Monthly Archives: April 2009

Kayaker Dies in U.P.’s Silver River

Associated Press • April 20, 2009 • From

L’ANSE TOWNSHIP – A kayaker died after becoming pinned under a tree in fast-moving rapids of the Silver River in Baraga County in the northwestern Upper Peninsula.


Sheriff’s deputies pulled 47-year-old Richard Honrath Jr. from the river on Friday night.  The Houghton resident was pronounced dead at Baraga Memorial Hospital.


Honrath and 38-year-old Dave Bullock of St. Johns had entered the river about two miles upstream from where the incident occurred.  Bullock told police that Honrath had rolled and became separated from his kayak.


Bullock said he was unable to rescue Honrath with a throw rope.  The Mining Journal of Marquette says Bullock and Honrath had been kayaking together for about 15 years and were familiar with the Silver River.

Canoe and Kayak Demo April 25 at Sylvan Lake


Ultimate Hugh Heward Challenge

Five men to paddle in 465-mile Ultimate Hugh Heward Challenge from Detroit to Chicago by Aaron Ogg |

 The Grand Rapids Press Saturday April 11, 2009, 5:52 AM Lance Wynn | The Grand Rapids Press

Jon Holmes, a kayak instructor, is one of five men will who attempt to paddle the 465-mile route.   If Verlen Kruger was still carving through rough waters, the burly paddling icon probably would not want to miss a new, 465-mile adventure along the Huron and Grand rivers.

“He’d try to go with them,” said Jim Woodruff, a close friend of the late record-setting canoeist who racked up 100,000 water miles during his 40-year career.   “It will never be duplicated.   There’s a lot of long-distance paddlers, but I don’t see anyone ever matching those records of Verlen’s. “He was obsessed.”   Woodruff, an 86-year-old Michigan topology guru and Delta Township resident, is the mastermind behind the Ultimate Hugh Heward Challenge — an estimated 23-day trek beginning next Friday in Belle Isle and ending in Chicago.

His call has been answered by four Michigan men and one from Florida who plan to emulate the 1790 feat of British trader Hugh Heward as a tribute to Kruger’s accomplishments and love of paddling.   Kruger, a former plumbing contractor, died of cancer in 2004 at age 82.   He befriended Woodruff before Grand River Expedition ’90, a 260-mile trip down its length.   “I think you have to be genetically inclined to do something like this,” said Jon Holmes, 43, a 15-year kayak instructor with Bill & Paul’s Sport-haus, 1200 E. Paris Ave. SE.   “I don’t really know how well I’m going to stack up,” Holmes said.   “I’ve dreamt of doing something along these lines, but I’ve never had the opportunity.”

Holmes has embarked on three-mile races and six-day trips, including one along the shoreline of Lake Superior Provincial Park, but now he’s preparing to tackle a vastly different adventure.   To get in shape, he does situps, pushups and four-mile runs three days per week.   He and business partner Rusty McBride began paddling upstream along the Grand from Ada to Lowell on Fridays.

Charles Parmelee has a good idea what he’s in for, having traveled an abbreviated version of the route in 2008.   The 52-year-old Leslie man paddled 320 miles beginning at the mouth of the Huron in Belle Isle to Grand Haven.   Parmelee, a retired General Motors toolmaker and past president of the Lansing Oar & Paddle Club, had to contend with snow and paddling upstream on the Huron River at its highest level in 40 years, he said.   An overhanging branch dumped him into fast currents near Ann Arbor as he tried to retrieve a lost hat.   Not again, he said.   “If I lose my hat this time, it’s gone,” he said.   Parmelee struggled to explain what draws him to such rugged endurance tests.   He dropped 25 pounds during his last trip, he said.   “Some people ask me why, and I don’t really have a real answer,” he said.   “I got the gypsy blood, I guess.   The only difference between me and a lot of people is I have the time.”

The route will take paddlers over two dozen portages, the longest of which is seven miles.   Extra hands and wheeled canoe carts help trim the number of trips, Parmelee said.   Legendary canoeist Verlen Kruger, who died in 2004, would have loved this 465-mile adventure, friends say.  While he and others may grab a bite at a local restaurant, Holmes said he plans to filter water and otherwise pattern his trip after the way Kruger would do it.   No one plans to bed down at a local motel, Parmelee said.   The squad will find safe locales to camp along the route.

The Ultimate Hugh Heward Challenge is timed so participants can meet up with other paddlers for the 50-mile Hugh Heward Challenge down the Grand from Dimondale to Portland.   That event, which drew more than 80 canoeing enthusiasts in 2008, is a fundraiser for the Verlen Kruger Memorial Board.   The group plans to erect a life-size bronze statue honoring Kruger at the Thompson Field canoe landing in Portland. An unveiling date has not been set.

E-mail the author of this story:

Kayaker rescued in Seattle

Very interesting story.

The TV news video:

The story in his own words:

4th Annual Spring Fling May 3

The Lansing Oar and Paddle Club will have a table set up at the 2009
Spring Fling.  Please bring a boat you would be willing to display or
let someone borrow as a paddle demo.  We would like to be able to turn our display into an informal swap meet to paddle each other’s boats.  Any other display or demo ideas please post your comments. Jay Hanks, President
Outdoor Sport & Recreation Event
Sunday May 3rd, 2009        12:00 noon – 5:00 p.m.

Announcement from Chris Kargel:

“Brighton Recreation Area is once again hosting our Spring Fling event.
The purpose of this event is to get people back outdoors after a long
winter and provide them with new ideas for outdoor recreation and
education opportunities.  Last year’s event was a great success and
well attended by the public.  Over twenty groups participated in this
event last year, and we’re hoping to pick up a few more groups this
year.  The goal of this event is to introduce people to a wide variety
of outdoor activities and allow them hands on access to the activity
of their choosing.  We have an opportunity in these troubled economic
times to provide an introduction to many of the low-cost recreational
opportunities that abound in Michigan’s great outdoors.

The event will take place at Brighton Recreation Area’s, Bishop Lake
Complex. Event hours for 2009 are from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on
Sunday, May 3rd. You must be committed to having your display
available and open to the public for the entire time period.

Attending groups, clubs, businesses and agencies will have an outdoor
area of approximately 20’x20’ to set up and display their
information.  We encourage attending groups to use this opportunity to
promote their activities and expose the public to the many different
types of outdoor activities that are available.  The more hands on and
interactive the better.  We encourage all groups to have some type of
activity available to the public free of charge.  This will allow the
public to try out your activities or services and educate them about
Michigan’s Natural Resources and outdoor activities.

Previous groups that have attended this event are: Michigan Geocaching
Organization, Michigan Mushroom Hunters, Wilson Marine, Michigan
Mountain Bikers, Sierra Club, and D&D Bikes, just to name a few.
There are no charges for participating groups and a State Park Motor
vehicle permit is all that is required for the public to attend.

Similar to previous years, we will also be conducting outdoor
educational classes and demonstrations.  If your group would be
willing to conduct an interactive activity, i.e., a short hike, or a
special demonstration, please let us know on the attached form.
Finally, we are also soliciting help in the promotion and funding of
this event.  If your group or agency is able to assist in any way,
please let us know.

Thank you for helping to promote the wonderful outdoor opportunities
available to everyone in the great outdoors of Michigan.  I look
forward to working with those of you that have been here in the past
and meeting those of you that will be joining us for the first time.”

For more information or questions please contact:

Chris Kargel
Park Ranger, Brighton Recreation Area
810-229-6566 (Office Hours Mon-Thur 8am-4:30pm)

Concrete Canoe Show April 4

LOAPC paddlers might be interested in the North Central Concrete
Canoe Regional competition. The races are Saturday, 4 April, on
Kent Lake between 9 and 3. The beauty contest and oral presentations
are just as interesting and will be at Lawrence Tech. There is also the
Steel Bridge Competition there.

This years competitors should be MSU, WSU, UM, WMU, Ohio Northern,
Lawrence Tech, maybe St Clair, and last year’s winner Mich Tech. The
boats of MSU and WSU weigh about 250 pounds and are 20 ft long.
This year, all boats have the same outside geometry according to the
rules. Their material content and constrcution techniques may vary widely.