Updated: 04/25/2014 6:18 PM
Created: 04/25/2014 4:55 PM WDIO.com
By: Travis Dill
A handful of kayakers trudged through the melting remnants of a record snowfall to reach the Lester River in Duluth. Spring has made it a playground for them.
“Looks like it's here. We got good water. It's high, it'll be a full-on race tomorrow,” Ryan Zimny said.
Zimny is the director of the Lester River Race and Friday's run was just a bit of practice.
This is only the second year for the race, but Zimny expected a a good turnout for the Saturday race.
“Paddling white water isn't for everybody, paddling Class V is for fewer still and racing down it narrows the field even more, but the fact that we have got almost 30 people signed up says a lot about the paddling community up here,” Zimny said.
Class V means the mile run along the Lester River is one of the toughest challenges a kayaker can face. Zimny said riding the rapids is an incredible experience, but it's not for everybody.
“It definitely attracts, I guess, a different type of personality. It's not warm, it's snow melt. It's the freezing point of water basically,” Zimny said.
With Lester River running right through Duluth city limits Zimny said anyone can enjoy the sport.
“So it's really unique to be able to showcase your sport where there's people that can be involved and spectators to see what it's all about. Usually, we're out in the canyons where there's nobody,” Zimny said.
He said anyone wanting to try out kayaking has a lot of easier options along the North Shore.
“If you drive up Highway 61 to Canada every few miles there's a river with waterfalls, with rapids and it's almost all runable,” Zimny said.
He said whether you're washing through the white water or just sitting on shore the Lester River Race will impress. Kayakers take off down the river at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Federal Ruling Means No Killing Wolves Unless Endangering Human Life
A federal judge has overturned an Obama administration decision to remove the gray wolf population in the western Great Lakes region from the endangered species list.
Another Round of Budget Cuts at UWS
UWS announced on Friday at an open forum that it will be eliminating academic programs and faculty positions to help to university save money. Four graduate programs and four undergraduate programs will be cut. The university is also severing ties with a music professor and a visual arts professor.
Lake Superior Zoo Reduces Seasonal Hours, Cuts Staff Position
While a task force takes time to consider possible changes to the financially struggling Lake Superior Zoo, there'll be a couple other adjustments in the mean time.
Bigfork Blaze Destroys Home, Injures Firefighter
Firefighters battled the blaze on the 300 block of Ottum Avenue for more than six hours, according to Susie Schmickle with the Bigfork Fire Department.
Prepackaged Caramel Apples Linked to 4 Deaths
Health officials are warning consumers to avoid prepackaged caramel apples after they were linked to five deaths, including two in Minnesota.