MSU Outdoors Club
Campus to Coast
Quiet Water Society
The Michigan State University Outdoors Club has put on the 160 mi canoe race anually since I founded the trip in 2010. This race which draws well over a hundred participants every year was recently ranked as the 9th hardest canoe race in North America. Putting this event together is my life's greatest accomplishment to date. The above picture was taken before the start of the second Campus to Coast.
Every year, the Quiet Water Society puts on the Quiet Water Society symposium which attracts thousands of people to Lansing, Mi to learn about paddling from expert presenters. I was invited to speak at the 2015 and 2016 symposium about the Mississippi River Challenge, and then Campus to Coast. The society hosts the symposium to fund its granting program which supports projects that help fulfill the Society's mission of promoting outdoor recreation and conservation. I have been a member of the planning committee since 2013.
Every river is a highway waiting to take you anywhere in the world you want to go. It will take you there in a way people have been traveling for millennia, but have mostly forgotten about today. It will take you there in a way that will bring you closer to nature, in a way that will invigorate your soul. When you put paddle in water you are not relying on the workings of Man, you are free.
Mississippi River Challenge 2014
In 2014, I led a group of four in an attempt to break the record for the fastest decent of the Mississippi River by canoe. While we did not break Bob Bradford and Clark Eid's 2003 record, we learned an incredible amount that will serve us well in our future attempt.
When he didn't get the record on his first attempt, Bob Bradford was asked if he was going to do it again. He responded, "Well, we didn't get the record, did we?" Likewise, we will be making our second attempt in summer 2017.
"What sets a canoeing expedition apart is that it purifies you more rapidly and inescapably than any other travel. Travel a thousand miles by train and you are a brute; pedal five hundred on a bicycle and you remain basically a bourgeois; paddle a hundred in a canoe and you are already a child of nature."
Pierre Elliott Trudeau
Henry David Thoreau
"Everyone must believe in something. I believe I'll go canoeing."