Paul's Boots

Hey Everyone,

As some of you may have heard, we will be carrying a little bit of extra cargo on our trip.  Here is a blog post from Ben Yelle describing the story behind Paul's Boots, and why we are so excited to have the opportunity to add our own chapter:

Recently, our crew has acquired a pair of size thirteen hiking boots. However, these are no ordinary pair of old hiking boots, they are Paul's Boots. Paul was an avid outdoorsman and hiker from Ipswich, Queensland, Australia and had always dreamed of hiking the Appalachian Trail, hoping to one day complete it. Sadly enough, he passed away when he was 53, before he was able to pursue this dream. After he passed, his wife, M'Lynn, wanted him to somehow still be able to complete his goal. Unable to do this herself, she reached out for help. She contacted The Dirtbag Diaries, a podcast that focuses on outdoor adventures. M'Lynn sent them three pairs of Paul's Boots and they agreed to connect them with hikers who would be willing to wear or carry them on the trail. There was an overwhelming response, with over 400 people volunteering to carry the boots along the trail. It took only seven months for all three pairs to travel the entire 2,190 miles of the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. After this task was completed, nobody knew what to do with the boots; The Dirtbag Diaries published an episode asking what should happen to the boots next. After hearing this I jumped at the opportunity to see if the boots could come with us on our trip. I contacted the Dirtbag Diaries, and after a few emails were exchanged, Paul's Boots were delivered to my house. The boots have become a symbol far more powerful than any one person. With them, there is a lesson to follow your dreams when you can because you never know what your last adventure might be, and that big dreams can only be accomplished with the help of others. I look forward to this amazing trip of a lifetime and being able to take Paul's size thirteens with us on another great adventure. Welcome to the crew Paul. 



Dirtbag Diaries podcast Paul's Boots


Link to Boots movie


Dirtbag Diaries podcast what's next?



Hello, and welcome to the P. Spethmann Far North blog!

For those of you who don't know me, my name is Peter Spethmann, and I will be guiding one of the Coppermine River trips this summer. Here's a little bit of information about myself:

I graduated from Cathedral High School in 2013. I currently study engineering at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, and will be graduating in early May. I went on my first trip with Les Voyageurs in 2011. I have also paddled the Coppermine once before, as a participant in 2013. Since then, I have guided first-year trips twice, in 2014 and 2015. Last year, I took a hiatus from guiding for a full-time internship. I have to say I'm very excited to be back this summer for one last hoorah!

We have a very exciting adventure ahead of us. The crew is in for a challenge that will provide them with lessons and stories for a lifetime. Not to mention that the landscape through which we will be traveling is one of the most beautiful that I have ever experienced.

An adventure of this epic of proportions requires a lot of planning. We are already underway with preparations such as equipment checks, dehydrating food, and route planning. We also will be spending a lot of time in the local rivers sharpening our whitewater paddling and safety skills. It is going to be a very busy spring, so stay tuned for progress reports and pictures!