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09/14/2019 05:49PM
The Minnesota Kruger Challenge and the Voyageurs Challenge got going this morning. Here's a couple links. You can follow along the exact position of a challenger using the map.

Roster for all challenges

Watertribe Tracking Map

 
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Grandma L
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09/14/2019 06:18PM
Tom, thanks for getting this thread started. I was pretty busy with the logistics and details of the Event to get a posting started earlier today. Several of us have had the pleasure of being part of the Challenge support crew. Marcie Anderson (BWCA.com-Mrs. Voyager),Ben, Nctry and I have been there helping and getting the group together and launched in great form.
We had our send-off supper last night in Ely at the Grand Ely Lodge and this morning at 4:30 AM we assembled at Piragis to load and start the journey. By 8:00 AM we were at Sha Sha Resort on Dove Point, Rainy Lake. All the paddlers had their canoes loaded and were launched on time for the Kruger-Waddell Challenge while at Crane Lake a smaller group of Challengers were launching for the Voyageurs Challenge. A total of 27 paddler this year. Great group of experienced Challengers and several folks new to the Challenge though not so new to paddling.
This year we have 4 paddlers over 70 years old and at this point, though early in the adventure, they are making a strong showing with our own Magic Paddler taking the lead.
 
09/14/2019 07:33PM
When exactly did MuddyFeet start? Roughly 8am central time? If that's the case, he has completed the Dawson Portage and started Lac LaCroix after roughly 11 hrs. A fantastic pace! Is he gunning for a solo record?
 
09/14/2019 07:38PM
I just got done doing a 14 day Quetico trip with MagicPaddler and others and he is very ready for this having logged over 50 days in 4 separate trips to Quetico this year. There’s no doubt he will be going all out on this challenge. He’s shooting for 14 hour days on the water but will only navigate when it’s dark in the early morning.
 
LindenTree
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09/14/2019 07:57PM

GrandmaL, I would have loved to help with logistics, I just got back from 18 days camping out west and returned home to Detroit Lakes a couple hours ago.

Good luck to all paddlers and hoping for following seas.
 
09/14/2019 09:11PM
TomT: "The Minnesota Kruger Challenge and the Voyageurs Challenge got going this morning. Here's a couple links. You can follow along the exact position of a challenger using the map.

Roster for all challenges

Watertribe Tracking Map

"

Thanks! I've been looking for this.
 
Mocha
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09/14/2019 09:18PM
So exciting to see this adventure take off over the years. Always ex jti g to watch the progress
 
BWPaddler
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09/15/2019 07:14AM
in the roster, what is the difference between a class 1 and class 2 boat? Sometimes the same model is listed even though the racers have different classes. Also why is white wolf in a men's double class but he does not list a partner?
 
09/15/2019 10:58AM
BWPaddler, this link defines the boat classes, but I suspect that some of the classifications shown on the roster are mistaken. It's not a big deal.

WaterTribe Boat Classes

I believe that WhiteWolf's partner Ryan was on the fence about his availability. GrandmaL can confirm if he was able to join in the end.
 
09/15/2019 11:02AM
It doesn’t look like Kendra is making this one. Who is on BeaV’s team this time? Does he have a new partner?
 
09/15/2019 11:32AM
TomT: "It doesn’t look like Kendra is making this one. Who is on BeaV’s team this time? Does he have a new partner?"

Kendra is still paddling with BeaV! Their group is a full-capacity permit of 9 people and 4 watercraft: BeaV/Kendra, JimmyJustice/Deke, MeatPuppet/McPipes/Esteban, and Whitewolf/Ryan.

The 2019 Kruger Challengers at Sha-Sha Resort (photo by GrandmaL):
 
Grandma L
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09/15/2019 07:58PM
Kelly, here is the explanations. Class 1 or 2 are more for the Water Tribe Sailing events. But, since there are no sails in the BWCA - no difference. As for White Wolf, he was going to have a partner here was a last minute problem and his partner had to pull out. Team BeaVer Fever is now 8 people paddling two MN 3's and one MN 2.
 
Mocha
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09/15/2019 08:01PM
Great photo, look at em all just waiting to get goin. It looks like the group of 9 isn’t too far behind first guy who is goin solo. I figured it would take 9 people more time....
 
Grandma L
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09/15/2019 08:01PM
LindenTree: "
GrandmaL, I would have loved to help with logistics, I just got back from 18 days camping out west and returned home to Detroit Lakes a couple hours ago.

Good luck to all paddlers and hoping for following seas. "

Lindy, I will keep that in mind - this year I could have used more hands and help. The next couple of days will be "power packed". With more Challengers, my job keeps growing! This is the best volunteer job I could have dreamed of having. It is almost as good as Christmas!! - Well, actually - more fun!
 
Grandma L
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09/15/2019 08:05PM
Kelso: "TomT: "It doesn’t look like Kendra is making this one. Who is on BeaV’s team this time? Does he have a new partner?"

Kendra is still paddling with BeaV! Their group is a full-capacity permit of 9 people and 4 watercraft: BeaV/Kendra, JimmyJustice/Deke, MeatPuppet/McPipes/Esteban, and Whitewolf/Ryan.

The 2019 Kruger Challengers at Sha-Sha Resort (photo by GrandmaL):
"

Actually, they are 8 people. Our mutual friend, Ryan, had to cancel at the last minute. He has his Marine Commissioning Ceremony on Friday morning and was afraid if we have rain and bad weather in the next few days, he would not make it home in time.
 
Grandma L
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09/16/2019 09:40AM
Interesting morning. Just got a call from Clewless. He and his paddle partner Hammer will be dropping out, but plan to stay in and camp for a couple of days before heading to Grand Portage for the festivities. - Magic Paddler is doing really well with a few of the other seasoned paddlers out in front.

Muddy Feet looks to be almost flying along in the new canoe he designed and built. I might just have to drive over to the Casino in Grand Portage ahead of schedule to meet him!!
 
09/16/2019 12:11PM
Wow, BeaV is taking a leisurely pace.
 
BWPaddler
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09/16/2019 12:46PM
So fun!! Thanks for the answers and the updates. I choke up just thinking about them all out there and enjoying this - what a perfect week to be doing it!

Paddle on adventurers!!
 
BWPaddler
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09/16/2019 12:47PM
mirth: "Wow, BeaV is taking a leisurely pace."
It's BeaV plus 7 in three canoes I think... I'm sure there's some physics equation about why that might not be his usual pace, lol.
 
09/16/2019 01:09PM
BWPaddler: "mirth: "Wow, BeaV is taking a leisurely pace."
It's BeaV plus 7 in three canoes I think... I'm sure there's some physics equation about why that might not be his usual pace, lol."

Yea I'm not sure I'm reading it correctly but some of the participates miles traveled and average speed don't seem right.
 
BWPaddler
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09/16/2019 01:19PM
Blatz: "BWPaddler: "mirth: "Wow, BeaV is taking a leisurely pace."
It's BeaV plus 7 in three canoes I think... I'm sure there's some physics equation about why that might not be his usual pace, lol."

Yea I'm not sure I'm reading it correctly but some of the participates miles traveled and average speed don't seem right."


I saw that too - unless the people zigged and zagged so much their mileage doubled, lol!
 
x2jmorris
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09/16/2019 01:36PM
Pretty cool that such a large group got together. I'm noticing Grandma L is a part of a lot of these :) And I was in the area for once! Someday I'll meet some of ya.
 
09/16/2019 01:37PM
BWPaddler: "Blatz: "BWPaddler: "mirth: "Wow, BeaV is taking a leisurely pace."
It's BeaV plus 7 in three canoes I think... I'm sure there's some physics equation about why that might not be his usual pace, lol."

Yea I'm not sure I'm reading it correctly but some of the participates miles traveled and average speed don't seem right."



I saw that too - unless the people zigged and zagged so much their mileage doubled, lol!"


The participant distances shown on the tracking map window are variable since some of them recorded data prior to starting the challenge. You probably already noticed, but if you select a specific challenger and "Show Tracks and All Waypoints" you can see that challenger's full route so far.
 
09/16/2019 02:23PM
Kelso: "BWPaddler: "Blatz: "BWPaddler: "mirth: "Wow, BeaV is taking a leisurely pace."
It's BeaV plus 7 in three canoes I think... I'm sure there's some physics equation about why that might not be his usual pace, lol."

Yea I'm not sure I'm reading it correctly but some of the participates miles traveled and average speed don't seem right."


I saw that too - unless the people zigged and zagged so much their mileage doubled, lol!"



The participant distances shown on the tracking map window are variable since some of them recorded data prior to starting the challenge. You probably already noticed, but if you select a specific challenger and "Show Tracks and All Waypoints" you can see that challenger's full route so far."


That works Thanks
 
09/16/2019 05:34PM
Looks like Muddyfeet is setting the pace and is on Gunflint Lake with Beav's group right behind on the Granite River. MagicPaddler is just getting into the Granite River.

Is Muddyfeet by himself? Looks like he was ready for this one!

I have a question - are gps units not allowed? Are there any other restrictions for this challenge?
 
09/16/2019 05:48PM
TomT: "Looks like Muddyfeet is setting the pace and is on Gunflint Lake with Beav's group right behind on the Granite River. MagicPaddler is just getting into the Granite River.

Is Muddyfeet by himself? Looks like he was ready for this one!

I have a question - are gps units not allowed? Are there any other restrictions for this challenge?"


Yep, Muddyfeet is solo. GPS units are allowed, but some choose not to use them. For example, BeaV and Kendra did not use a GPS during their record run in August.
 
Grandma L
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09/17/2019 08:29AM
Muddy Feet and MN Greens are paddling the shorter Canadian "Dawson Portage Route". BeaV and the crew are doing the longer US route, as are most of the teams. Magic Paddler and Pat's group started at Crane.
Several of the Challengers are having trouble with their SPOT's. They are quickly running out of battery power, not sending correctly or have quit working.
I get more direct communications and occasionally a text.
Today they will have rain and possible thunder storms about noon and then a 10-12 mph head wind. That will tough on some of those big lakes.

FYI - Water Tribe - a paddle club, organizes most of these larger events here in the BWCA and over the winter in Florida. I do the logistics for the MN event with the help of other volunteers.
Glad you are all watching. This is the largest MN Border Route Challenge since they started in 2015.
 
09/17/2019 09:22AM
A lot of fun to follow. Thanks to Grandma L and to route veterans (Kelso, etc.) for keeping us informed. I am in an office, but, like Kramer said, "In my mind I'm already gone..."
 
09/17/2019 09:57AM
GrandmaL, is Mzee's SPOT not working? No positional updates since yesterday afternoon, but I would expect him to be keeping up with Voyageur and Gulfman. Looks like the 3-person Voyageur Challenge team ALeafOnTheWind, ChiefEatsPlants, and WillPortageForOreos have pulled out at Ely (Knife Lake). Hope they are all ok and didn't run into any serious trouble.

The 3-person crew of MNGreene, BanjoRacer, and Kjohnson are overtaking Muddyfeet on Moose Lake... they've all been pushing themselves with very little sleep for 74hrs and they know that the finish line is within reach! The rain and increasing winds predicted for tonight and tomorrow won't be fun for those teams who still have big lakes to cross (MagicPaddler, WindwardMark/LeewardLauren, Chief, and Mzee/Voyageur/Gulfman).

I'm guessing that MuddyFeet and the MNGreene team will be finishing at Lake Superior tonight or in the wee hours of the morning, and BeaV's group will reach the Grand Portage stockade tomorrow late morning or early afternoon. It all depends on how much sleep these teams allow themselves tonight, and how long this good weather holds. The Pigeon River water level is above average for mid September (currently at 370 cubic ft/sec), so hopefully it won't give them trouble.
 
Mocha
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09/17/2019 11:19AM
looks like muddyfeet will get to do the pigeon river in the daylight! is this a first for these teams?
 
Mocha
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09/17/2019 03:15PM
so, does the grand portage start at ft charlotte? i thought it was accessible from the partridge falls pull out.
 
BenSki
member (33)member
 
09/17/2019 03:53PM
Mocha: "so, does the grand portage start at ft charlotte? i thought it was accessible from the partridge falls pull out."

My understanding is that it does start at Ft. Charlotte.
 
BenSki
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09/17/2019 04:06PM
Looks like Muddyfeet is determined to finish today! What an adventure!
 
09/17/2019 04:14PM
Yeah, go Muddy! 80hrs elapsed, and just a nice 8.5 mile downhill stroll from here (with a canoe on your head, but you're used to that by now)! ;)

We haven't seen an update from MNGreene's team since this morning... my guess is that their SPOT isn't working but that they're neck and neck with Muddy.
 
09/17/2019 04:27PM
For reference, MuddyFeet is well on his way to setting a new solo Kruger-Waddell Challenge record time. The current solo record is 91hrs by BeaV in 2017, but keep in mind that BeaV's purist border route (no shortcuts, starting at the far west end of Rainy Lake) was at least 35 miles longer, so we can't make a direct comparison. Both accomplishments are amazing, requiring unbelievable grit and self-motivation. MuddyFeet previously did the Kruger Challenge solo in 2017, but this time he has gone a full day faster!
 
Mocha
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09/17/2019 06:19PM
Records are meant to be challenged and it looks like he means business. What is the day everyone needs to be t grand portage?

Can someone describe the weather going on right now? The radar looks nasty.
 
09/17/2019 08:42PM
Congrats MuddyFeet! Finished in 84 hours (unofficial)!
 
Grandma L
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09/17/2019 09:38PM
Kelso: "Congrats MuddyFeet! Finished in 84 hours (unofficial)!"
Just got back to the hotel, he did a great job with his new canoe!
Officially Water Tribe time - 84 hours and 11 minutes. So proud of this creative canoe builder and special guy!
 
09/17/2019 09:52PM
Grandma L: "Kelso: "Congrats MuddyFeet! Finished in 84 hours (unofficial)!"
Just got back to the hotel, he did a great job with his new canoe!
Officially Water Tribe time - 84 hours and 11 minutes. So proud of the special paddler!"


I'm super intrigued by the homebuilt canoe! Hope we can get some details once he's gotten a well-earned rest.
 
BWPaddler
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09/18/2019 06:18AM
And pictures!! Woohoo!
 
09/18/2019 07:36AM
Congrats Muddyfeet! I can’t wait for your story.
 
Hawbakers
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09/18/2019 07:37AM
Mocha: "Records are meant to be challenged and it looks like he means business. What is the day everyone needs to be t grand portage?


Can someone describe the weather going on right now? The radar looks nasty."


I would like to know, too when the festivities are. I know Ben went up there yesterday.

Congrats to Muddyfeet!
 
09/18/2019 11:14AM
Looks like BeaV's crew finished this morning, after a grueling through-the-night hike down the Grand Portage. Well done!
 
muddyfeet
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09/18/2019 12:42PM
Thanks for the encouragement, everyone.
MNGreene, BanjoRacer, and Kjohnson came in at Midnight last night. Their Spot stopped transmitting at Mountain Lake.
BeaV, MAKK, MeatPuppett, McPipes, Esteban, Whitewolf, JimmyJustice, Deke finished this morning at daybreak.

nctry (Ben) was camped at Fort Charlotte to cheer on the challengers as they start the Grand Portage.

After last week's wet weather, and thunderstorms yesterday evening, the Grand Portage was in rough shape with slick footing and loads of mud. The challengers who crossed it last night showed their tenacity, and can today compare their blisters.

To be clear, I was the first solo paddler to complete a timed run of this route: from Sha-Sha through Kabetogama and the Dawson Portage. The best solo time for the route is 84h11m, but it is the only known solo time. So the bar is set, and I would take pleasure in seeing a gritty soul push that number lower.

My canoe was designed with this route in mind. If you're interested in amateur composites engineering, I have a build thread at this link.

Let's cheer on the remaining challengers as they test themselves, and hope for favorable weather.
 
09/18/2019 02:13PM
muddyfeet: "Thanks for the encouragement, everyone.
MNGreene, BanjoRacer, and Kjohnson came in at Midnight last night. Their Spot stopped transmitting at Mountain Lake.
BeaV, MAKK, MeatPuppett, McPipes, Esteban, Whitewolf, JimmyJustice, Deke finished this morning at daybreak.


nctry (Ben) was camped at Fort Charlotte to cheer on the challengers as they start the Grand Portage.


After last week's wet weather, and thunderstorms yesterday evening, the Grand Portage was in rough shape with slick footing and loads of mud. The challengers who crossed it last night showed their tenacity, and can today compare their blisters.


To be clear, I was the first solo paddler to complete a timed run of this route: from Sha-Sha through Kabetogama and the Dawson Portage. The best solo time for the route is 84h11m, but it is the only known solo time. So the bar is set, and I would take pleasure in seeing a gritty soul push that number lower.


My canoe was designed with this route in mind. If you're interested in amateur composites engineering, I have a build thread at this link.


Let's cheer on the remaining challengers as they test themselves, and hope for favorable weather. "



WOOOW MuddyFeet!!! That build thread is absolutely incredible!!! The Dragonfly is a real thing of beauty. So glad you finished it in time for this challenge, and that you were able to complete the route so astonishingly fast. At 25.5 lbs, it's got to be the most perfect solo canoe imaginable for this route. Hope you write a trip report that also gives a summary of your canoe build, planning, and training.
 
09/18/2019 05:00PM
Great job everybody
 
BWPaddler
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09/18/2019 07:40PM
Still hoping for some pictures! Anyone?
 
cyberia34
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09/18/2019 09:46PM
Kelso: "GrandmaL, is Mzee's SPOT not working? No positional updates since yesterday afternoon, but I would expect him to be keeping up with Voyageur and Gulfman. Looks like the 3-person Voyageur Challenge team ALeafOnTheWind, ChiefEatsPlants, and WillPortageForOreos have pulled out at Ely (Knife Lake). Hope they are all ok and didn't run into any serious trouble.

The 3-person crew of MNGreene, BanjoRacer, and Kjohnson are overtaking Muddyfeet on Moose Lake... they've all been pushing themselves with very little sleep for 74hrs and they know that the finish line is within reach! The rain and increasing winds predicted for tonight and tomorrow won't be fun for those teams who still have big lakes to cross (MagicPaddler, WindwardMark/LeewardLauren, Chief, and Mzee/Voyageur/Gulfman).

I'm guessing that MuddyFeet and the MNGreene team will be finishing at Lake Superior tonight or in the wee hours of the morning, and BeaV's group will reach the Grand Portage stockade tomorrow late morning or early afternoon. It all depends on how much sleep these teams allow themselves tonight, and how long this good weather holds. The Pigeon River water level is above average for mid September (currently at 370 cubic ft/sec), so hopefully it won't give them trouble."


Kelso, this is ALeafOnTheWind, WillPortageForOreos ended up with a combination of heat stress and exhaustion from Sunday, which resulted in her not being able to portage or paddle on Monday. After having to double portage and have two people paddle for three on Monday, we ended up having to call it quits since we weren't sure how soon she would be feeling well enough to continue participating in the challenge. The wind out of the south/southeast on Basswood Lake didn't help either. On Tuesday we made our way down to Moose Lake, through Wind Lake, and self extracted. She's doing a little better now, but is still working on getting back to fully recuperated.

Also, for those of you who were wondering, below is a picture of us at the start at Crane Lake. I didn't happen to get a picture of MagicPaddler before he got on the water.
 
x2jmorris
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09/18/2019 09:58PM
mirth: "Great job everybody"

+1
 
09/19/2019 06:08AM
Thanks for the update, ALeafOnTheWind. Glad you guys made the right call, and hoping she recovers quickly. That can be pretty serious.

Congrats to all 12 finishers so far!

This morning puts WindwardMark/LeewardLauren alongside MagicPaddler on North Fowl Lake, both teams looking ready to tackle the Fowl Portage (no small feat!), the Pigeon River, and finally the Grand.

Mzee/Voyageur/Gulfman are camped at a very pretty North Lake campsite. Mzee's SPOT is still pretty sporadic, but the latest ping indicates he's still with or near Voyageur/Gulfman.

Chief has reached the west end of Basswood Lake, but no updates since yesterday afternoon. Keep going steady, Chief!
 
Mocha
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09/19/2019 09:48AM
sure glad everyone is okay and made good decisions.

where is magic paddler? his icon seems to have disappeared.
is Chief going all the way to GP? what if he doesn't make it by saturday? will anyone wait for him?
 
WhiteWolf
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09/19/2019 09:52AM
BWPaddler: "Still hoping for some pictures! Anyone?"

Team BeaV at the finish. 94:30. The Grand Portage was extremely challenging especially after everything was wet from rain and the gnarly
Pigeon River.
 
09/19/2019 11:38AM
Mocha: "where is magic paddler? his icon seems to have disappeared"

He's on the Pigeon River, a few miles behind WindwardMark/LeewardLauren. His icon is under the MNVC2019 map so you won't see him on the same map as the Kruger Challengers.
 
straighthairedcurly
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09/19/2019 12:04PM
cyberia34: "Kelso: "GrandmaL, is Mzee's SPOT not working? No positional updates since yesterday afternoon, but I would expect him to be keeping up with Voyageur and Gulfman. Looks like the 3-person Voyageur Challenge team ALeafOnTheWind, ChiefEatsPlants, and WillPortageForOreos have pulled out at Ely (Knife Lake). Hope they are all ok and didn't run into any serious trouble.


The 3-person crew of MNGreene, BanjoRacer, and Kjohnson are overtaking Muddyfeet on Moose Lake... they've all been pushing themselves with very little sleep for 74hrs and they know that the finish line is within reach! The rain and increasing winds predicted for tonight and tomorrow won't be fun for those teams who still have big lakes to cross (MagicPaddler, WindwardMark/LeewardLauren, Chief, and Mzee/Voyageur/Gulfman).


I'm guessing that MuddyFeet and the MNGreene team will be finishing at Lake Superior tonight or in the wee hours of the morning, and BeaV's group will reach the Grand Portage stockade tomorrow late morning or early afternoon. It all depends on how much sleep these teams allow themselves tonight, and how long this good weather holds. The Pigeon River water level is above average for mid September (currently at 370 cubic ft/sec), so hopefully it won't give them trouble."



Kelso, this is ALeafOnTheWind, WillPortageForOreos ended up with a combination of heat stress and exhaustion from Sunday, which resulted in her not being able to portage or paddle on Monday. After having to double portage and have two people paddle for three on Monday, we ended up having to call it quits since we weren't sure how soon she would be feeling well enough to continue participating in the challenge. The wind out of the south/southeast on Basswood Lake didn't help either. On Tuesday we made our way down to Moose Lake, through Wind Lake, and self extracted. She's doing a little better now, but is still working on getting back to fully recuperated.


Also, for those of you who were wondering, below is a picture of us at the start at Crane Lake. I didn't happen to get a picture of MagicPaddler before he got on the water.
"


Glad everyone is okay. Sounds like a smart decision. I developed heat exhaustion training whitewater slalom in South Bend one year. It was brutal on the body and takes quite awhile to get back to normal.
 
Mocha
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09/20/2019 06:30AM
Any more updates?
 
09/20/2019 09:52AM
Mocha: "Any more updates?"

WindwardMark/LeewardLauren are finished! MagicPaddler is on his way down the Grand Portage. Voyager/Gulfman, and probably Mzee too are on the Pigeon River. Unfortunately, Chief looks like he has come out at Ely.
 
Mocha
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09/20/2019 10:14AM
what a great trip for all, esp the solo trippers who have to do everything themselves.
waiting for more photos and some stories. what is everyone doing up at GP anyway? probably watching the leaves change colors....
 
WhiteWolf
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09/20/2019 02:46PM
Mocha: "what a great trip for all, esp the solo trippers who have to do everything themselves.
waiting for more photos and some stories. what is everyone doing up at GP anyway? probably watching the leaves change colors...."


Waiting and celebrating others accomplishing their goals!! Then telling stories around some beverages at the bar or in the hot tub or around a bonfire!!!. The ceremony tomorrow night of inducting new members into the "Northman" club with Clint Waddell present is awesome!!!
 
09/20/2019 05:29PM
The word is out that MagicPaddler finished this afternoon. Congrats Magic Man!
*Photo taken a few days before the Challenge.

 
Mocha
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09/20/2019 08:10PM
Happy times! Have fun celebrating


 
09/23/2019 06:27AM
straighthairedcurly: "cyberia34: "Kelso: "GrandmaL, is Mzee's SPOT not working? No positional updates since yesterday afternoon, but I would expect him to be keeping up with Voyageur and Gulfman. Looks like the 3-person Voyageur Challenge team ALeafOnTheWind, ChiefEatsPlants, and WillPortageForOreos have pulled out at Ely (Knife Lake). Hope they are all ok and didn't run into any serious trouble.



The 3-person crew of MNGreene, BanjoRacer, and Kjohnson are overtaking Muddyfeet on Moose Lake... they've all been pushing themselves with very little sleep for 74hrs and they know that the finish line is within reach! The rain and increasing winds predicted for tonight and tomorrow won't be fun for those teams who still have big lakes to cross (MagicPaddler, WindwardMark/LeewardLauren, Chief, and Mzee/Voyageur/Gulfman).



I'm guessing that MuddyFeet and the MNGreene team will be finishing at Lake Superior tonight or in the wee hours of the morning, and BeaV's group will reach the Grand Portage stockade tomorrow late morning or early afternoon. It all depends on how much sleep these teams allow themselves tonight, and how long this good weather holds. The Pigeon River water level is above average for mid September (currently at 370 cubic ft/sec), so hopefully it won't give them trouble."




Kelso, this is ALeafOnTheWind, WillPortageForOreos ended up with a combination of heat stress and exhaustion from Sunday, which resulted in her not being able to portage or paddle on Monday. After having to double portage and have two people paddle for three on Monday, we ended up having to call it quits since we weren't sure how soon she would be feeling well enough to continue participating in the challenge. The wind out of the south/southeast on Basswood Lake didn't help either. On Tuesday we made our way down to Moose Lake, through Wind Lake, and self extracted. She's doing a little better now, but is still working on getting back to fully recuperated.



Also, for those of you who were wondering, below is a picture of us at the start at Crane Lake. I didn't happen to get a picture of MagicPaddler before he got on the water.
"



Glad everyone is okay. Sounds like a smart decision. I developed heat exhaustion training whitewater slalom in South Bend one year. It was brutal on the body and takes quite awhile to get back to normal. "




I hope that team Oreo will try again. Great group of young folks!
 
09/23/2019 06:29AM
Magic paddler getting set to go at the Crane Lake Lansing...







Had a bad battery so this was the only picture cause before we could get another camera there MP was on his way. So I decided to do my best to get him at Ft Charlotte at the start of the Grand Portage. It seemed he was running even a tad ahead of schedule and there was a chance to catch dirty... I mean muddy feet the leader and the coming folks and MP would easily slip into Ft Charlotte by Wednesday evening. I met Muddyfeet about 4:30 I think about a half hour into the trail as I was getting to Ft Charlotte. At dusk I heard “banjos” and after going to bed thinking the BeaV group was camped before the pigeon river I heard a familiar voice... hey, that’s Kendra! 10:30ish they’d arrived at the Ft. They were wet, tired and ready to be done. So all these guys are like a machine repacking and getting ready for the portage. One note was how the guys were all sober faced at best... but Kendra? Yep, big smile like I got this! Haha! Then about 11:30pm down the trail they went!
So I get up Wednesday not knowing when I might see MP. So all day I’m watching... and the cool thing is about 11 or so a guy comes in paddling a northwind solo. Had been out 11 days. He, I don’t think was looking forward to the hike down the Grand Portage. He made comments like he didn’t even like canoeing. Haha. Sounded like he got tired of everyone asking if he was part of the challenge. He said it was the hardest thing he’d ever done. Also made comments like the Voyageurs of old were crazy. There had to be a better way to make a living. Haha!
Well, that was it... no MP! I figured maybe the wind slowed him up. Thursday morning came and the latest I figured I would stay is noon. As I reached Grand Portage my brakes went out. So I figured I could limp home. About noonish on Thursday a group of three canoes were coming in. It was actually a group of two canoes (4people) and another tandem coming at the same time. Neither the tandem and one of the other groups tandem had seen MP. Now I’m worried but thinking he must have bugged out somewhere somehow... but why? I asked myself. To me there is no tougher paddler in his age bracket! Then the other canoe mentioned... oh yeah... there was a guy that like his bow partner had taken a wrong turn on the Sourh Fowl long portage. He figured he’d be behind them at the most two hours. I waited three and just had to go at three pm. Only to find had I waited just a bit I would have the pictures I’d made the whole hike for... I figured he’d gotten half way to Thunder Bay and realized his mistake. So I figured he camped and would come out Friday anyways.
So to top the whole thing off... I met him leaving Ely on 169 still northeast of Tower.
So Lawrence, I guess it wasn’t to be... haha! Nice visit with boonie, BWCAsolo, Hawbaker, and the happy huskies at the Boathouse last night. Also up at Ft Charlotte the second night I was uncomfortably congested and I have issues that could make it not good.
So congratulations to everyone... even those who didn’t finish. Everyone is a winner in my book!
 
Grandma L
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09/23/2019 03:24PM
Ben, thank for the report! I was getting worried about you and all the rest. I will post pictures as soon as I get a few more things put away and cleaned up. We are all tired and happy to be home but, are still in the "in-between" from the wonderful north woods Challenge to our families and "regular" lives.

Like Commissioner Reagan on Blue Bloods said, "Life should be a series of daring adventures launched from a secure base".
 
09/24/2019 07:59AM
It would be fun to get like a report from the different groups of their personal adventures. It sounds like all had their own challenges... I found it interesting that three different parties apart from the challenge group came in doing the similar thing. two started at Crane Lake and the other at I Falls.
 
09/24/2019 10:58AM
Another great year for the MN Border Route Challenge!!

20 of the 26 paddlers finished.

I'll post a few more pics soon of the other finishers that I have photos of.
 
09/24/2019 03:17PM
Here is the team of four, left to right, WindwardMark, LeewardLauren, PaddlinPaddi, and AdventureAndy

 
09/24/2019 03:21PM
Here is MagicPaddler at the finish

 
09/24/2019 03:24PM
Here is Mzee and Voyager, L to R, at the finish. Both were solo paddlers but they spent some time traveling together.

 
JimmyJustice
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09/25/2019 07:45AM
It was great to see challengers of old and new faces as well. Congrats to all!
 
MagicPaddler
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09/25/2019 11:17AM
I have attended IEEE Conferences around the world, never had the needs of the attendees been provided as well as Grandma_L did for the challenge participants. Grandma_L did an excellent job of organizing the before and after activities. THANK YOU Grandma_L!
 
Grandma L
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09/25/2019 02:59PM
Muddy Feet was the first to cross the grass at the Grand Portage Fort and stop at the finish line. He established the new record for the Solo Border Route Challenge via Kruger-Waddell route using the Canadian, Dawson Portage starting at Sha Sha Resort. He paddled his new Dragon Fly boat which he design and built. Muddy finished in 84 hours 11 minutes. Congratulations to a wonderful friend!!


Dragon Fly on trailer.


Muddy Feet at the Grand Portage Fort as he finished.
 
Grandma L
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09/25/2019 03:05PM
BeaV and his crew, a full "brigade" of 8 paddlers as they came across to the Fort at the finish.


Team BeaVer Fever (l-r) Kendra-MAKK, Todd-MeatPuppet, Troy-McPipes, Jeff-Whitewolf, Chad-Esteban
BeaV, Jim-Jimmy Justice, Thomas-Deke


BeaV's Crew coming across the grass at the Grand Portage Fort at the Finish
 
Grandma L
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09/25/2019 03:40PM
Then there was the team who slipped into Grand Portage almost unnoticed. MN Greene, Banjo Racer, and K.J. - I had been there to welcome Muddy Feet as he finished just after sunset and thought I could rest a while. We were trying to watch for MN Greene and crew but their SPOT was not working. In the morning I got a call from a concerned family member. ??Where are they?? I got in the car and went looking - thinking they came in, camped and we missed them. I found their canoe next to Muddy Feet's but not the paddlers. Finally, I convinced the hotel front desk staff to tell me where they were. Yup, upstairs a sleep! Sneaky, guys very sneaky. These strong paddlers also established a record for the Kruger-Waddell, Triple Team, Border Crossing using the Canadian Dawson Portage and starting at Sha Sha Resort east of International Falls. 88 hours 15 minutes
Here they are at the start -






Banjo Paddler-Kevin, K. J.-Kent and MN Greene-Doug
 
Grandma L
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09/25/2019 03:54PM
Even several of the Challengers who ran into problems during the event and had to drop out were there to greet paddlers as they finished.





Kendra and Kristy joined Clewless, Chief and The Hammer as they greeted paddlers
 
Grandma L
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09/25/2019 03:58PM
This was too good of a pic to pass up as I was posting. Magic Paddler-Lawrence, resting on the lawn at the fort. He was chatting with Muddy about boat design.


 
Grandma L
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09/25/2019 04:53PM
Long time Water Tribers who decided to come north for the Border Route Challenge. Glad to have you with us and hope to see you next year.
At the fort finishing were: Adventure Andy, Paddlin Paddi, Leeward Lauren and Windward Mark. Great folks. Glad I got the chance to meet them!





A little muddy but smiling just the same!!
 
Grandma L
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09/25/2019 04:57PM
The last Challenger to finish gave us a scare. His SPOT was not sending as he came down the 9 miles of the Grand Portage Trail. Just as we were going to go and start looking for him, someone shouted, "There are lights in the woods". There came Gulfman!
Chief greeting Gulfman at the Finish.



here is a better pic of this strong Challenger!
 
Grandma L
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09/25/2019 05:07PM
Here are a couple of additions pics of Voyager and Mzee (Russ and David). Dynamic Duo - each set a new personal best record time!!




Russ at the finish
 
Grandma L
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09/25/2019 05:10PM
We were sad to report that one team had to drop due to illness early on in the Challenge. These paddlers made an strong effort in the short time they were in the Challenge. Hope they will be back next time.


 
Grandma L
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09/25/2019 05:17PM
MagicPaddler: "I have attended IEEE Conferences around the world, never had the needs of the attendees been provided as well as Grandma_L did for the challenge participants. Grandma_L did an excellent job of organizing the before and after activities. THANK YOU Grandma_L!"
Thanks Magic,
Working with this group of paddlers is the high point of my summer. I learned a couple of things this time - bake more brownies and chocolate chip cookies, make paddlers practice and check that their SPOT works BEFORE they take off, and try to get more sleep. A big "thanks" goes to my family for supporting me, to Marcie (Mrs. Voyager-Russ) for her efforts in tracking Challengers and to Ben for traveling to Fort Charlotte to greet them on the trail. I also was reminded that paddlers are a lot of things, boring is not one of them. This is a wonderful, dynamic, and energetic group of folks. I am privileged to work with them!!
 
Grandma L
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09/25/2019 05:42PM
As I head in to make supper, I wanted to give a tip of my hat to the gentleman who started all this "Border Route Mania". Clint Waddell, Verlen Kruger's paddle partner, had an interview and trip comments published in the ACA (canoe association) newsletter, The Hut, back in 1968, where he challenged other paddlers to try the route, "Just for fun." So, here we are all these years later - having fun! Thanks Clint for giving us the inspiration.
Clint and Bev Waddell at dinner




P.S. Just in case you are wondering, Clint helped paddle the canoes on Lake Superior this past weekend as we gathered them for our shuttle. Still going strong!
 
WhiteWolf
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09/26/2019 01:06AM
Grandma L: "As I head in to make supper, I wanted to give a tip of my hat to the gentleman who started all this "Border Route Mania". Clint Waddell, Verlen Kruger's paddle partner, had an interview and trip comments published in the ACA (canoe association) newsletter, The Hut, back in 1968, where he challenged other paddlers to try the route, "Just for fun." So, here we are all these years later - having fun! Thanks Clint for giving us the inspiration.
Clint and Bev Waddell at dinner






P.S. Just in case you are wondering, Clint helped paddle the canoes on Lake Superior this past weekend as we gathered them for our shuttle. Still going strong!"


Yeah, was told to set in the middle of MNIII only to scamper to the stern and still yell out "Hut"~~!!
 
BWPaddler
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09/27/2019 12:29AM
Thank you all for the pictures and stories. What an amazing tradition!
 
09/27/2019 09:17AM
BWPaddler: "Thank you all for the pictures and stories. What an amazing tradition!"You're welcome! It is a blast participating with fellow paddlers all trying to accomplish the same thing.

Next year's dates are already set- September 12-20th, 2020.
 
09/30/2019 06:27AM
So, like I say... I headed in to Ft Charlette after calculating when Muddy Feet the front runner to Lawrence (Magic Paddler). I could just get a permit for two nights to both camp at the fort and to park on old 61. So I loaded up my CCS Pioneer pack, my pup Kira and my old F350 I've pushed over the 500,000 mile mark and off I went. Trying to keep in communication with GrandmaL I made the trek also looking for an inreach to rent to possibly communicate about progress. I even knowing they didn't have one drove to Rockwoods with the possibility of one coming in... I learned a lot here. Best thing is to see how nice Carl and staff have not only kept up but improved the lodge. It is beautiful there, I wished I could have aborted my mission and stayed. Haha!
After securing permits and getting last minute updates from Lori I headed out. Met a guy that had done the Crane Lake to Grand Portage (I forget number of days as he was not on the challenge). He was exhausted to the point that he shed his canoe and was going to come back the next day for it. And man, hiking up with just a pack just four miles was all I could do. Man... I used to just fly up something like that with no effort! About a half mile before the fort I stumble upon Muddy Feet...








I got to the fort then just as it started raining. I set up my CCS rainfly first and then the old Copper Spur. At about dusk I think I was hearing Banjos...













Well, what I understand then was BeaV's group was going to camp before the Pidgeon River and make a push out in the morning. So I ate...









Mmmmm, beef stew with a couple wild rice and cheddar brats cut up in there. Then to bed I went to get up early to catch BeaV's group... well, until about 10:30PM when I heard Kendra's laugh... They went to the other campsite and worked at repacking their stuff to comfortably portage to the end... Wet, Tired... but like a machine they repacked in an hour including having water bottles set with what they needed etc.











Then by 11:30 or so down the trail they went... Boy did I sleep well after. This is all Tuesday night yet... I'm then thinking it's going to be a long time before Lawrence, the only other paddler I expected to see who was what I understood to come to the fort by Wednesday night. About 10:30 AM Wednesday a guy appeared...







I'm thinking whoo hoo, ol' Lawrence is booking! But to my dismay it wasn't! It was a 60 yr old guy doing a bucket list thing. He figured it was 11 days he'd been out. He said he didn't even like canoeing... Then a couple hiked in for a short visit to the fort. He's like oh is that your truck with the busted windows and slashed tires? He's so funny! Haha!
I waited and waited trusting I'd see Magic Paddler would be coming. Then to bed I went praying he was ok. (Knowing of all the challengers he was as able as any of them).
So I'm thinking at worst he was camped before the last stretch of river. I figured I had to head out by noon Thursday as I was unsure of my brakes as when I parked something didn't feel right. (and I might have windows to fix and tires to patch... Haha)!
About noon I spot three canoes heading in...








Two were of the challenge and one was a couple kids from Texas that had been out a bit and was finishing their trip. One of the group informed me they had seen Lawence… and at most they figured two hours max he'd be out. I figured ok, I'll wait two more hours... Kira and I hiked up to possibly get a cool shot...







At three oclock I figured he must have stopped or something and just had to leave. Had I had communication I could have known possibly that he was about there... stay put!
But I left... Limped my truck home feeling horrible because I found out he'd gotten there probably shortly after my leaving.
Sorry if sounds like about me... but just wanted to show some pics of challengers nearing the end of a brutal challenge. It was fun to see different groups and such in action...
 
09/30/2019 11:56AM
Thanks for the pictures, Nctry! It's so rare to see any pictures of the challengers before they finish, because the last thing you have time to do is take selfies while on the clock. Too bad you missed Magic Paddler!
 
Grandma L
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09/30/2019 04:15PM
Ben, Great you were there to encourage them as they started that last and grueling portion of the trek! Maybe next year you and Lawrence can work out a plan and be "on duty" at the fort a little longer. Thanks for the pics! You can almost feel the rush as BeaV's team packs!
 
09/30/2019 04:29PM
Grandma L: "Ben, Great you were there to encourage them as they started that last and grueling portion of the trek! Maybe next year you and Lawrence can work out a plan and be "on duty" at the fort a little longer. Thanks for the pics! You can almost feel the rush as BeaV's team packs! "



They were as intense as any team can get. As they took off I heard a yelp that made me want to call 911. BeaV was like... relax, they’re sycing each other up for the last hurdle.
There wasn’t a paddler in the challenge I wasn’t impressed with. Very cool to witness!
 
JimmyJustice
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09/30/2019 08:24PM
Ben

Thank you for being at Fort Charlotte. Seeing you and Kira in person was refreshing and aided my psyche a bit realizing that being at Fort Charlotte it was not a dream...knowing that we were almost done...if 9 miles in the mud can be considered "almost".

Having paddled across the Fowl lakes and traversed the Foul Portage in the rain was a change of pace from just a bit earlier when the water on Knife was glass.



 
MagicPaddler
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10/01/2019 07:46AM
Thanks for the pictures Ben. At least we got to visit before I took off.
 
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