Archive for September, 2009

Full Circle

Author: Ruth

Early on September 19, 2009, Stephen, accompanied by eight fearless friends, paddled to the south end of the Mackinac Bridge. Returning to the spot where this extraordinary journey began 90 days ago completes his circumnavigation by canoe of Lake Huron.

MackSunset

Mackinac Bridge at sunset from the upper peninsula looking south.

More friends were waiting with champagne, cameras, high spirits, to congratulate him when he pulled his canoe onto the beach.

R to L Perry, Carolyn, Babette, Ron, John, Anabel, David, David, Wayne, Brian, Stephen, Zach, Ruth, Cindy, Matt, Steve, Nancy

(L-R) Perry, Carolyn, Babette, Ron, John, Anabel, David, David, Wayne, Brian, Stephen, Zach, Ruth, Cindy, Matt, Steve, Nancy

Stephen is ten miles north of St. Ignace tonight and will land at the state park there tomorrow. He’s almost home and I’m excited all the time now! The journey seemed endless and now is not, like so many other things…

The plan, subject like all outdoor plans to the weather, is for a small group of hardy paddlers to meet Stephen Saturday morning about 8:30 AM and paddle the Straits of Mackinac to the southern end of the Mighty Mac where Stephen began his trip thirteen weeks and over eight hundred miles ago. Later, the celebration will continue at our house, with our friends.

Expect another selection of photos in the next week from the last leg of the trip.

Paddles

Westward Home

Author: Ruth
SIMC

Strawberry Island Lighthouse/Men's Club, north of Manitoulin Island.

Stephen landed on the eastern upper peninsula of Michigan this afternoon and is camping on a peninsula at Detour State Park.  The stretch from Tobermory, traversing the east and north shores of Manitoulin Island, then the south shore of Drummond Island, has been the most remote and beautiful part of the trip yet. On Cockburn Island, before crossing east to Drummond Island and the U.S. on September 10th, he met the caretaker, (the only year round resident), whose hospitality included lodging, beer and a tour of the ghost ridden island. I joined him for a quick and lovely visit on Drummond Island where we had an interesting encounter with Homeland Security.

Border Inspection

U.S. Customs

Stephen is hoping to paddle the Straits of Mackinac on Saturday, September 19. I know there are a few of you who want to accompany him on the home stretch. When he reaches the south end of the Mackinac Bridge, that will complete his circumnavigation of Lake Huron! For those of you who would like to welcome Stephen home, I can be reached at 231.633.3356 for updates as the week unfolds.

Labor Day

Author: Ruth

Stephen is cruising along the top of Manitoulin Island, the world’s largest freshwater island. No phone signal tonight, but yesterday when we talked, (as we try to do every day,) he mentioned two unique experiences. First, using the power of the paddle, he overtook a sailboat using wind power, (OK, there wasn’t much wind.)  Second, he was stopped by the RCMP/Canadian Coast Guard. As it happens, one of the officers was a canoe racer and was more curious about the Seawind than concerned about any wrongdoing. Stephen is enjoying this part of Lake Huron immensely and suggests that we return together to explore Manitoulin at more leisure. Since Tobermory, he is camping with a Henessey Hammock instead of the Moss tent. The early reports on the Hennessey are of great comfort, as long as the chosen trees are of a thickness that will not gradually bend as you sleep and slowly lower one to the ground! But the islands have been rocky and not level, so the hammock has been a good choice.

I have a large number of photos ready to post and will post them tomorrow night. Check the “photo” tab on the home page.

Here’s one….

Firelight