Photo credit: 9&10 News & Corey Adkins
They did it! Stand Up for Great Lakes successfully paddled the entire Chain of Lakes. Starting at Six Mile lake, near Ellsworth and ending at Elk Rapids Rotary park. The journey began at 5:30 AM and ended at 9:30 PM and was 50 miles in length.
Over 50 paddlers joined the SUFGL paddlers along the way and they were cheered on by hundreds of boaters and people gathered at the shore along the way. “This one was so unique,” says Kwin Morris of Elk Rapids. “Normally we are all alone out there but it was so awesome to have people join us for this one It showed how much people care about the chain”. Four paddlers Jeff Guy, Kwin Morris, Joe Lorenz and Grant Piering started from the beginning and made it all the way to the finish. Joe Short of Short’s Brewing Company started with the group and made it over 40 miles.
The support of paddlers and people cheering along the way brought much needed morale as this paddle was a big challenge. The early morning brought glassy water and an eerily beautiful fog. As the day went on the wind picked up and the paddlers were stuck with a head wind for nearly 6 hours. Boat traffic and congestion on Torch brought a different kind of challenge altogether. Four-foot waves on Skegemog and Elk Lake knocked them around but they persevered to the end. “…Coming into Elk Rapids with an epic sunset and seeing all of the people cheering us in made it all worth it.” said Jeff Guy.
We are so thankful to Stand Up for Great Lakes for taking this epic journey to help raise awareness and funds for Paddle Antrim and the Chain of Lakes Water Trail. Their hard work and dedication truly paid off as they were able to raise over $12,000. To learn more about Stand Up for Great Lakes visit www.standupforgreatlakes.org.
Photo credit: Corey Adkins