The Final Countdown

The past week has been a busy one! On Tuesday, we went to Cathedral and packed all of our food. It is a tradition in Voyageurs that crews dress up in costumes on Food Packing day. This year, our crew decided to dress up as packed food and it was a hit! Ryan Strack even voted us "Best Dressed" for the day! (Well, he put us on the Facebook page, so that's pretty much the same thing, right?) 

Because this wasn't our first food packing day, the girls were super efficient and we were finished packing 40 days worth of food before lunch time! We enjoyed Jimmy John's sandwiches courtesy of the Buchholz family (Thank you!) before heading back inside to help the first year crews finish up their food packing. There really is nothing quite like sucking all the air out of various food items (especially when you accidentally inhale a powdered food).

Then, we had another early morning on Wednesday- Beef Jerky Day. We decided to get there before the other crews so that we could get a head start since we had more jerky to make. We kicked off our Wednesday with raw meat on our hands at 6:30 am sharp. We powered through and were finished at 9:30 am. 

We took care of a bunch of miscellaneous tasks around base camp and got things squared away on Friday. 

Then, on Saturday, we woke up early and started our van trip up to the St. Louis River in Scanlon, MN. We paddled through some big whitewater (much bigger than the Sauk River has to offer...) The girls were AWESOME! Everyone gained perspective on how big rivers flow and also gained confidence in their paddling abilities. 

This week we've got some things coming up: equipment shakedown, packing, and the family BBQ. Then it's the last supper and we're off and running toward a summer of adventure! 

5 more days!

Missing in Action

Hi everyone!

Sorry this blog has been lacking lately… I can assure you that the trip preparations have not! The girls and I have been spending quite a bit of time paddling the Sauk River, acclimating ourselves with technical whitewater skills. The girls have been perfecting their river reading skills and getting comfortable with eddy turns.

The girls have been hard at work dehydrating all of the fruits and vegetables for our trip. The Eickhoffs have been phenomenal hosts (Thank you!!) We also got together and checked on our equipment to make sure it’s good to go for the summer. We put together the PakBoats that we will be using (there are pictures in the photo album if you’re interested!)

It’s been difficult to try and wrangle everyone together at the same time… balancing work schedules (mine and theirs!) has proven to be challenging. However, school is out for the summer and we’re in full swing!

As I’m typing this blog post, we’ve got about 100 lbs of various meats cooking and 20 batches of Hudson Bay Bread in the oven. This is going to be a very busy week for us- Baking day today, food packing on Tuesday, beef jerky on Wednesday, and paddling in Duluth this weekend…We’re well on our way to being prepared for an AMAZING trip this summer.

Only 14 more days! Hanbury-Thelon, here we come!

(Keep the Family BBQ on your calendar- June 14, 5:30 at Base Camp!)


Heading North!

After many options and ideas, we've finally decided on a route for our Far North Expedition this summer! We have decided on the Hanbury-Thelon route, and are SO excited about it! We will drive from St. Cloud to Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, take a float plane to Artillery Lake, paddle the Hanbury-Thelon Rivers, ending at Baker Lake, Nunavut. From Baker Lake, we will take a commercial flight to Winnipeg, Manitoba and drive back to St. Cloud. 

It is going to be quite the adventure! We've met twice already and... though it doesn't feel like it because of all of the snow we continue to accumulate... summer will be here before we know it! We will begin our preparations in full swing when the girls start coming back to St. Cloud in early May. Our focus will be heavily on whitewater paddling, as the girls already know how to do much of the other stuff. 

As spring gets closer, look for an email about the parent meeting. There are a few events up on the calendar already and I will continue to add as we get schedules figured out! 

Cheers to another summer filled with adventure! Looking forward to sharing it with you!

-Mary Spethmann