Mercyhurst College

Department of Geology


The Bay Trip: Minnesota to Churchill

The Journey
On warm spring day we left Minnesota for an inspired voyage that would cover 50 miles of portages, over 200 passable rapids, the second largest lake in Ontario and the largest lake in Manitoba, and roughly 1500 miles of some of the most subtle beauty in North America.  Perhaps the greatest rewards of our journey were our encounters with some memorable people, including - Alice and Craig, wilderness paddlers and high school educators introducing their love of Manitoba's wilderness rivers to their students - the Disbrowe's, a Cree family from Split Lake who took us into their home, fed us moose meat stew and sturgeon and entertained us with their stories - and Roland "on the river", a part-time cook, part-time trapper who never travels further south than Churchill. 
     The endeavor may seem like a monumental challenge, but thousands of other "voyageurs" have plied these waters before us.  In the more recent past, the published exploits of Eric Sevareid and Walter Port (Canoeing with the Cree) and also Scott Anderson (Distant Fires), were inspirations.  Even more recently, a group of four friends completed a nearly identical trip, and their exploits also help kindle our dream that was finally fullfilled.  In a similar fashion, we hope to share this experience to help keep the dream of "The Bay" alive.  Rather than a dream fullfilled, this trip has become a dream begun.  In future years we plan to extend our travels by paddling across the continent.

Also See:

'Proposal Portage', Canoe and Kayak Magazine - August 2005

Trip Photos