People have been paddling canoes through what is now Minnesota for at least a thousand years. The country of the north is particularly well-suited for canoe travel not just because of all the water, but also because canoes are relatively easy to carry from lake to lake on one’s shoulders.
Last fall, a California man, his wife, and a friend undertook an ambitious Boundary Waters expedition on a popular new watercraft, the stand-up paddleboard. Despite being able to carry much less cargo and being more difficult to portage, the group seems to enjoy the trip and appreciate the beauty and solitude of the wilderness.
Ryan Salm’s group embarked on a 10-day trip, paddling 160 miles, portaging for 22 miles, and visiting 51 bodies of water. They carried all their food and gear on their paddleboards.
Harkening back to the region’s traditional transport, Salm’s narration includes popular quotes from voyageurs and Sigurd Olson, champions of canoe country. The trip was a nominee for SUP Magazine‘s annual Top Expedition award.