Tuesday, March 12, 2013


This past weekend we had the opportunity to road trip through Wisconsin. Thanks to our sponsor MTI Adventurewear, we were invited to present our story at the world's largest canoe and kayak expo, Canoecopia, in Madison, WI. This was a wonderful opportunity for us to share our story, visit with some dear friends, and rub elbows with some new friends.

Our first stop was in Kenosha, WI. Remember when we lost our rudder to Lake Michigan on only day 9? Well it was on day 12 that we met our good friend Scott. He kindly lent us his rudder from his little boat, Puck! Having built a replacement, we were able to return his lucky rudder and catch up.
Lucky rudder #4 to the left of Scott's rudder.
We spent Thursday night with our friend Katherine in Milwaukee!  It's always great to see your old high school friends!  That night she took us to Comet, a famous diner that serves all you can eat bacon on Sundays. Now that's a good reason to come back for a weekend!  Thanks Kathy!

The next morning we visited our friend Kevin's art exhibit at Marquette University's Haggerty Museum of Art.  His Perimeter Project featured many portraits of people who all have a deep connection with Lake Michigan.  We were excited to finally see it in person!

Can you find us?!

There we are!
And there's our friend Loreen!  She completed a Great Lakes trek this past summer.
Don't forget the opposite wall!

It featured a daily photo of the water front.  Kevin took these while driving the perimeter of the lake.  He spent two weeks photographing Lake Michigan's community of people and its landscape.
We even made it in the handout!
Onward to Canoecopia!

We had to stop to see the capital building too!

We finally got to meet our life jacket sponsor!  Here we are hanging out at the MTI booth with the lovely Lili!  Lili and her husband, Gordon, were incredibly kind and supportive of our trip.  We are so happy to be associated with such a wonderful company with such wonderful people!

We got to our presentation room nice and early to prep our video.  Here's Mary practicing her expressive hand gestures.  Our talk Friday night went very well.  It was a great test run for Saturday, which we heard would be a bit busier.

We able to catch our friend Stephen Brede's presentation on his journey around Lake Michigan in his one-man Kruger Canoe.  He has also circumnavigated Erie and Huron.  He plans to do Ontario this summer, continuing his quest to loop every Great Lake.
Giant pizza with the fam at the hotel Friday night!
Day 2 at Canoecopia.
Our friend, Jon, came to visit this weekend too! We had met him early in our trip, so it was great to see him again, catch up, and plan some future Everglades escapades.
We made some new friends as well!  Darlene Patterson has done some really cool solo paddling trips.  We caught her talk on paddling in Quetico and heard about her upcoming plans to photograph Baffin Island in the Arctic. What a cool, spunky lady.
Ran into some pals from the Northwest Indiana Paddling Association! Happy to see you again Rodney and Alisha!
Yeah! Live music at the MTI booth!
Oh how we wish these were ours.  Mary would have the blue one on top, Amy the turquoise on bottom.
Here we are getting ready for our Saturday talk! Please note our consistent matching in each photo throughout the weekend.
Much busier than Friday!
Helloooooo Madison!

Over 400 people packed into our room to hear us speak!  So happy we made our slideshow extra special for the event by including an exclusive video not yet seen by the public! Don't worry, we'll post it soon!
That night we went out for dinner with our friends Lili, Gordon, Cat, and Jim.  What great company!
Later, we were able to hear some great live music at the High Noon Saloon where many of the Canoecopia exhibitors and presenters were gettin' down.
We also got to visit Madison's famous Essen Haus and ordered a boot.
Das boot war sehr gut!
A night time stroll by the capital building.
We also got to visit with our friend Jason at his booth.  We had met him and his friend Sergio while paddling past Racine on day 14 of our journey.
Here's our friend, Andrew, from Bending Branches.  He's responsible for getting us a good discount on our paddles.  He said the first paragraph of our sponsorship e-mail was what got his attention, but the second paragraph really sealed the deal. Good job Amy!
On the third day of Canoecopia we got to hear Jon Turk talk about his circumnavigation of Ellesmere Island. What a cool dude.  And a BA.
Also caught a talk by the great story teller, Kenny Salway, 'The Last River Rat'. He was a seriously phenomenal storyteller. While everyone else hurried to set up their computers and projectors during the 10min turn arounds between presentations, Kenny simply grabbed a chair and sat down center stage in front of his audience. What a guy.

And that's a rap on the weekend. What a fantastic time. See you next year, Canoecopia? We hope so!

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