Chaska Herald

Paddling back to routine

Author(s): Chuck Friedbauer    Date: July 3, 2008 Section: News

Fresh off their 2000-mile canoe trip to Hudson Bay, Sean Bloomfield and Colton Witte are back
home, transitioning to their regular life in Chaska. "Chores don't really bother me now, even
though I know I whined about them before," said Witte. "Our dishwasher has been broken for a
month, but there are a lot worse things than doing dishes by hand."

"It's funny, because we didn't wash dishes during our trip or even worry about dirty plates or
silverware," said Bloomfield. "Our time on the water made us think about what really matters."

Both said they know the trip has changed them. "I don't take hot meals, a warm bed or family
and friends for granted now," said Witte.

"I definitely will try to take less for granted," said Bloomfield. "Just being around my family
makes me smile now."

The transition back to their normal routines is still progressing, starting with their diet. "We got
back to Norway House on the north side of Lake Winnipeg and started eating," said Bloomfield.
"We had two breakfasts, a few candy bars and shared a gallon of chocolate vanilla marble ice

Witte said he may have rushed it a bit. "I had a big plate of hot wings at dinner and threw up
after," he said.

On the river, the duo typically went to bed late and woke as early as possible. "I'm still waking
up early, but am able to sleep in a little bit more every day," said Bloomfield.

Having family and friends around helps them get back in the swing. "The home cooked meals
and nights with friends are great," said Bloomfield.

One unforeseen portion of their transition is the publicity their expedition has created. Radio
and television interviews and public appearances have been constant since their return and a
bit overwhelming, they said. "Except for the publicity, right now the trip doesn't feel much
different than our (Boundary Waters) trip, even though it was longer and had more hardships,"
said Bloomfield They have found time to reminisce about their trip, of course. "I miss waking up
to the sunrise or paddling into the sunset the most," said Witte. Bloomfield agreed. "The sun
setting over the water of Lake Winnipeg was phenomenal," said Bloomfield.

There were some moments they could do without as well. "I definitely don't miss the cold and
wetness of the last portion of the trip when the weather was constantly misty, foggy or raining,"
said Bloomfield.

"I didn't like being away from my girlfriend," said Witte. "And getting sick on the first night of
trip was bad; I think I threw up more in this trip than I have my entire life."

Summer time

So the pair now plans to spend what's left of their summer just like other high school
graduates. "My parents are hounding me to get a job," said Witte. "I probably will because I
need gas money and save for college."

Both will attend Minnesota State in Mankato this fall. "I was little unsure about what I would go
to school for, but now that the trip is done, I know I want to have an impact on others," said
Bloomfield. "I'm going to become a teacher and writer."

Witte is thinking of pre-med or law as he focuses on pathology or a rights lawyer. "I had a lot of
time to think while we paddled and I know I want to make a profound impact on the world," he

The two might also have another adventure in store. According to their Web site, the pair plans
to compete in a 1,000-mile race next summer from Canada to Alaska, or possibly a trip down the
Mississippi River.

                        Moose antlers found on the river bank.

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