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Greg Petry (left) and Lucas Will (right), aka Superior Dream, kayaked over 1,200 miles in 97 days.
Greg Petry at the conclusion of the trip
UMD alumni Lucas Will and Greg Petry accomplished a shared goal: to see the entire Lake Superior shoreline from a kayak. They chose to follow "Leave No Trace" principles to give back to “the body of water that helped to shape our lives.” They completed their kayaking journey around Lake Superior in 97 days with over 80 hours of camera footage and numerous blog posts. They paddled clockwise, starting and ending in Duluth, covering over 1,200 miles.
Will and Petry both graduated from UMD in 2006 with a B.A.S. in Recreation and Outdoor Education. Since graduation, the two have worked together as instructors and guides in the Outdoor Recreation field. They have traveled and worked throughout Western United States and even worked as sea kayak guides in South Central Alaska.
Their passion for the outdoors bonded a friendship and they started a kayaking team called Superior Dream in 2005, both armed with the same desire to kayak around Lake Superior.
According to Superior Dream’s website, “In 2005, as undergrads at UMD, we both talked about a paddling trip that would allow us to see the whole shoreline of Lake Superior and experience the communities and wilderness that surround it,” the duo said. “It is our Superior Dream.”
To accomplish this dream, the duo planned the route and schedule for the expedition. They also hand-built custom Greenland Skin on Frame kayaks and tested them five days before the expedition. The Superior Dream expedition had many sponsors across North America, including Minnesota companies Lake Superior Brewing Company, Olympic Granola, and Evergreen Press.
The expedition started on June 26 when the duo departed from Park Point. However, it soon came to a crashing halt when an emergency landing became necessary when their homemade kayaks began taking too much water after passing under the aerial lift bridge.
After waiting four days and buying new plastic sea kayaks, the Dream began their expedition by kayaking up the North Shore. The duo kayaked through Canada from late June to early August and traveled back into the United States at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, in late August. After over three months of paddling, they ended up making a round trip when they landed back in Park Point on October 3 to a crowd of supporters.
Will and Petry filmed the journey to show the changing seasons and the various communities around the Shore. The footage has been given to their Minneapolis-based film editors for production of an adventure documentary. The goal of this video is to showcase the beauty and importance of Lake Superior. It is expected to be complete within a year.
Written by Mandee Kuglin
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