Kayaking Lake Superior? In November?


Matt Magolan’s bizarre and daring kayak exploits have been making his mom cry for years, and last November was no exception. Magolan and pal John Radel paddled 120 miles of Lake Superior from Duluth, Minnesota, to the Michigan-Wisconsin state line. They faced 12-degree cold, 35-knots-per-hour winds, and six-foot clapotis, not to mention the potential psych out of seeing the wreckage of six other boats, including a badly battered kayak.
“We’d just kind of laugh and wonder, what the hell are we doing out here?” Magolan said.


Shipping buffs (and Gordon Lightfoot fans) know that last November was also the 29th anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald–a 729-foot freighter that sank in a heinous November storm. All 29 crewmen died.
Taking risks is nothing new to Magolan. He completed a solo circumnavigation of Isle Royale in 1996. Later, he lived in the small Inuit village of Inukjuak in northern Qubc for a year and took a liking to the local fare–raw caribou brains from the skull of a fresh kill.


“I couldn’t eat the eyeballs, though,” he said. “That’s where I drew the line.”


Where should he draw the line when kayaking? Vote below. Results will appear in the May 2005 issue of Canoe & Kayak.


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