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A Superior Adventure

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Couple Circumnavigates Lake Superior by Kayak

Houghton, MI, February 19, 2009 --( Beginning in June 2009 adventurers Matt Abbotts and Hannah Williams will be paddling their kayaks around the entire Lake Superior shoreline. Williams and Abbotts plan on paddling their sea kayaks out of Houghton, Michigan on June 11th, 2009 in an attempt to paddle around Lake Superior. The couple’s motivation for the trip stemmed from a combined interest in endurance adventuring and the ecological impacts of global warming on the very unique ecosystem of the lake they currently call home. Covering approximately 1,300 miles and crossing through three states and two countries Abbotts and Williams are looking for the adventure of a lifetime. The couple will begin their journey to the west, leaving Houghton, MI and heading toward Bayfield, WI and follow the shoreline around the Lake. During the course of their paddle they will also plan on circumnavigating Isle Royale and making a point to explore the Apostle Islands (WI) and the Slate Islands (ONT, Canada). The details of the trip’s course can be found at The pair estimate the length of the trip to be between six and twelve weeks depending on delays due to weather.

Lake Superior is the largest lake, by surface area, in the world. The Lake is currently experiencing more rapid warming, due to climate change, than the surrounding region. This rapidly changing ecosystem was a major part of the inspiration for this trip. Lake Superior is unique because it is a large body of water lying on the interface between two major bioregions, the Northern Hardwood and Boreal Forests. The water temperature is rising at a much more accelerated pace than the surrounding land, creating new weather patterns, and subsequently affecting the climates of the land which surrounds it. For more information on the science behind climate change, visit the links posted on the Lake Superior page of Abbotts and Williams are hoping to see the lake as it is, before the effects of climate change and invasive species drastically alter the vegetation, wildlife and the lake itself. The pair will be documenting the environmental rarities that they find along with the visible environmental changes in daily journal entries and photographs. Both Abbottts and Williams will have digital photography equipment and the ability to send and receive files throughout the trip.

Abbotts, who grew up in Beaverton, MI is a recent graduate of Michigan Technological University where Williams, of Rochester, MI, is working on her B.S. in Forestry. Matt and Hannah met during the winter of 2008 and formed a relationship based on outdoor adventure. Their connection grew stronger during many ice climbing and snowshoeing trips. In the spring of 2008 Matt thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail. After completing the trail in early July, Matt headed back to Michigan and joined Hannah in her work with the Great Lakes Center for Exotic Species. Shortly thereafter, Williams and Abbotts decided that another large-scale adventure was in order. Lake Superior was right out their back door and seemed like the perfect venue for the trip of a lifetime.

The couple has spent the winter months preparing for the trip. They began by building their website, as a vector of communication with their friends, families, and the public throughout the trip. Preparation has also included researching towns on the Lake, compiling gear, putting together a series of maps for navigation, planning meals, dehydrating food and paddling their boats at every opportunity – even among chunks of ice in February. Physical and mental preparation will continue down to the day the adventurers depart. While enjoying each small practice excursion, both Abbotts and Williams are eager to get on the water for the big adventure.

If you’d like to learn more about Lake Superior or Matt and Hannah’s adventure you can visit their website at The site currently hosts an introduction to their adventure and a short biography of each of the paddlers along with information on Lake Superior and steps you can take to reduce your impact on the environment. The site will be updated weekly after their departure and will include daily journals from both Abbotts and Williams and photos from their trip.

Contact Information
A Superior Adventure
Hannah Williams and Matt Abbotts
248 931 0175

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