. I gained the #10 that Beav lost, peripheral edema from the knees down. Mack had the same condition and weight gain. Mzee and I traveled together some on the first day and not again till the afternoon of day 7, and all of day 8. It would have been a long, lonely 9 mile walk in the dark, in the rain, alone. We were intent on meeting our secondary goal, pizza from the casino cafe. The main dining room closed at 9PM. We knew we wouldn't make that. The cafe closes at 1AM. We made it! I regret I didn't get in on any of the partying. As soon as Mzee and I arrived at the bar, they shut it down. Can't say as I blame them, as we're a couple of bad-a$$ed 70 yr. old hombres. I didn't even get to redeem Beav's free drink card. I did get to meet Clint. What a privilege. I had seen Verlin's presentation of the x-continent trip as a young man. Now to find some professional help for this "Challenge " addiction before next year."

Good job Russ, and nice sitting next to you Friday nite at the Grand Ely Lodge.

You and the rest of the challangers are tougher than me, I broke a spar in my canoe and bailed after 40 plus miles, in around 35 hours.
My canoe wouldn't track right/actually left, I was doing 12 paddles on my L-side to three on my right, I didn't think I could fix it in the field.
My weather radio told of the strong winds predicted on the 16th and I knew I better not be on big lakes (Lac Lacroix) with that canoe.
I now know I need a dedicated solo canoe.
I went out Little Indian Souix EP, stashed my canoe and gear and hitch hiked back to Fall Lake to get my car.

The storms and lightning were pretty intense as I camped on Loon Lake the night of the 15th.
 
Grandma L
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09/26/2018 08:29PM
I want to thank all of the Challengers for making this event the very best ever! New friends and old came together and quickly bonded to become our very own Brigade! I was lucky enough to get to listen to all the stories as we rearranged the lobby of the Grand Portage Casino to become our very own special living room. I appreciated the tracking assistance from Marcie (Mrs. Russ) and our very own Ben (Nctry) who became the "portage angel" as he spent hours in the woods watching out to assist M & M as they came across the Grand Portage. A big thanks to Piragis for their early opening, great gear and super helpful staff. Likewise, the Grand Portage Casino staff went out of their way to be welcoming and help with all of our requests. Great folks all around!

But, most of all, the Challengers - wonderful, talented, funny, energetic, determined, hard driving and just plain SPECIAL! - I especially enjoyed getting to know the "boys" who seemed to enjoy teasing me and my special roommate - Kendra. Thanks for the giggles. I love them all!
It will take me a few more days to re-acclimate to my "real" life and finish my paperwork. I am sad it is over - but next year's planning has already started.
Join Us!
View of our group on Friday night


Clint and Bev Waddell along with Peter, Rebecca, their beautiful daughter, Kendra, and BeaV

 
09/27/2018 08:59AM
voyager: "I need therapy! I was so adamant, "never again will I do the Grand Port., never again will I do the Granite R." I haven't been home 48 hours and already I'm "what-iffing" about next time."

Voyager,

Before you started Marcie told me "I don't want him to suffer too much, but I hope he suffers just enough that he never feels the need to do it again." Apparently you didn't suffer enough, ha!

All joking aside, I was amazed when I saw you and Mzee continue across the Fowl Portage instead of bailing at McFarland. When you said, "Grand Portage or Bust" you weren't kidding. Congratulations on toughing it out and finishing strong. I'm truly impressed.

I was sorry not to get to spend time with you and Mzee after you finished. Hopefully you guys will write trip reports once you have had some rest and recovery time and have digested the experience you just went through.
 
Grandma L
distinguished member(5320)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
09/27/2018 07:54PM
They are not the only ones who are thinking about next year, already. I have had several conversations in that regard. I am so impressed with our paddlers. - They are inspired, determined, adventurers! I am ready. Every good "roadie" needs a group to follow.
 
WindwardMark
 
09/28/2018 05:55AM
I'm interested in getting opinions from this illustrious group on what would be the ideal boat for a tandem team on the Kruger challenge. Would the MNII be the best choice? Are there other boats available for rent from Piragis, or not, that may be contenders?
 
09/28/2018 08:47AM
WindwardMark: "Would the MNII be the best choice? Are there other boats available for rent from Piragis, or not, that may be contenders?"

The simple answer is yes, the MNII is the best canoe for the Kruger Challenge. It handles very nicely on big lakes and holds a true course even in strong winds. It isn't super maneuverable since it has very little rocker, but you don't need that for this challenge. You need light weight and speed. There are other canoes which would also fit the bill, and a modified racing canoe might even work, but none are as common or easy to find in Minnesota as the MNII.

If you are able, I recommend purchasing a used Kevlar MNII from one of the BWCA outfitters. Most outfitters sell their older canoes in the Fall. They sell for about $1300, and for that price you can get one that still has a lot of life left in it. Look for one that has been retrofitted by the outfitter with comfy seats and portage pads. Then you can modify it however you like to add foot braces or whatever, and you don't have to worry about damaging a rented canoe on the Pigeon River.
 
Selfsuffi
distinguished member (281)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/28/2018 10:18AM
anyone think they will reclassify the Pigeon River as just a really long wet and rocky portage?
 
09/28/2018 10:40AM
Yep, that sounds about right. At least half of the Pigeon River anyway. The other half is a pleasant marshland paddle with lots of swans, moose, and waterfowl.
 
Selfsuffi
distinguished member (281)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/28/2018 10:44AM
lol, I haven't been there, just basing it on pictures. I do plan on heading through that area in the future though.
 
WindwardMark
 
09/28/2018 05:10PM
We checked the Piraeus site and didn’t see a MNII for sale. One was listed as sold. Are there other outfitters that sell their used canoes?
 
09/28/2018 07:04PM
Yes, a few others do. But they won't start selling for probably another couple weeks. I have had good experiences buying canoes from Sawbill Outfitters.
 
09/29/2018 12:50PM
October is kind of a magic number for Outfitters to release boats.. try again next week.
 
10/09/2018 07:31AM
voyager: "I need therapy! I was so adamant, " never again will I do the Grand Port., never again will I do the Granite R. " I haven't been home 48 hours and already I'm "what-iffing" about next time. .... as we're a couple of bad-a$$ed 70 yr. old hombres. I didn't even get to redeem Beav's free drink card. I did get to meet Clint. What a privilege. I had seen Verlin's presentation of the x-continent trip as a young man. Now to find some professional help for this "Challenge " addiction before next year."
Yes you and Mzee are a couple of bad-a$$ed 70 yr. old hombres!!! Note that there is no expiration on that free drink card... Idea for next year- you and Mzee team up in a tandem for better speed and then you guys will have time to enjoy the lounge. I'll be there.

As far as professional therapy...skip it, follow your gut feeling, and sign up.
 
10/09/2018 07:46AM
WindwardMark: "I'm interested in getting opinions from this illustrious group on what would be the ideal boat for a tandem team on the Kruger challenge. Would the MNII be the best choice? Are there other boats available for rent from Piragis, or not, that may be contenders?"
Tandem boat choice- I would say the Wenonah MN 2 or the Northstar Northwind 17 are the two I would consider. PM me or meet me in Key Largo in March if you want reasons of one over the other...

They rent them both.
 
JimmyJustice
distinguished member(567)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/09/2018 07:58AM
Yeah...what BeaV said! Supper impressed with you and Mzee.
 
10/09/2018 08:21AM
Grandma L: "I want to thank all of the Challengers for making this event the very best ever! New friends and old came together and quickly bonded to become our very own Brigade!

Join Us!

"

Grandma L is right with that statement and though she didn't paddle with us, she is part of the 2018 Brigade for all the thought, work, and care she put into helping us. THANKS! !

And thanks to WaterTribe for their continued organizing and support of these events.

And having Clint Waddell as our special guest of honor present at Grand Portage was awesome! Clint was presented with his very own bear claw award (which is given to finishers) for setting the bar so high back in 1968 and motivating us to follow in his canoe wake. WaterTribe has renamed the "Kruger Challenge" to "Kruger/Waddell Challenge".

(Could someone with a pic post a photo here of Clint with his Bear Claw Award?)
 
10/09/2018 08:59AM
Quote from JimmyJustice, 04/12/2018 07:37PM under a different post in Trip Planning forum:

"Fate will assuredly hover along side me and whisper of a coming storm. But, I must remain impervious. How you say?

I will be guided by the bright stars and moon above, calmed by the spirit of Verlen Kruger, inspired by the accomplishments of Clint Wadell, kept awake by the sounds of brother BeaV yelling LETS GO!, and energized by my ZRE Power Surge Light.

Should Fate whisper in my ear to warn me of a coming storm, I will yell back, "I AM THE STORM!". Destiny awaits me my friend and with the guidance of my brother BeaV, the Kruger Challenge will be all that I imagine it to be." JJ

So JimmyJ, I have to ask if you yelled back "I AM THE STORM!" that first night? Say at about 1:00 am in the morning, after 5 hours of continuous lighting that sent all but us to shelter, in the midst of the heaviest downpour of the night, after enduring 17 hours of travel, at the time your lead canoe and navigator disappeared into the storm, at the time you and WhiteWolf's canoes went to shore to regroup and empty rain water, did you yell it?

I liked this statement and just wanted to followup. Maybe the answer needs to be discussed with a cigar and whiskey in hand, over a campfire...

 
JimmyJustice
distinguished member(567)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/09/2018 01:56PM
Well brother BeaV, let me put it this way...yes there was yelling but apparently you could not hear me because you were so far in front. :) They say if you can't envision it you can't accomplish it. Apparently, I envisioned the then upcoming challenge pretty accurately.

A cigar, whiskey and campfire is always in order my friend. I can't believe Grand Portage would not let us smoke cigars inside. Pffft. At that time, we need to finish our discussion from a prior thread, about Fear when I responded to you and WW...

"My initial take on the subject has not changed, although, as others have said, and to which I wholeheartedly agree; how you define FEAR matters."...

"for me, Fear = Panic, a state of being that is nearly impossible to control. So with that as my universe, nope, I do not recall having been in fear." [although there is one thing I am fearful of]

"Oddly, I would like that to change. I would like to be in fear of more than just the one thing. To be in a spot where your mental strength and preparedness pulls you instantly from a state of panic to "just" being afraid to being able to successfully implement a course of action to conclusion...In order for that to happen...I will need...to seek out new waters and new portages, to boldly go where I have not gone before."...

"So, for 2018, bring on the bear, lets find out."


Well BeaV, you did your darnedest to put me in fear those first two days. Five hours of constant lightning, torrential rain that night, high winds and high seas over big water the next day! Those were firsts for me. I guess a thank you is in order? But fear was never an issue. Truly, your recap of how to manage swamped canoes in advance of that evenings paddle, knowing the skill of those involved and the mature confidence (not cockiness) of our fellow crew members, kept fear at bay. As a team we successfully implemented a course of action to conclusion in an inhospitable environment nobody else wanted to tackle. I guess I need to look further to find something else to be afraid of. I'm still stuck at one. (and no, next time I am not paddling Gitchi Gumme in high winds and an open canoe!)


 
JimmyJustice
distinguished member(567)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/09/2018 02:41PM
BeaV

Here are the two pix I have of Clint and his bear claw. There are sure to be others.

 
10/09/2018 03:43PM
JimmyJustice: "BeaV


Here are the two pix I have of Clint and his bear claw. There are sure to be others.


"

Awesome pics- thanks!

As things turned out, it was "nice" to have adversity the first day, followed by the headwinds on the 2nd to test our resolve, and thus getting behind our planned schedule. Our "mature confidence" allowed us to overcome those first 2 days and in the end, beat our goal & purpose.

Campfire night will be arranged.

One last thought...after reading Kelso's trip report, it is clear that they arrived at Grassy Portage first. I wonder...was it really the Park Service that placed that #4 double long spring trap smack dab in the portage trail? ;-)

 
10/09/2018 04:34PM
You're all an elite group in my book! It's truly an impressive feat of stamina and persistence.
 
Grandma L
distinguished member(5320)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
10/09/2018 05:26PM
BeaV: "voyager: "I need therapy! I was so adamant, " never again will I do the Grand Port., never again will I do the Granite R. " I haven't been home 48 hours and already I'm "what-iffing" about next time. .... as we're a couple of bad-a$$ed 70 yr. old hombres. I didn't even get to redeem Beav's free drink card. I did get to meet Clint. What a privilege. I had seen Verlin's presentation of the x-continent trip as a young man. Now to find some professional help for this "Challenge " addiction before next year."
Yes you and Mzee are a couple of bad-a$$ed 70 yr. old hombres!!! Note that there is no expiration on that free drink card... Idea for next year- you and Mzee team up in a tandem for better speed and then you guys will have time to enjoy the lounge. I'll be there.


As far as professional therapy...skip it, follow your gut feeling, and sign up."

MZEE (David) and Voyager (Russ)
Finished after dark on Saturday evening so the pics were not good for posting but, here is a pic of them receiving their Bear Claw necklaces. Notice the blue and gold beads along with the claw - Kruger-Waddell Challenge is the most difficult of the 3 Challenge options and gets the "highest" rating. Congrats to you both. You have set fine example of determination and commitment to a goal!


 
Grandma L
distinguished member(5320)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
10/09/2018 05:42PM
Challengers, Laughing Warrior (Isaac) and Hylidae (Melissa) crossed through the Grand Portage Fort with the crew there to celebrate with them. They completed the Voyageur challenge - Crane to G. P. Including the Grand portage.


Congratulations!
 
Grandma L
distinguished member(5320)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
10/09/2018 06:45PM
Here is a pic of Challengers M & M coming through the Grand Portage Fort.
Manitou Cruiser (Mark) and Moose Licker (Mack) get special Congratulations. These two hearty Challengers carried those Kruger Sea Wind Canoes - all 65 pounds of them and their gear over the 42 portages covering over 20 miles of trail. Great job guys!!





 
Grandma L
distinguished member(5320)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
10/09/2018 07:07PM
Just a few pics to share -
"Don't be sad because it is over, be happy it happened." Dr. Seuss
Can't wait until next year - great folks, great friends and great accomplishments! The sign-up has already started for 2019! Check with Water Tribe for dates and info. There are already 3 on the rosters.

Deke (Thomas) signing the "Brigade Paddle"


Clint Waddell and wife Bev




The Kruger-Waddell Challengers at the start
 
WhiteWolf
distinguished member(4202)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
10/10/2018 12:29AM
Grandma L: "Challengers, Laughing Warrior (Isaac) and Hylidae (Melissa) crossed through the Grand Portage Fort with the crew there to celebrate with them. They completed the Voyageur challenge - Crane to G. P. Including the Grand portage.


"


IS that Beav carrying the canoe? He just can't get enough portaging on this trip. :O) That is a great picture!!!!
 
10/10/2018 08:02AM
JimmyJustice: "BeaV


Here are the two pix I have of Clint and his bear claw. There are sure to be others.


"





I thought the sashes looked like they had a piece of Bacon on their necklaces... Until I blew up the picture.
 
bloody stump
senior member (90)senior membersenior member
 
10/10/2018 10:29AM
Good work on doing your challenge in a Penobscot.... that is no light load!

 
Grandma L
distinguished member(5320)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
10/10/2018 12:02PM
For sure! I believe the Penobscot is also 65 pounds. Strong Challengers - strong commitment!
 
LaughingWarrior
 
11/12/2018 09:17AM
Aloha to all of my Watertribe Brothers and Sisters,
I'm late to the game and this would be my first post on the BWCA website. I just wanted to say that this challenge was one of the most epic things I have done and cant wait to do it again. I miss you all and wish you the best.

Sincerely,

Laughing Warrior
 
Spartan1
distinguished member (206)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/12/2018 02:09PM
Welcome!

S1
 
11/12/2018 04:18PM
LaughingWarrior: "Aloha to all of my Watertribe Brothers and Sisters,
I'm late to the game and this would be my first post on the BWCA website. I just wanted to say that this challenge was one of the most epic things I have done and cant wait to do it again. I miss you all and wish you the best. "

Welcome to this site, LaughingWarrior! I enjoyed meeting you in Grand Portage and loved hearing your story of the campsite invader that threatened you. You had all us who were present laughing our heads off! Like you, many of us are "missing" the action and looking forward to next years' events.
 
11/12/2018 07:29PM
BeaV: "LaughingWarrior: "Aloha to all of my Watertribe Brothers and Sisters,
I'm late to the game and this would be my first post on the BWCA website. I just wanted to say that this challenge was one of the most epic things I have done and cant wait to do it again. I miss you all and wish you the best. "

Welcome to this site, LaughingWarrior! I enjoyed meeting you in Grand Portage and loved hearing your story of the campsite invader that threatened you. You had all us who were present laughing our heads off! Like you, many of us are "missing" the action and looking forward to next years' events."




Yes, and for good practice you should type a trip report of your epic run. This would be a best seller trip report!
Welcome!
 
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