2003 World Record Set:
18 days, 4 hours, 51 minutes!
Mississippi River Challenge for
- May 10, 2003 6 AM to May 28, 10:51 AM 2003-
A 2,348 Mile Marathon to Support a Marathon of Research!
May 14, Tuesday
Update from Dana Hanson, per Stan Hanson:
The paddlers arrived at Sauk Rapids, MN, in the dark at 5:30am.
They enjoyed their breakfast, and once daylight made its appearance,
the group scouted the rapids for which the city is named. The
video camera was mounted on the back of the canoe so they could
get some pictures while they canoed the rapids. Shortly after
6am, the paddlers shot the rapids and were on their way.
While Stan and I were talking, they were all portaging in St.
Cloud. People were shaking their hands, and the paddlers were
in good spirits. Ken Ketter had joined them and was portaging
right along with our Team. He will be joining the paddlers on
the water from St. Cloud to Coon Rapids, and possibly beyond.
By the time Stan's and my conversation ended, they had arrived
at the other end of the portage. I could hear everybody talking
in the background.
Stan anticipates that they will be at and thru St. Anthony's
Upper and Lower Dams before this morning is over.
Stan has finally hooked up with a St. Louis radio station, KLOU
103.3FM, and interviewed with Smash, the morning DJ from 5:30am
to 9am. Smash said he is amazed at what Team Hope is doing and
has asked Stan to call in early every morning. He's scheduled
short but thorough segments on what is happening. Smash hopes
to get a bunch of people together to greet the paddlers when they
arrive at the Arch in downtown St. Louis, Missouri, at 10am on
Tuesday, May 20.
From Dana Hanson, per Stan Hanson:
Stan called around 12:20pm CST -- using his cell phone instead
of a satellite phone! The paddlers are 32 miles above Coon Rapids.
The head wind has picked up a lot, making paddling more difficult.
Ken Ketter is still paddling with Bob & Clark, and he has invited
them and the land crew to a feast of lasagna dinner. Only 34
miles downstream, on the western edge of Minneapolis! He's made
arrangements for several of Bob's friends to meet them there,
including Gene Jensen, a boat builder. Hopefully, Clark & Bob
will be able to get at least four hours of deep, well-deserved
sleep (in a comfortable bed) before leaving Ketter's Landing.
The crew right now are all playing like gophers.
Our Expedition, which Stan got out of the shop yesterday, is
working great. Then I heard, "But another couple trips down the
Mississippi, and I might have to trade it in." There was a long
pause. In the back of my mind I was remembering how it took only
six months after the Great Mississippi River Race of 2001 for
discussions to start up about the Mississippi River Challenge
of 2003. I asked if they were already talking about the next
race for Rett & Leukodystrophy. He laughed. Never did get a
truly direct answer..... hmmmmm
Clark called around 12:30 CST and said they were heading towards
the Twin Cities.... said 4 paddling friends of Bob had been with
them and that it was great to have the company on the water....
also said when he was suppose to sleep last night a downpour began
and he got soaked, and apparently did not sleep. He is quite tired.
I hope he sleeps before he starts seeing 12 foot beaver tails
He mentioned seeing Brie and Brianna, 2 girls with Rett syndrome
who were at the Headwaters in our previous race in 2001.... and
their mom Danita. I can't remember if he said their grandmom Diane
was there - but I suspect she was if she could have been. I first
actually "met" Diane online years ago on a couple Rett Syndrome
email listserves - she is very active in her grandchildren's lives
and very knowledgeable about the day to day ins and outs with
Rett Syndrome. Clark was very happy to see them all, and of course,
eat the pizza they had brought for Team Hope.....
I told Clark the website maps from Where
Are They Now? were updating very quickly and often now. The
Automatic Positioning Radio System and Global Positioning System
that are tied to the race canoe work in tandem to send a radio
signal that includes Clark's call wb0oly, and their longitude
and latitude position to a a radio/computer program system set
up at Findu.com . That system
at Findu.com in turn uses that
information and maps from MapBlast to generate the maps folks
are seeing on our event website. Steve Dimse, who runs findu.com,
allows us to frame those maps right into our site. Talk about
helping a fellow ham!
Special thanks to everyone who helped with that. It really does
make the race more exciting for those of us watching from the
web. Steve Dimse will try to put together a short QuickTime movie
for us summarizing Team Hope's progress that we can use for our
Clark said they got great "on the water" video shots when going
through the rapids today. We hope to use this footage to help
produce a documentary about this adventure, Rett Syndrome, and
Leukodystrophy after we smash the record..... anyone interested
in helping with that should feel free to contact us.
From the National Weather Center:
Minneapolis, MN weather forecast for Wednesday, 5/14/2003 -
While waiting for Clark & Bob, Stan did quite a bit of talking with Gene Jensen -- a "paddling, canoe-designer, builder" legend, probably 80-something years young. He had great stories about Verlen. We'll have to get details on the good stuff later!
Clark is calling me right now - said it's very very very windy... also that
there were 7 canoeists with them today paddling from time to time
... very nice... they love it when folks paddle with them....We
are hoping to get some pictures online soon from some of the fellow
Clark said they are about to start going through the Locks and
Dams. The Lock and Dam masters have quite a task and we were grateful
for their kind assistance during our 2001 Mississippi adventure.
Kent Spading is our Army Corp of Engineer liaison, and has helped
alert folks to our 2003 race. I'm sure things will go smoothly through
the Locks and Dams overall, I just worry more about the night time
travelling in general. On a great note though, the lighting on the
race boat is spectacular - with our sponsor's Nite Rider lights
and our GreatLand Laser signaling devices, the paddlers should be
easily seen and see well themselves. Many thanks to Princeton Tech
also, for the headlamps for the Road Crew, and to Luminox for watches
for the paddlers .... it all helps tremendously at night, and that's
1/2 the race!
The team is presently at Ketter's Canoes in the Twin Cities now,
inside for the moment to get out of the wind, to eat, and to get
ready for the next section.... I told Clark the weather report indicates
the wind may be continuing, and the chance for rain high. The Team
sounds fine overall, no problems reported, no concerns. Clark sounded
tired, but well. I'm hoping to talk with Bob next time :-). They
are all so very busy right now... I'm just glad they are all ok.
___________________________________________After scouting the Diversion Channel near Aitkin, MN two nights ago, we went to a boat ramp on Highway 6 north of Crosby, MN to wait for Bob & Clark. I slept under the stars in the bed of a pickup truck Stan had on loan while his truck was being worked on. I awoke in the morning to find frost on my sleeping bag! Yep, it was cold...
We had a great dinner at the portage last night in Little Falls,
MN, courtesy of Danita and family (thanks again, Danita!).
Bonnie Riley came to Ketter's Canoeing and met everyone and gave
Angie several "Mississippi River Challenge" blankets which she made.
A note about our position updates (APRS): it only works automatically
when the boat is in an area where there is another radio which can
receive the signal. It first started working last night near Little
Falls. I noticed that it was not doing updates between St. Cloud and
Minneapolis. This is normal, as there are areas of the country with
few or no stations. It should work well, on the other hand, near large
metro areas, where there are likely to be many stations which can
receive the signal from the boat.
I've got some really cool audio of Bob & Clark recorded while they
were in the Diversion Dam near Aitkin the other day. When I get a
chance I'll edit some clips and put them on my website.
Whohoo, more updates! It was a hard day for me today going cold
turkey without being a Team Hope groupie. I am sure I was having
withdrawal symptoms. After spending 5 days in a row chasing Team
Hope around Minnesota it was hard to be at home wondering what was
going on. It is good to hear everyone is doing good and got a hot
shower. Thanks Ketters!
Chuck and Lisa Evert who are parents to Jill, with Rett Syndrome
are going to be traveling with them tomorrow and possibly Friday
too, we should be getting some good updates from them also.
I have gotten a few responses from Rett families who live down
the river a ways and want to be there to cheer Team Hope on in the
next week or so.
Jessica Phelps writes:
It's been a lot of fun & I wish that I could do this every year!
Everybody has been really nice & done a lot for us: cooking, showers,
and a good place to sleep and rest better.
Angie Phelps writes:
Great people are all along the Mississippi River. Kenn Ketter,
Al DuBois, Keith Canny, and Lee Jarpy put in at St. Cloud Dam and
paddled for over 12 hours with Dad (Bob) & Clark. Ed Arenz, Chuck
Ryan and Tom Gardner joined them during the day for a few hours
Ken's wife Beth Sikkema made Lasagna and Sarah Kueffer opened her
home (also the home of Ketter Canoeing) and let Bob, Clark and the
Road Crew take naps and showers.
Bob's snowshoeing friend Bonnie Riley made some lap throws that
are embroidered with "Mississippi River Challenge - TEAM HOPE -
May 2003" to give to kids along the way. She also made "racing cookies"
for the guys.
Gene Jenson (Jenson Canoes) stopped in to see how the course was
going. That meant a lot to Team Hope.
Crew Member Tony Swenson came back to visit us at Ketter Canoes!
We were glad to have him back with us again, if only for a short
At Ketter's Canoes in Minneapolis, MN, 05/14/2003, L to R: Clark Eid, Bob Bradford, David Phelps
At Ketter's Canoes in Minneapolis, MN. L to R: Clark Eid sitting, David Phelps, Jessie Phelps, Stan Hanson, Bob Bradford