Thursday, July 17, 2014

Krugerhead 340 ~ Wrapped & Rolled...

Debris, debris & yet some more debris. Word has it every time Nightspiritsix would stop for a feed, Bob Bradford & Grandson Justin would have to clean out the ramps so the OC-6 could stop. There stops were short lived however, because the floating debris would start to amass around them, effectively blocking them in. No one had ever seen anything like it.
© Lauren Fry

 If your curious about what sleep deprivation will do to you, ask Janet Bradford. As the crew was taking turns hup-ing a twenty count stroke, Janet at one point counted to 63 and said, "I forgot what I was doing!" 

Nightspiritsix - 43 hours 33 minutes (Front-Back) Mike Bradford, Everett Crozier, Dick Ulbrich, Janet Bradford, Mike Smith & Toby Nipper
(R-L) Mark Przedwojewski (Irons, MI) & Jack "The Hammer" Murgittroyd (Ithaca, MI)
40 hours 14 minutes!

Mark Rowe & Lauren Fry "GoFRowe" 44 hours 9 minutes

Joe Tousignant "Joe Wildlife" 47 hours 31 minutes

Marek Uliasz 50 hours and some change

Ben Algera "Macatawa" 53 hours 24 minutes
Brian Weber "Capt'n O Dark Thirty" 59 hours 12 minutes
Capt'n of the "O" Dark 30 Blog Link
Sandy Krueger "Peacepaddler"

...and of course the shore support for Nightspiritsix, (Left Picture) Jerry Davis & (Right Picture, L-R) Justin & Bob Bradford (also pictured Mike, Joe & Mark)

~guest bloggers Pat Harrington, Stacy Smith & Michael Doty

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Krugerhead 340 - The Finish ~ St. Charles

Mark & Jack @ the finish

Mark & Jack being the first team to paddle to the finish arrived at Riverside Park in St. Charles at 12:15 CDT this morning. With a total time of 40 hours 14 minutes and no stopped time. Overall/Moving average of 8.4 mph! They certainly kept it moving!


Nightspiritsix paddled into St. Charles early this morning @ 3:29 CDT. 43 hours 33 minutes total time! With a moving average of 8.6 mph and a stopped time of 4 hours 33 minutes. Mike Smith reports there is nothing in his body that doesn't hurt! Everyone was pushed to there limits...

Mark & Lauren "GoFRowe"

Mark & Lauren "GoFRowe" arrived in St. Charles @ 4:02 CDT. 33 minutes behind Nightspiritsix. With a moving time of 43 hours 22 minutes, stopped time of 47 minutes. 7.7 mph moving average and a 7.5 mph overall average. They took the place of Mark & Jack playing back & forth with Nightspiritsix during the final stretch.

Ben Algera

Ben Algera "Macatawa" arriving @ 13:17 CDT.

Capt'N "O" Dark 30 Brian Weber

Capt'N "O" Dark 30 aka Sir Brian Weber paddling in @ 19:05 CDT. 

A special shout out to Sir Pat Harrington for (as usual) all his behind the scenes work!

PADDLES UP to all in our paddling community!


~Guest bloggers Pat, Stacy & Michael

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Krugerhead 340 - Day Two "we got trees!"

"we got trees"
Team Kruger is riding a strong pulse.  The end of day 1 finds our intrepid travelers passing by Columbia, Missouri.  Weather for the day is warm and mild with light winds from the East in the afternoon. It appears Nightspiritsix has been paddling neck & neck with Mark & Jack throughout the night. Mike Smith reports (8:15 CDT) after a 24 hour paddle covering 208 miles and averaging 8.8 mph, the OC-6 is stopping for a two hour break around Marion. Mike adds they could not use the platform Everett made for taking turns sleeping because they need to pull up on a sand bar to rig it up & alas there are no sand bars to be had because of the high water. As of 8:30 CDT it appears team GoFRowe is around Huntsdale having survived the night with Ben approaching Boonville. Peacepaddler is just around the corner from Glasgow. “O” Dark 30’s spot link is not working, and a call to him proves fruitless. Wildlife Joe has just passed Boonville.
Mark & Jack
Posting these updates reminds us of our good friend Mr. Jim Woodruff - The Topologist - and a true friend of Verlen Krugers and all of these folks on the river.  "Jim Does Maps" - the topographic kind and specializes in the ones that show the natural watershed features, before drain commissioners were invented.  Jim has worked these update boards and has a saying...  "This is just like herding cats" - "Keeping track of all these folks is more than a challenge"...

~Guest bloggers Pat, Stacy & Michael

Team Kruger Canoes Facebook

Krugerhead 340 Photo Album

Sunset on Day 1 of the Krugerhead 340 (Photo credit: Capt'n of the "O" Dark Thirty)
OC-6 arriving CP-6 Jefferson City
Mark & Jack ~ Coopers Landing 6:52 CDT (CP-6) Jefferson City  10:00 CDT
Nightspiritsix ~ (CP-6) Jefferson City 13:00 CDT
GoFRowe ~ (CP-4) Glasgow 1:33 CDT (CP-6) Jefferson City 13:11 CDT
Received a message from "O" Dark 30 that he was a couple miles past Lisbon Bottoms @ 10:43 CDT
Looks like Sandy is just shy of Arrow Rock State Park near County Road 319. No movement in over 3 hours, guessing she's resting.
Macatawa & Wildlife Joe taking a dip
@ Coopers Landing
Ben Algera Coopers Landing
Ben Algera and Wildlife Joe stopped at Coopers Landing for a swim. As of 14:45ish, according to Emily, they are back on the water. Ben's Spot tracker shows them not too far from CP-6 Jefferson City.

Mark (GoFRowe) 7:28 CDT "survived the night!"

OC-6 breaking near Chamois 15:15 CDT


A message from Mike Smith tells us that Nightspiritsix is stopping for there second break at Chamois. "Sleep deprivation setting in."

Mark & Jack CP-7 Hermann 15:36 CDT

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Krugerhead 340 - Day One

(L-R) Mike Bradford, Mike Smith, Toby Nipper, Janet Bradford, Everett Crozier & Dick Ulbrich

…and they’re off. Team Kruger paddlers launched out of Kansas City, Kansas this morning @ 8:00 a.m. Central Time. Mike Smith reports, “there is a ton of debris in the water” (due to high water levels). Because of this danger, Mike adds, they are “playing it by ear” as far as paddling at night. Emily Algera reports, “lots of rain last night but at least it’s not quite as hot as yesterday.” Emily adds, OC-6 has some competition - team Dorothy Jean, a 6 person canoe with a combined age probably 1/3 that of Nightspiritsix. We’re still waiting for the recipe from Emily for a Spiz-a-Rita. Our men in the field Bob Bradford and Grandson Justin are waiting at the Lexington boat ramp for team Nightspiritsixs’ first feed. Bob reports that he talked to a farmer @ Lexington and was told the river came up 12 feet overnight. Bob’s guessing the river current is around 4.5 - 5.0 mph. We will be updating the Team Kruger Canoes Facebook page with pictures as they come in.

UPDATE: CP-1 ~ Lexington
Bob Bradford @ CP1 - Lexington
Debris the paddlers have to contend with

Looks like Mark & Jack slipped past Nightspiritsix while they were feeding @ Checkpoint 1. Here's the times we have so far:
Nightspiritsix - 13:30 
Mark & Jack - 13:32
Joe Wildlife - 13:53
Mark & Lauren - 13:56
Sandy - 14:02?
Ben - 14:02?

Nightspiritsix approaching Lexington (CP-1)

UPDATE: CP-2 ~ Waverly
Nightspiritsix approaching Waverly (CP-2)

Sandy Krueger "Peacepaddler" (CP-2)

Again, Mark & Jack (16:00 CDT) pass Nightspiritsix (15:55 CDT) as they're feeding at Checkpoint 2.
We have team GoFRowe passing Waverly @ 16:40 CDT. Brian Weber checked in passing Waverly @ 18:04 CDT.

Lauren's turn to nap somewhere between CP-2 & CP-3
UPDATE: CP-3 ~ Miami

GPS on board Nightspiritsix
Blue & Magneta - Jack & Mark
We have late word from Bob & Justin that Nightspirtsix is the first boat in to Checkpoint 3 @ 19:17 CDT. With an overall average speed of 9.3 mph! Again, Mark & Jack right behind them @ 19:31 CDT. and again passing them as they're stopped feeding. Bob reports that it's a go right now for paddling through the night.

~Guest bloggers Pat, Stacy & Michael

Monday, July 7, 2014

Krugerhead 340

News from the storm front:

The logistics of The MR340 are intricate and while the MR 340 for 2014 has been rescheduled to August 10-12, (due to high water levels), Team Kruger is pushing forward with plans on still launching tomorrow (07/08) @ 8:00 a.m.

Toby "Whitecaps" testing resting quarters.
Jerry Davis, Bob & Mike Bradford
River gauges and Weather forecasts are located here.

Jerry Davis & Everett Crozier
Keep an eye on the spot tracker list in the right margin of this page & we’ll look forward to sending more updates as they come in.

Nightspiritsix crew has been busy readying the OC-6, complete with resting quarters. Mike Smith is continuing his leisure aspect to his recreation - this is tied to his recent 5 day trip to a one day Nascar race in Michigan, having gone into this trip with a 3 day lead time and clean sheets with hot showers in a hotel, we are beginning to think he might be getting soft. 

The keyboard crew back here in Michigan looks forward to sending updates as they arrive  we plan to update this page, so check back periodically.  We’ll put a note on Facebook when there’s been an update for you.

We havent received much news on how the shuttling of all these folks and boats got handled.  But of what we do know, it appears Mark P and Jack The Hammer launched from Ithaca 7 hours earlier than planned - either there's a plan to get extra sleep, or they just plain couldn't sleep and had to hit the road. They did smuggle a muzzle, (foster dog transport bound for Idaho), for Flipper & Sweep. 

~Guest bloggers Pat, Stacy & Michael

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Missouri River 340 ~ Pre-Race

Bob Bradford, Jerry Davis, Everett Crozier & Toby
Everett Crozier & Jerry Davis
The paddler migration to Kansas has begun, as the race is now 2 days away. Rumor has it Mark & Jack were looking at scoring extra points with race organizers by helping with foster dog shuttle services across the country (Idaho)? More to come on that. Michigan is living up to its reputation as a paddling machine factory, as half the Nightspirtsix crew are all Michiganders. Almost 4 centuries (389 years to be exact) worth of paddling talent in the OC-6 alone! Mike Smith reports from the field that the river is “cooking!” River speed is going to be a factor with water levels being much higher (projected to be @ 65.6kcfs) than average. This will make for some great finish times. If their not getting excited by now, check for a pulse. 

~Guest bloggers Pat, Stacy & Michael

Mike Bradford, Justin, Janet Bradford & Everett Crozier
Mike Smith, Mike Bradford & Toby Niper

Monday, June 30, 2014

"340 miles of wind, heat, bugs and rain." ~ MR 340

Everything you want to know about the 2014 MR 340 (Tuesday, July 8th, Solo ~ 7 a.m. Tandem ~ 8 a.m.) racers you know and love! “This ain’t no mama’s boy float trip.” Here is the whole enchilada the baby & the bathwater, er river water. Prepare to be amazed! Here are your racers:

Team  Nightspiritsix ~ Boat number #6420 ~ OC-6 Outrigger Canoe ~ Paddling Legends : Everett Crozier, Marinette, WI, Toby Nipper, Fort Myers, FL, Dick Ulbrich, Weston, MA, Janet Bradford, Lapeer, MI, Michael Bradford, Lapeer, MI, and Mike Smith, Portland, MI
Shore Support : Jerry Davis

BIO:  DICK ULBRICH  Age 73, Started paddling at 50 - Molokai (4)  Kona-Queen Lili (6) General Clinton (19) Everglades Challenge (in this canoe). “Awesome team!!”

BIO: Toby Nipper Age 63, “Have a whole 7 years of paddling, green, green horn in this crowd.. longest event 1200 miles with 40 mile portage, done a few others, and learned fast (had awesome teachers). Been across lower Michigan from Detroit to Chicago, been under the Mac bridge and have crossed Michigan in a few other places. Been across Missouri three times. Done a few WaterTribe events also, one three hundred miler Watertribe event in this same OC6. Luv the crew for this one.. We will have a 7th on this trip. There will be a Menehune on the traditional back step at the transom. One rode with us in the EC in one of the hardest years, we finished! I will be bringing one with us on this one also for sure. (gotta have someone to talk to late at night.) “

BIO: Janet Bradford  Age 69, Started racing at age 59. Eight everglades challenges,  two of those in 6 person outrigger. Two 90 mile Adirondack canoe races. 3 AuSable Marathons. One Tip of the Mitt Kruger Adventure. Four Kruger 100 milers. Four United States Canoe Marathons. Wife of what's his name?

BIO: Mike Bradford Age 49, 34 years racing. One 124 mile La Classique in Quebec. 18 AuSable Marathons. 4 seventy mile general Clinton New York races. One Shore To Shore Kruger race. One BushWhacker race on Pine and Chippewa river. Three time Masters Champion in United States Canoe Championships.

BIO: MIKE SMITH Age, 64. Approximately 20,000 miles paddled. Finlandia Clean Water Challenge 1,000 miles Chicago to NY. One MR 340. One AuSable Marathon (120 mi.) "Shore To Shore and more" (490 mi.) Two 150 mile "Campus to Coast". Plus a few 150 mile BushWhackers. 

Brian Weber ~ Lake Mills, WI ~ Boat #0017 ~ Kruger Sea Wind

BIO: Brian Weber “I find at my advanced age I can't remember much of anything that would entertain amuse or have you gasp in sheer delight; but I will say that I was born to water and have spent the best of times while on the water with some great friends old and new, along with a few of you ole salty dogs as well;  sailing has always been my passion bouy and blue water; canoeing took the forefront after a conversation with Stan Hanson back in 2006; opening  my mind to the possibilities of the canoe; met Mark P and best yet to be written. I've dabbled in a few events but mostly just out there for the fun and  inspiration to write something entertaining. ( I enjoy embellishing the truth in my writings, facts can be so misleading while rumors so revealing) 

1 EC, 2 UM's, 3 MR340's,  1 1/2 mitt voyager canoe,  Manistee 150, 100, numerous Hughie's, paddle and portaged across Costa Rica (470 km); paddled the Snowy River, Botany Bay Australia, Pacuare River Costa Rica, Caves Branch and Cayes in Belize. Mostly I share my passion with those that want to experience the waterways by sail or paddle.

Most days you'll find me on local lakes or river ways of Wisconsin; with cocktails, ice-cream stops a must on my adventures.  I call it getting on "river time" -

The Capt’n”

Ben Algera ~ Holland, MI ~ Boat #0266 ~ Kruger Sea Wind

BIO: Ben Algera “I think I may be the young one in this crowd... I'm 36.  My "handle" is Macatawa based on my home lake.
I have been paddling since I was fairly young, mostly playing around on lakes as a kid with my parents.  My father and I (and later Emily and I) have paddled the Upper Delaware River (Hancock NY to Port Jervis NJ).  More recently, I have completed 1 UM, 1 NCC, 2 ECs, 1 Halfwhacker, several Hugh Heward 25s, 1 Manistee 150, 2 AuSable runs, and most recently a MUSOC Campus to Coast.

Mark Rowe & Lauren Fry “GoFRowe" ~ Ypsilanti, MI ~ Boat #2006 ~ Kruger Cruiser

BIO: Mark Rowe & Lauren Fry Lauren and Mark both grew up paddling with family and scouts. Their first date was in a green Old Town Penobscot 16, and they’ve been paddling together ever since.  Now they’ve upgraded to a Cruiser (#41, built by Mark P.). They’ve paddled and/or sailed on every Great Lake, Lake St. Clair, and 4 of the 5 connecting waterways.  In the 1.5 years since the maiden voyage of Cruiser #41, they have completed 2 Hughies, the 2013 Tip of the Mitt 300 mile race, the 2014 Everglades Challenge, a 120 mile Au Sable River Run, a 90 mile  Iron Mushroom, and a 150 mile Campus to Coast, in addition to other adventures by sail or paddle described in their blog, They are most notable for their copious food supplies; as the Capt’n said, “they sure look comfy.”

Mark Przedwojewski & Jack Murgittroyd ~ Irons, MI / Ithaca, MI ~ Boat #0317 ~ Kruger Cruiser

Sandy Krueger ~ Eagle, WI ~ Boat #0814 ~ Kruger Sea Wind

BIO: Sandy Krueger “My first river trip was in a Cruiser with Brian in fall of 2009. 
Met some of the Kruger family October of 2011, I was told I should try this crazy challenge stuff, so in 2012 I did, the Shore to Shore, I did it again in 2013. 
I have done some solo trips that some think were "crazy"..... I'm just doing what I love! I have always been a bit of a leather trap with a pure love for adventure! 
I have done a few other challenges, my proudest moment, finishing the Everglades challenge, 2014 for my first time, solo! I have well over 850 paddling miles already this year! Next, MR340 2014, can't wait to see You all!!!!!” ~ Peace

Joe Tousignant ~ Jackson, Missouri ~ Boat # 7691 ~ '85 Sawyer Loon

BIO:  Got my first Kruger design in 2010 on a friend's recommendation and contact.  Life changing, is all I can say.  It didn't just lead me to doing races, but also a new passion for discovering new places and meeting new friends.  Really loving the BWCA and Quetico!
Racing as an excuse to paddle for 5 years, including a Gritty 50, Kawnivore 94, 2 MR340's and an Everglades Challenge.  Ground crewed for a 3rd place Cruiser men's tandem in 2012.  Looking forward to the 2014 MR340 and 2015 EC, and possibly an UF in 2016.

Charles Wolfe ~ Duluth, MN ~ Boat # 0252 ~ Epic V10Sport
Shore support: Deb Ralston

BIO:  I am a physician, father and paddler from Duluth MN. I have been paddling since I was a ridge runner in northern PA, where I grew up on a mountaintop lake. Canoes were transport to friends, tools for chasing bass AND, when older, a vehicle for courting and sparking. I found my Seawind when planning my yet unaccomplished goal of connecting my home in Duluth to my ancestral roots in PA by boat. That lead me to discover various adventures races. I have completed 4 Everglades Challenges, 3 MR340s and 1 South Dakota Kayak Challenge. The races and adventure are fun and add a goal to focus on, but it is the ability to get out on Lake Superior and it's tributaries and local lakes 3 - 5 times a week that keeps my sanity in sight and obesity at bay. It has also introduced me to many great and inspiring men and women. I am ever thankful to Deborah for not only being my ground crew but also being totally supportive of my addiction and loving me despite of myself.

~Guest bloggers Pat, Stacy & Michael

Monday, April 14, 2014

Campus to Coast - 2014 the untold stories

Team Kruger - L to R: George, Lauren, Mark R, Stacy, Michael, Sandy, Ben, Mike, back row - Jack, kneeling Mark P.
As we wait in anticipation for the untold stories to seep from the bilges, and lack of any real information, the untethered introduction is left to me.  I apologized in advance if references to the literary classic Moby Dick, coincidence - maybe. Our story is "Doty's Chick". (working title) - It appears putting a paddle in Stacy's hands, you got your self a story!!
Now this would be admired as a masterpiece of American literature and considered one of the greatest stories of all time, - but it's not; "Doty's Chick" met with unfavorable reviews, and its author a rum guzzling, Oreo eating self proclaimed poet, was subsequently unable to make a living as a paddler; so he does this, tortures it readers with silly musings of fictitious lore.

Ostensibly the story of a C2C voyage is seen through the eyes of "Doty's Chick", the stories' narrator, and the account of the pursuit of a White Kruger Cruiser (wicked fast), the story is concerned with many of the issues which dominated spring paddling on the Grand River. The relationship between the land and the river echoes the conflict between adventure and domesticity, between college student and the working man.

The C2C event, highly symbolic, tightly packed with philosophical musings, and interspersed with goading questions, the story put off many of its early readers with what was seen as a rejection of basic storytelling principles. Each time some form of narrative tension is established, the author appears to launch off into obscure ramblings. (imagine that) They are only arcane, of course, when the reader does not perceive the hidden meanings within these passages; modern audiences have the advantage of being more receptive to disjointed narrative techniques. As for the stories' subtexts, only a few of these require sophisticated knowledge of paddling; the majority concern the big and immutable questions of life... "to paddle or not to paddle, that is the question"

more rum...

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Campus to Coast 2014

Campus to Coast is a paddle sport adventure race put on by the Michigan State University Outdoors Club. The race starts on MSU’s campus at the Rock, following the Red Cedar River into the Grand River and out through Grand Haven, finishing at Grand Haven State Park. The race is approximately 160 miles, with estimations of the fastest times being anywhere from 36-40 hours and 57 hours being the cut-off time.
 Ben Algera - makes it a family affair as Emily and the chitlands follow his progress; Ben is paddling a Kruger Sea Wind standard hull
Racers are organized into 3 major divisions with 6 different prices, the major division being as followed:
  • Collegiate: Any team composed of members all of who are studying at a secondary education school, including but not limited to colleges, universities, trade schools, and technical institutes.
  • Open Expedition Style: A team composed of members who will carry all their gear and food, and will obtain no outside assistance.
  • Open River Runner Style: A team who is only required to carry the required gear, and will have a support team following along the river. However, the support team may in no way assist in the forward progress of the paddle team.
Risks are many with non-stop adventure races; emotional physical and environmental challenges test participants to take their journey far beyond initial expectations; encouragement from others push challengers to succeed.

 Mark and Lauren doing what they do; not exactly sure where these photos were taken, but they sure look comfy. Wisconsin weather is rivaled only by Michigan; we share a lot of the same weather; pictures indicate balmy weather early on and a turn for the wicked as the event progressed.

Stacy and Michael are in what we call in the business a "haul @$$ mode" as they make their mark as over-all winners; they were chased and pushed to the limits by Mark P and Jack M also in a Kruger Cruiser. less than 30 minutes separated the pair as they made their way down river; that's 32 hours and some change not getting out of the boat and keeping her moving.

Team Kruger tears it up in the open expedition style; looks like many records fell as the bar has been raised to new heights.  I do not have the official times, but top finishers smashed the holly grille (yes holly grille, it's summer in Wisconsin) of 40 hours.

Sandy Kruger - open expedition passing the humble abode of Sir Woodruff; paddling a Kruger Sea Wind standard hull version.

Mike Smith - open expedition passing the humble abode of Sir Woodruff; paddling a Kruger Sea Wind standard hull version.

Photos and information was pirated from the web; I leave you with this; Drinking Rum and pilfering photos before 10am does not make you a drunken thief; it makes you a pirate!! arrrr...