|June 29, 2008-Chaska, Minnesota
Everyone is getting back to normal. The "Welcome Home" sponsered by The Minnesota Center for
Environmental Advocacy and REI on Thursday, June 26 was a huge success. There were about 350
people there. The program was great! Thank you to everyone who attended. Colton & Sean
announced their next journey. They plan compete in a 1000 mile race next summer from Canada to
Alaska. As a second choice they're considering a voyage down the Mississippi River. We'll update
the website as the plans solidify.
June 19, 2008-Chaska, Minnesota
Colton & Sean arrived back in Chaska at about 9:30PM last night. The were welcomed by a crowd of
family and friends and Kare11 News. The car pulled up and they immediately ran to their girlfriends?
Yes, that's right they did eventually get to their parents, but the girlfriends came first. Today they did
a live in studio interview with Kare 11 at 4:00PM and a taped interview with WCCO that aired at 6:
00PM. They have a couple more tomorrow and then more on the weekend. They have spent their
time visiting and eating. I think they're happy to be home. Don't forget the welcome home
celebration. See the link on the "home page".
June 18, 2008-Winnipeg to Minneapolis
Today is the day they should arrive back in Chaska. The bus to Winnipeg worked out well. The canoe
was shipped on a truck and the truck broke down somewhere along the road. The truck driver spent
a few hours working on it and was able to finish the trip to Winnipeg. The canoe arrived in Winnipeg
early afternoon. Colton and Sean are currently in route from Winnipeg to Minneapolis and should be
here in the next few hours. They did a radio call in interview with Don Shelby from WCCO at 4:20PM.
We would have let people know, but they didn't tell us either. Kare11 is trying to do an interview
tonight if they make it by the 10:00PM newscast. Be sure to watch Kare11 at 10:00PM.
June 17, 2008-Travel from Gillam to Winnipeg, Manitoba
They left Gillam on a bus at 7:30AM this morning and are scheduled to arrive in Winnipeg at about
8:00 this evening. They just couldn't wait for the train on Friday. If you've followed their trip, you
know, they're not ones to wait around. We haven't heard from them yet and they don't have cell
phone reception, so hope all is well. They shipped the canoe and it should arrive in Winnipeg
tomorrow morning. They should be home tomorrow night. As soon as we have photos from the boys,
we'll add them to the site. Keep checking the "Home Page" too as many articles are being added.
Hope to see everyone at the "Welcome Home" on June 26th!
June 16, 2008-Gillam, Manitoba
They're in Gillam. They started sending locater beacons at 8:00AM this morning and sent them every
15 minutes until the plane arrived. I think they thought they had been deserted in York Factory. They
had no way of knowing that it was poor weather preventing the plane from landing the night before.
But, the skies were clear and sunny this morning, so the pilot arrived at York Factory at about 10:
00AM. When Colton & Sean arrived at York Factory, it was completely deserted as they expected. The
guys they met on Saturday on the river were a couple of military captains training five Cree to be
Rangers for the Park Service. They told the boys there was a shack at York Factory that was open
and they could use it for shelter. So, upon arrival in York Factory, they made themselves at home in
the shelter. When they heard the plane, they went outside and waved their arms to signal the pilot.
He saw them, landed and told them they had 10 minutes to prepare to leave. They said they threw
their stuff in bags and jumped in the plane. Evidently the tide was changing and they were on the
verge of quickly becoming wind bound. So, after they loaded the plane they took off immediately.
They arrived in Gillam around 11:00AM and went directly to a restaurant, ordered food, then they
called their families. They said they are still in shock and amazed that they have completed the trip.
They said it feels really good to be warm and dry. They said this is the first sunny day they've seen in
ten days and it's rained and been 35 degrees for the past week. They saw black bears, moose and
deer, but no polar bears. They had some close calls in the rapids and swamped their canoe a couple
of times. They narrowly missed completely crashing their canoe on the rocks a few times. I asked
how their food supply held up and when they realized they were traveling faster than they had
planned they ate double rations. Then when they arrived in York Factory and realized they could be
there a few days, they became a little concerned, but it turned out not to be a problem. They should
be back in the Minnesota within the next couple of days. Once again, thanks to everyone for their
kindness, generosity and support throughout the journey. You can be sure you will hear of them
again! Watch the website for pictures within the next few days.
For more details, go to: Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy
To see where they are tonight go to:
June 15, 2008-York Factory 2:00PM
They've reached York Factory! They sent us a locater beacon at about 2:00PM. They've finally
reached York Factory! Total 49 days-Including sick days, layover days and bad weather days. We then
immediately called the pilot and our excitement has to be put on hold. Due to the weather he can't fly
again today. If the weather is better tomorrow, he'll set out to pick them up. The forecast is for clear
skies. Let's hope they're right.
Keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
To see where they are go to:
June 14, 2008-Gods River 2:45PM
We received a locater beacon at 2:45PM today. They are at the confluence of the Hayes and Gods
Rivers. It's about 6-8 hours from this location to York Factory. They had decided early in the planning
that they wouldn't leave from here later than noon on any given day because they don't want to
arrive in York Factory after dark. We have been able to arrange for a float plane out of York Factory,
but the plane cannot pick them up after dark or in inclement weather. They also are advised not to
camp anywhere between the Gods River and York Factory due to the polar bears. The polar bears
generally do not travel farther than 50 miles from the bay. We were instructed to alert the pilot and
put him on stand by when they arrived at this point. We called the pilot and he told us even if the
boys were in York Factory, he couldn't fly today due to the rain and snow. He's hoping the weather
clears for tomorrow. Colton & Sean ran into a couple of guys on the river. (Yes, hard to believe.)
They happened to have a satellite telephone and Sean left a phone message saying that they are
staying near the Gods River tonight and hopefully will set out tomorrow for York Factory. He didn't
leave any details about what these other guys were doing or where they were going, just that they
had met on the river. We'll have to ask about them when we talk to the boys. The weather today was
rain mixed with snow this morning, then rain this afternoon with a high of 38 degrees. The forecast
for tomorrow is rain in the morning and ending in the afternoon with a high of 42 degrees. Thanks for
the generous contributions from Chanhassen and Washington State. Thanks also to the publisher
Holton House Audio for the books on tape copies of Canoeing with the Cree. Keep them in your
thoughts and prayers.
To see their location go to:
June 13, 2008-Fox River Area
We just received a locater beacon and from what I can tell, they're a little beyond the confluence of
the Fox and Hayes River. They have finished the portages and rapids today and have moved into the
fast water. The current picks up considerably after the Fox and Gods Rivers. The river then widens
to as much as a half mile across at some points. They're now within about 75 miles of York Factory
and Hudson Bay. I checked the weather in York Factory and currently it's rain mixed with snow. The
forecast for tomorrow morning is snow and the high for the day is about 37 degrees and rain. Isn't it
To see their location go to:
National Geographic Map Link
June 12, 2008-Whitemud Falls/Whitefish Lake Area-9:50PM
We just received a locater beacon from them. It's very hard to tell from the map where exactly they
are, but from what I can see they're just ahead of the Whitemud Falls. This means tomorrow is
another portage day to get around the falls, but based on their location last night, they traveled quite
a distance today. I'm trying to find the weather in the area. Gillam which is the closest inland town is
currently 50 degrees and rain. York Factory on Hudson Bay about 40 degrees and rain. The forecast
for both gets colder and rainier for the next few days. Tomorrow the highs are supposed to be 45 to
50 degrees and Saturday, 40 and rain. Keep them in your prayers-
To see their location go to:
June 11, 2008-Swampy Lake Area 10:03PM
They called last night from The North Star Resort on Knee Lake. It's a fly in fishing resort about 400
miles from Winnipeg. I think this is the last bit of civilization they will encounter until they reach York
Factory. We encouraged them to take a rest, but they are determined to continue on. They left the
area this morning. They traveled all the way thru the rest of Knee Lake and tonight are at the
beginning of Swampy Lake, so they traveled approximately 47 miles. The next section of the river
after Swampy Lake is the rapids section, so it should slow them down a bit as they need to portage
around areas that are unnavigable. According to the weather reports today was about 62 degrees
and clear with Easterly winds in the area. The forecast for tomorrow cloudy, rain, wind and 60
degrees. Thanks for the contribution from the Eden Prairie area and all of the positive emails. As I
have said before, we're saving all of them for Colton & Sean to look at when they get home. Keep
them in your thoughts and prayers.
To see where they are:
June 10, 2008-Knee Lake Area 11:22PM
They called briefly from Oxford House around 9:30AM. They were at the RCMP office and there really
wasn't anything as far as a town. They haven't made as much progress as they would have liked due
to a strong Easterly wind for five days straight. They're hoping to get a break from the wind soon.
Tomorrow's forecast is 70 degrees, sunny and more Easterly winds. They ran a set of rapids and
ended up with about a foot of water in the canoe, but didn't swamp it. This is just the beginning of the
rapids area. Thanks again for the donations from the Anoka/Grand Marais and Minneapolis area.
Keep them in your thoughts and prayers. Thanks to the aunts for the help with the following
For a basic map of the area go to: http://www.chrs.ca/Rivers/Hayes/Hayes-M_e.htm
A great site for information on the Hayes River Area is: http://www.wildernesstripscanada.com/hayes-
June 9, 2008-Oxford Lake-First Nation Area 10:40PM
We received the locater beacon at 10:40PM. They're on Oxford Lake about 5 miles from Oxford House-
First Nation. I have been asked if Oxford House is actually a town or is it just a landmark? To answer
this question, here is what I found: 1)Oxford House F.N. was originally one of the trading posts set
up by the Hudson’s Bay Company, en route to Norway House. People from nearby areas, as far as
York Factory, moved to the trading site and formed the community of Oxford House. The main dialect
spoken is Cree. The United Church played a major role in the development of the community. The
ministers and their wives were the first nurses and teachers. Oxford House officially became a
community in 1798. The location of the community is located along the Eastern shoreline of Oxford
House Lake at the mouth of Hayes River, in Northern area of Manitoba. The First Nation is 950
kilometers (approx 591 miles) North of Winnipeg. There is a restaurant and a convenience store, so
hopefully Colton & Sean will get some "good food" and throw out the moldy pizza they talked about in
the newspaper article. Tomorrow is supposed to be 60 degrees and sunny. Because of the latitude,
twilight is at 4:00AM and in the evening until 11:00PM. They have about 17 daylight hours. We again
received donations for the plane, thanks so much. They came from as far as Arizona and Wisconsin
and as near as Victoria, Mound, Golden Valley and a couple of the parents' home town Duluth. Thanks
again, keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
To see Colton & Sean's location, copy and paste in your browser:
1)Source-Oxford House First Nation Cree: http://www.kitayan.ca/website/pages/oxford_house.html
June 8, 2008-Windy Lake-11:11PM
We just received a locater beacon from them and it appears that they're on an island in Windy Lake.
Based on this location, they should arrive in Oxford House sometime tomorrow evening. The
weather in the area of Oxford House, Manitoba is currently 44 degrees with no rain in the forecast.
The forecast for tomorrow is 60 degrees and sunny. Due to their location, they have a lot of daylight.
The sun rises at 4:44AM and sets at about 10:00PM. I've had a lot of requests for more information
about their current location. If you copy and paste the web address below into your web browser,
you'll have a better idea of where they are.
We've received donations for them in the past couple of days from near and far, the Minneapolis
metro area, New Orleans, LA and Santa Monica, CA. Thanks very much, the contributions are being
used for the float plane to get them out of the Hudson Bay area at the end of the journey. They had
originally planned to complete the journey by lining up the river from Hudson Bay to Gillam and take
a train out of the area. We have since been told they shouldn't camp within about 50 miles of the
Hudson Bay area due to the polar bears. So one way or the other, we'll fly them out of the York
Factory to Gillam to catch the train. Thanks so much for the support-Keep them in your thoughts and
June 7, 2008-Robinson Lake
We received a locater beacon from them at 9:44PM. They're camped at Robinson Lake. It looks like
they travelled about 25-30 miles today. The temp tonight is predicted to be about 40 degrees. The
forecast for tomorrow is a high of 53 degrees, cloudy, Northeast winds and a chance of rain. There is
a new Star Tribune-Nick Coleman article linked on the home page. Sounds like they're getting ready
to come home-
For their location last night, copy and paste the following web address into your browser:
June 6, 2008-North of Molson Lake 7:11PM
They're traveling upstream fighting the current again. They should reach the Hayes River sometime
tomorrow and start traveling North with the current. The Chaska High School Commencement was
tonight and they were mentioned as two boys who could change the world and they set the bar "very
high" for themselves. It was quite odd to be at your child's graduation without the graduate. Nick
Coleman from the Star Tribune talked with them in Norway House and had the Mounties take their
picture. Thanks for forwarding it to us. The weather in the area is 50 degrees, light rain with a wind
from the East. Once again, the wind is in their face. The low tonight is predicted to be 35 degrees.
June 5, 2008-Norway House-11:50AM
They arrived in Norway House around 11:50AM. They called and sent text messages. They said they
are doing great! They're tired, but will continue on their journey today. They ate a huge meal at the
local restaurant, picked up some groceries and supplies, talked with the RCMP and were off. Colton
& Sean said they too are amazed at the short span of time it took to travel the length of lake. They
were told by numerous people and guidebooks it would take them two to three weeks to reach
Norway House. I asked what they were doing to achieve this speed and they said the were traveling
into the wind most of the time, but just kept paddling. They're both anxious for hot meals and a bed
to sleep in. They said they have plenty of food, it's just not very good. I guess just about anyone
would tire of pancakes, peanut butter, protein bars and tortillas with chicken. We received a
message from a missionary in Norway House that he had a book from the 1800s for them. Hopefully
the boys were able to meet with him.
Thanks very much-
Colton & Sean want to wish the Chaska High School Class of 2008 the best at their commencement
tomorrow night. They're with the class in spirit. Their words of wisdom-"Don't listen to people who
say you can't do something. If you follow your dreams you can do anything!"
June 4, 2008-Playgreen Lake 10:17PM
We just received a locater beacon from them and they're on an island in Playgreen Lake. Playgreen
Lake is at the very North tip of Lake Winnipeg and approximately 11 miles from Norway House. They
have been traveling at blazing speed. What a relief that they're off the big lake. Now the next
challenges are fires in the Norway House area, black bear sightings and an unusually late spring
further North. There is still some ice in the rivers and snow on the ground in the Hudson Bay area.
Hopefully they'll give us a call tomorrow from Norway House to check in. They're supposed to spend
some time in Norway House getting to know the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The RCMP as they
call themselves can be very helpful with recommendations about local conditions and information.
They also keep track of canoeists on the river. The night time temperatures in the area have been
around 40 degrees and the daytime highs have been about 68 degrees. The forecast for tomorrow is
68 and sunny. Couldn't be a more perfect day for paddling.
June 3, 2008-Big Black River Area 10:30PM
They just sent out a locater beacon and they're in the Big Black River area. So, despite the winds
they continue to make amazing progress. The weather forecast for the area today was 55-65 degrees
with winds from the Southwest. The wind gusts were fairly strong causing big rolling waves. As they
approach the Northern part of the lake they're on the Northeast shoreline which is unprotected from
the wind, so there is always the potential of being wind bound until the winds die down or change
direction. Keep up the positive thoughts.
June 2, 2008-Mossy Point Area
Well, now they're sending the locater beacons a couple times a day. They set off their first beacon
this morning at about 9:00AM. They were just south of Berens River. We were hoping they would stop
in Berens River and give us a call. But it's about 5 miles each way from the lake to the town. If they
stopped they must not have been able to give us a call. They sent another beacon tonight at about
11:00PM. They're near Mossy Point, North of Berens River. So, they're making good progress, from
our calculations, they went about 45 miles today. We're guessing they're traveling into the night
when the winds die down. We'll ask them when they call. Keep them in your most positive thoughts-
June 1, 2008-Princess Harbor area. They sent out a locater beacon at about 11:00PM the night before.
They weren't as far North as we had thought.
welcome change. We're hoping that the weather is on our side at least for the rest of the lake. I have
been looking forward to this moment for the entire trip. This is what it's all been for. I miss everybody
at home a lot and am excited to see them all again. Now the real adventure awaits us!"