Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mark & Mike checked in at 7 PM. They were in Graying, and were stopping for supper. They planned on paddling to a planned camp site for the night...obviously tired already as Mark was continuously yawning as we talked. You go're doing awesome!!

posted by Kathy L.

Motley Crew of 6 (MC6)

Upper row: Mike, Brian, Jack, Dan - Lower row: Todd, Jake
I give you MC6 - expedition shore to shore. The naming of the *Motley Crew - click here
*During the reign of Elizabeth I, "motley" served the important purpose of keeping outside the social hierarchy and therefore not subject to class distinction or expectation; in other words going your own way with out judgement. The way of the jester. - Having a little fun!
Or so eloquently put;
Break loose from all the usual excuses and conventions that keep you bound to a lifestyle that does not totally fulfill". -Verlen Kruger
Past Kruger adventures have had team names of: The Magnificant 7. the Intrepids, Tres Amigos - It's all in good fun!

MC2 restless night

6:11am 9/30/10
Capt'n reports: MC2 up very early, must have been a restless night as Manitou's SPOT shows them on the move as early as 2:10am. If I was a betting man; they paddled out earlier then expected with weather that may move in tomorrow afternoon, A race against the rain. Paddle now it great weather, sleep some as rain taps on the tent... Just speculation.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Keep the paddle

in the water
8:50pm 9/29/10
Manitou reports: Plan stands -Up by 3;30am on the water by 4:00am - Planning a 24 to 36 hour run down to Manistee; including the estimated 7 mile portage. Now that's big medicine.
6:07pm 9/29/10
McLov'n reports portaging the Mio Dam - Looking good gentleman!
6:00pm 9/29/10
Manitou reports they are pulling off for the night; The plan is to be on the water O-dark30 and push on. MC2 is on river time taking all things into consideration - like when to rest and when to push. Look for a 4:00am start.
1:55pm 9/29/10
Jake and Dan both broke rudder cables today; had the tools and the means to fix them... back on the water - and Lov'n it. I'm tempted to start calling Brian Keel "McLov'n" - borrowing the name from the smash hit teen movie "Super Bad"; what does the viewing audience think? Done!!
9:30am 9/29/10
Manitou reports Motley Crew of 2 (MC2) are off to Grayling; hopes to knock out the portage as well today. (Grayling is named after a fish that was once prevalent to the area) This sounds like a whopper of a fish story to me!!
8:04am 9/29/10
Brian Keel reports: On the water going to try to pass Mio dam today; It's a beautiful morning on the river!
8:15am 9/29/10
Manitou reports: "Well first he called me a dirty dog"; "I replied with I think you got into some bad pudding." ...Law enforcement was not contacted, Motley Crew of 2 were able to work things out through diplomatic relations with Brazil. Oh that Manitou, just a crazy mixed up kid in a crazy mixed up world; Plan is to sit tight and wait for RiverRunner to portage Mio dam

paddle paddle... pull

photo by: K Calmeyn

10:30 am 9/27/10
Brian K called early yesterday morning I missed their call (work gets in the way); he left a message stating it looks like a great day for paddling; the rain stopped, got a bit of a late start getting on the water around 8:15am; Just finished portaging the Alcona Dam.
2:15pm 9/27/10
Eva Murgittroyd forwarded this message: Talk to Jack this morning they are a little wet but, are all good they think Mike and Mark are about 10 miles ahead of them. It was 9:30 am when he called and they had just got though Alcona Dam. They were pumped!~
4:30pm 9/27/10
Mark reports pulling up at the Mio dam; will portage over and sit tight to wait for RiverRunner Plan is to head to town to do some shopping for the holidays while he waits. This is a coded message to Jake from Manitou, "Eh ya Turkey ******, No Mama's boy float trip eh?"
9:30pm 9/27?10
RiverRunner reports he is below Mio Dam, didn't quite make it up to Manitou. Working his way through sand and gravel bars; lots of pulling the Kruger through the shallows; Nothing like taking your canoe out for a walk. RiverRunner said his GPS took a crap and something about loosing a teddy bear.
All in all spirits are high - plan is to meet up with Manitou in the morning.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Boys are at it!!

See new photos in the drop box>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Sweet Judy! I think I dropped my Sea Wind!

It's been an uphill battle for the Motley Crew as they pick off dam after dam. A 10:10am call had the crew at the roll away resort topping off water. ( I hope they got water after this stair climb, yikes).

Jake and Todd Cesar are on an adventure to remember; Father and son, both have put in many miles in Kruger Boats.


RiverRunner reports that it has been an uphill battle today; some where around 48 miles total since the trip started. Put in a long 13 hour day, made a little bit longer with a dropped paddle, being spun out in the current and a close encounter with shore brush. All in a days paddle on Ausable.


Manitou reports seeing a double rainbow this afternoon; still raining with a 40% chance to continue the next couple of days. Current running too fast to paddle during the night. Looks like long hard 13 hour days till they hit the Manistee.


RiverRunner and Manitou are now camped and settled in for the night; stay tuned!

The Dedication Video

Parting the waters

600am - trip report.

Manitou and RiverRunner have pushed from shore around 6:00am, the rest of the Motley Crew leisurely breakdown camp and prepare for the day. Let the adventure continue.

Motley Crew

See new photos in the drop box. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
With the dedication behind them the "Motley Crew" pushes on till dark

"Motley" refers to the traditional costume of the paddler or the harlequin character in commedia dell'arte. Our crew wears scruffy beards and functional hats, a fashion motif.

“Motley is the only wear.” --Shakespeare

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Back on the water

See new photos in the drop box. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

It appears the Shore 2 Shore and the tad more joined forces to arrive at the Canoer's Memorial Monument for the 2pm induction ceremony. The Boy's are on their hike up from Largo Springs!

The paddlers to be inducted this year are John Wojahn, Gerald Cesar, Meb Lemieux, Ronald Kienke, Ted Engel, Roger Carriere, Harold Spencer, Charles Hennigar, Marion "Mern" Ferris, Percy Jocks, Richard Kent, and Bill Schmitz

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Back to the midwest

Click pic to enlarge
Day One looks productive for Team Shore 2 Shore and a tad more. Manitou and RiverRunner working it westward on the AuSable River. Waiting for a call for an update.
Brian Keel sends word that Manitou and RiverRunner caught up with them around 7:20pm - Camp was set.
The meeting was called to order; ceremonial glacier sipping water and warm beer I sure were consumed. A lot of the world's challenges can be solved around a raging campfire with cocktail in hand; well at least the ideas sounded good by the fire.

Worry and frustration

Well the message board on the WaterTribe site says it all; a hectic day for race director SandyBottom (Dawn) and Kapakahi (me) along with dozens of others as we make phone calls post on Facebook, call Dave's family and friends, basically alerted the powers that be in search of one of our WaterTribe members.
He's been found. The worry has end; the frustration has just begun.

Day 2

do you know where your Kruger is?

Manitou and Riverrunner push from the shore around 11:30am; after a relaxing evening at the AuSable Inn, time to hit the water for the Shore 2 Shore and a tad more. Goal; paddle fast live slow.
Shore 2 Shore group wake to a warming sun; breakfast is served! As Dan stated earlier, it just doesn't get any better then this, I have to agree. The question is what in the heck is in that bucket!!?

Where's Manitou and RiverRunner...

Check out the pictures in the drop box >>>>>

As the Shore 2 Shore team push up hill on the Ausable, a couple of lilly dipp'n duffers seek refuge at the AuSable Inn; not one to call foul, but come on boys paddles up!! OK OK...


As usual I spoke out of turn; the plan is to push off tomorrow with the"clock running". Manitou and RiverRunner are on a mission to make the dedication for Jerry Cesar and push on shortly there after, hence the delayed start to their event by one day. Tic Toc...

They want to limit their non-paddle time, so accommodations for the evening are down by the river with the AuSable Inn owners offering up tent space.

I think I smell steaks on the grille?

Friday, September 24, 2010

And they are off...

Todd Cesar applies heart felt decal
The Shore 2 Shore team paddled out in windy but mild conditions in the late afternoon light; They pushed up the Au Sable River a bit and found a great place to camp.

Under a full moon fire raging, the Shore 2 Shore begins to take meaning. Chuck Amboy sets the bar and delivers. Shore 2 Shore decals which become a focal point of the journey are now displayed proudly honoring Father / Grandfather Jerry Cesar;

A dip of the paddle to Chuck Amboy; the best gift of all is the one that is unexpected; you rocked this one my friend, the message that Todd left me was nothing less then one of sincere appreciation and gratitude.

Twas the night before...

I hate to call foul on the night before; but Busch Beer: I should have sent over a growler from Tyranena Brewery .

"The planning is over the canoes are ready and so are the paddlers. A few beers the night before, It don't get no better then this." - Dan Smith

Adventure week!

Deck layout on Manitou's Sea Wind
They're everywhere they're everywhere!! Kruger Canoes entered in the Watertribe NCC to the Midwest Shore 2 Shore. Should be an adventurous week on the web for Team Kruger.
We'll try to do a highlights reel and keep you updated on all the happenings. Grab your coffee and bagel and settle down - Let the adventures begin!!
ready set GO!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Canoeing Elders Honored

Our expeditions that start this week will be dedicated to the memory of both Verlen Kruger and Jerry Cesar, two great explorers that help show us the path of modern day adventure. Jerry will be inducted into the MCRA Canoer's Memorial Monument on Sunday, September 26th at 2pm along with many other great paddlers. This date conveniently falls on the second day of our trip, only 20 or so miles upriver from Oscoda. We will pause for the dedication services and then continue on upriver afterwards.

Larry Rice did a fantastic story for Canoe and Kayak Magazine about the Jerry Cesar story a few years back. Spirit Journey to Tip Top Mountain

History of the MCRA Canoer's Memorial Monument -

If this ain't high adventure I don't know what is!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The run down

Many of the legends or myths relating to the origin of fire are vivid and dramatic, and while they vary in detail there appears to be a similarity in many of the episodes that form the fire-origin story - We give the gift of fire; "May your voyages be safe, may your gear stay dry - amaze your Neanderthal friends with a flick of a Bic."
On long journeys the stashing or hording of goods has become common since the dawn of time; Take Napoleon Dynamite, the cache of tater tots in his pants pocket became quite the envy of his fellow students during a late afternoon class. Managing hunger important to all voyages.
The cache as it is called gives the voyager the opportunity to replenish certain items which are of great value for comfort safety and sustainability. Efficiency is key when racing; much better to have what you want stashed on river's bend then hitching a ride to town looking for a napkin.
Fire brings people together; as do hats. Three very unique individuals Murgy, Todd and Jerry; three very different hats. The hat, cap, millinery, headpiece, helmet, chapeau, bonnet, lid, bean pod are a very important piece of gear on long voyages. Protection from the elements are an important part of any trip planning.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Voyager Mike Smith

will be taking on the Shore to Shore 473 mile paddle across and down Michigan.

But before he goes, he rallies the future of paddling. Brook Emma Madison and Allison take a spin in the newly refurbished Project Lakewell 26 foot trading bateaux. Nice effort on the restoration Mike!!
Mike on the upcoming Kruger Shore to Shore.
I'm, getting pumped up about this canoe challenge. I love the planning stage of every trip, break out the maps and color me gone.
Great article on the event at:

Friday, September 17, 2010

What the...........

Q. What's up with these trips, are they races or what?

KC. Well , yes and no, it's totally up to you.

We like to call them Challenges, consider this to be a Personal Challenge, how well can you perform with limited outside help?

We are offering these routes to help encourage folks to get out and push their limits while taking advantage of the beautiful resources Michigan has to offer. There is a group of us that will be definitely “racing” while there will be another group taking it a bit slower, more of a “Cruise”. Since we are not making definite time restrains you can take as long or as short as you wish.

The guidelines ( ) that we have set up will hopefully give you an idea of the spirit of the events. We wish to emulate the spirit in which Verlen often traveled, captain of his own ship, taking care of himself along the length of the route.

Autumn in Michigan is a very awesome time, the fall colors will most likely be bursting and with any luck we will have a few days of “Indian Summer” warming our faces and keeping the frost off our pumpkins.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Gearing up for the 2010 Kruger Challenges

Well kids, it's Autumn in the North Woods and you know what that means, it's time for another Kruger Challenge!
Last year we added the cross Michigan leg to the already grueling 100 miles in 24hr original Kruger Challenge. This year in true Kruger fashion we have added yet another leg to the 100 miler and Cross Michigan Challenge.
This year we have extended the reach of these great North Woods paddles to include a short 90 miles on Lake Michigan and a quick run up the Grand River to the site of the newly dedicated statue of Verlen.
More news, views and BS of preparations from the Team Kruger crew on the way!!!
Kruger Challenges - Click here