In the summer of 2001, my grandparents introduced me to their friend Tim Heinle. Tim is undoubtedly one of the most badass men who I have ever known. In the 1960s, he paddled through Canada to the Arctic Ocean with a crew of friends, a rifle or two, and some fishing equipment for the sake of exploration and adventure. Tim went on to inspire others to live adventurously by acting as the director of a wilderness tripping camp called Camp Kooch-i-Ching for many years. Camp Kooch and it’s sister camp Ogichi Daa Kwe are based in northern Minnesota on Rainy Lake, near the border of Ontario, Canada. Tim took the time to give me a tour of camp that summer and convinced me to attend the following year. The opportunity that Tim presented to me on that day led to 10 consecutive summers spent at Camp Kooch, both as a camper and as a staff member.
Since Tim’s trip to the Arctic, several other Koochiching-affiliated groups have taken, or are taking, expeditions to the Arctic via canoe.
In just two days, 6 of my friends will depart for their expedition to paddle through 3 Canadian provinces and traverse about 800 miles via a new route to the Arctic Ocean. They are partially funded by a grant from National Geographic and will even be contributing to some research being done at University of Alaska. Check out their website: http://www.3provincecanoe.com.
I am super stoked for these guys and look forward to hearing some amazing stories and seeing some great photos, especially from the talented Ben Woods. So, good luck to the brave members of the Tri-Province Arctic Canoe Expedition. Cheers!