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Hudson Bay Bound: Part Two, Influences

In part one of my interview with Natalie Warren and Ann Raiho we talked about the challenges they may face as they paddle to Hudson Bay. In this, part two, let’s talk about the forces that influence the two women aspiring to be the first to recreate “Canoeing with the Cree.”

“What’s the name of your canoe?”

Ann and Natalie haven’t come up with a name yet, but both are decided when a name is chosen it will be from the Cree language. Eric Severeid and Walt Post were assisted on their journey to Hudson Bay by the Cree, and thus influenced by them. Natalie and Ann have adopted this tradition and taken influence from the same source. One of the books Ann is taking along on the trek will be Cree in origin and subject.

Natalie is taking along the book “Reflections from the North Country” by Sigurd Olson. It is no wonder that she would be drawn to and influenced by this work from Olson. The book was written late in his life while he was a most-often, outspoken advocate for maintaining and protecting the wilderness areas of America. Most especially his beloved Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Northern Minnesota. His home at Listening Point is just a paddle splash from BWCAW.

In Part One I mentioned that the YMCA Camp Menogyn has been a considerable influence in the lives of both women. Ann and Natalie met here in the summer of 2007, and have been friends ever since. Camp Menogyn is an outdoor adventure camp dedicated to personal growth and building character in young people.

With Menogyn, Natalie and Ann paddled together for seven weeks on the Kazan and Kunwak Inuit Heritage Rivers of Nunavat, Canada. The adventure finished at Baker Lake some 700 miles from where it began.

Expenses for this trip are somewhere in the neighborhood of $2,500, and the ladies have been working hard to fund raise in the months leading up to the trip. They have made the commitment that when costs are covered all funds in excess of expenses will be donated to Camp Menogyn.

Their wish is to make the wilderness more accessible to young women.

 By: Brad Putney. “Captain” Brad Putney considers himself an inland waters guru after spending 40 years on the lakes of Minnesota. The Captain likes to say he has been at the helm of everything from a ten-foot inflatable to an America’s Cup yacht. Mr. Putney can be found at the Duluth Pack Store, helpfully dispensing free advice. He has degrees from Gustavus Adolphus College and the University of Minnesota. Please contact at: truenorth@tds.net.

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