Verlen Kruger stories “from the vault”

A look back at Kruger and Landick's Ultimate Canoe Challenge

Verlen Kruger. He was 58 when he left his home in Lansing, Michigan four years ago to go on a canoe trip. His life up until then had been pretty straightforward. Never again…

Steve Landick. He was 19 when he first met Verlen. He would be 29 when they left Lansing together in 1980. In that 10-year interlude the two of them crystallized their plans for the canoe-trip-to-end-all-canoe-trips: The Ultimate Canoe Challenge.

Click above to read the entire story printed in Canoe & Kayak’s 1984 issue. Canoe & Kayak Magazine is turning 40 years old this March and will be launching the 40th Anniversary Issue on January 22 for the stands. In the meantime, we’ll be posting some of our old stories like this one online for readers to enjoy and reminisce on the old days of boating.

Fast forward a couple decades in Canoe & Kayak’s May 2006 issue, and Larry Rice recounts Verlen Kruger’s journey to the summit of Ontario’s remote Tip Top Mountain, an expedition started by his father. Taking on the same hard-to-reach goal 30 years before, Todd Cesar’s father drowned after capsizing in the raging White River.

Click below to read the full story:

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  • Carl Cole

    Correction, it wasn’t Verlen’s trip in 2006. It was Todd Ceaser’s and it was Todd’s dad that drowned.

  • Travis Williams

    Thanks for putting the Verlen Kruger story out there. He was amazing, as was Steve. There is another guy of interest, Karl Adams, who paddled in 1986 at the age of 60, from Astoria, OR to Florida. He want up the Columbia, portaged (rolled his boat behind him) for 150 or so miles to the Missouri, paddled down the Missouri, to the Mississippi, then to the Ohio – up the Ohio (if I recall right), then down the Tennessee system eventually to the Gulf. He then paddled the Gulf, cut across FL, then to Miami – all in 233 days. What is cool is that he bought his own boat, didn’t have any real sponsors (as opposed to many of today’s expeditions), and relied on the kindness of strangers as he went. He is still around and wrote a nice book In the Wake of the Wind Dancer, a few years ago which chronicles his trip. Today he lives with his wife in Portland, OR.

  • Travis Williams

    Oh, and Karl is one of the nicest people you’d ever meet.

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