Stephen ready to embark from a beach at Tettegouche State Park.


“My previous four trips have been wonderful, but I’m especially excited about this one. People for years have been asking me, ‘When are you going to do the Big One?’ Well, here I go.”


And go we did. Stephen and I drove 10 hours to the rugged coast 50 miles north of Duluth, Minnesota. We spent a day sightseeing around Silver Bay, which included an unplanned return trip to Duluth to pick up a replacement for the VHF weather radio that had made it around four great lakes, but gave up the ghost just before the launch into Lake Superior.




The breakdown: 138 pounds of gear, 65 pounds of boat, 50 pounds of food, 20 pounds of water, and the engine, 145 pounds of paddler.



Rocky Taconite and Ruth


Silver Bay is a town built by a mining company and is the self proclaimed taconite capital of the world. They have a mascot; imagine our surprise at meeting Rocky Taconite a block away from our hotel. The giant processing plant on the lake shore rumbled night and day through our window. There, the iron containing rock of the Mesabi Range, delivered by train, is pulverized, heated and formed into small pellets of iron ore that are shipped to steel mills by great lake freighters. The Edmund Fitzgerald specialized in taconite shipping and was carrying a full load from the iron ranges of Minnesota in November, 1975.



Moon and fireworks over the Mariner Hotel on the 4th of July.


The wind was up and the water rough, preventing his planned weekend departure, and I had to return to Petoskey. As we were saying a reluctant goodbye on Sunday, we saw our first monarch butterfly of the year. Monarchs were Verlen Kruger’s talisman, and as he was the canoeist who designed and built Stephen’s boat, this was clearly a good omen. On Monday, July 7, Stephen launched Seaweed into Lake Superior and began to head south to Duluth. From there he will make his way across northern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to the mouth of the St. Mary’s River near Sault Ste. Marie, roughly half the distance around this largest lake in the world. He hopes to complete his paddle around Superior in the summer of 2015.






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8 Responses to “Stephen sets out on Lake Superior”

  1. Karen Clark Says:

    I am enjoying following you again this year in your paddling. Please be safe and we hope to see you along the way if possible. Keeping Perry appraised when you stray too far from shore! You know that makes Babette and I nervous. 🙂

  2. Sarah Marley Says:

    Safe travels bro. I will be thinking about you every day. You are awesome and I so admire your strength and sense of adventure. Peg and lex are riding yoyr wake. I love you.

  3. Pamela Minden Says:

    Bon voyage Stephen’

    Can’t wait to hear about all the discoveries you’ll make on this trip.
    May your every day be filled with joy.
    I love you,

  4. Nancy Kowaleski Says:

    Hey Steve I have to reiterate my message from last year..I am so happy for you that you are back in the saddle riding those taunting Lake Superior swells, but I am soooo jealous..I want to be out there paddling with you. Sorry I missed the farewell breakfast and you missed getting your Birthday present, buy I probably just would have cried anyway;-( I’m hoping I have earned back your trust and I will be able to paddle with you somewhere on this leg of your journey. For now I’m just going to staulk you on spot and dream about where you ate and his you are feeling riding those can be so exhilarating!! Be safe brave Voyager.. see you soon..

  5. Dave Paterson Says:

    We all are so excited here! Such a big lake, and so untamed…… Love from all of us.

  6. Seamus Norgaard Says:

    Thinking of you brother, on the wild waves! Glad to hear of the magic talisman monarch, showing itself to you just before you set off. Reports are that the monarch butterflies are having an important comeback this year, after 3 previous years of low numbers. I echo others . . . be safe brave voyager! Seamus ∞

  7. Dave Paterson Says:

    So Stephen, what is Cornucopia, MI like?

  8. Dave Paterson Says:

    How has the weather been?

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