Monday, April 11, 2011

Frequently Asked Questions

Seriously sporting our brand new Kokatat PFDs!

We had a pretty tame weekend. On Friday night, we met with Scott Miller who paddled the Canoeing with the Cree route in 2005 to talk about maps and take notes about specific logistics. Then yesterday we worked on making our spray skirt with the help of Wendy Galbraith! There will be more on that process in the coming weeks.

We've been getting a lot of similar questions lately, so we thought we'd write a blog entry that answers a few of them.

Why is it important for us to be the first women to paddle from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay?

            It’s easy to believe that men and women are equals in the United States because of regulations like the nineteenth amendment and Title IX. Women have been legally integrated into society; however, women are still fighting to be paid equally and to escape historic social pressures. It’s important to remember that a gender gap does exist and that we have a duty to humanity to continue to work at decreasing this gap.
            Canoeing with the Cree was written in 1930 by Eric Sevareid who became an influential journalist that has inspired countless citizens to challenge and explore our world. His route from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay has been repeated and repeated again by men because it is an amazing coming of age journey. Being the first women to paddle a historic route, we hope to show that wilderness expeditions are accessible to anyone. 
We were shocked that two women had not replicated this trip. Women have climbed every mountain and crossed every ocean. Women should paddle every river too! By replicating a historically male dominated adventure, we will increase gender equality. Our hope is that women will be able to see equality and claim it with strengthened conviction after the completion of this trip.

How are we training for the trip?

Natalie in the stern!
Natalie and I are both very active with ultimate practice and climbing at the rock wall on campus, but we've also added a weight lifting regimen to our workouts for our upper body and core. 
We have been practicing paddling upstream on the Cannon River. We protage our new Langford canoe about a half mile to downtown Northfield and paddle upstream toward Dundas. We've been working on efficient positioning in the river and forward/backward ferrying. 

How long do you think it will take?

We are starting on June 2nd and expecting to be done before September 10th. Following is our trip itinerary:
6/2 - 6/28 upstream on the Minnesota River
6/29 - 7/4 Break for Natalie's sister's wedding!
7/5 - 7/27 the Red River of the North
7/28 - 8/11 Lake Winnipeg
8/12 - 9/10 Hayes River
*Layover days are also built into the schedule. For example, we are giving ourselves an extra eight days on the Hayes just in case we are wind bound on Lake Winnipeg.

Will you be blogging while you are on trail?

No. But, we will update the blog whenever we stop in a town where internet is readily available which will probably happen often. We will be calling into WTIP a few times as well.

What is your trip budget like?

1800$ for the plane from York Factory to Gillam
300$ for the train from Gillam to Winnipeg
200$ for the homemade spray skirt

Are you bringing all your food or getting food drops?
We are getting three food drops: Breckenridge, MN, Winnipeg and Norway House.

We hope this answers some of your questions! If you have any more, please feel free to send us an email at

Also, check out our latest article in the Cook County Paper.

We are off to paddle upstream on the Cannon today with Shane from the Northfield Newspaper. It's gonna be great!

Enjoy the day,
Natalie and Ann


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