Couple Kayaking Great Lakes for Cancer Research Stops in Duluth

Amy Adamle
August 13, 2017 10:38 PM

A Northland couple began their journey on April 1  in Port Huron, Mich.  Peggy Gabrielson and Joe Zellner's goal was to paddle the five Great Lakes in seven months while supporting a great cause.  They said they still have three months to go. 

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"We're seeing a lot of things you would never see from the road," Peggy Gabrielson said.  "We're meeting amazing people.  Everyone that we've met has been so kind and so nice, so interesting."

Their main goal is about much more. 

"We've been trying to spread the word about pediatric brain cancer research and hoping that people will jump on and put some money towards that," Gabrielson said.  

Each day they try to paddle 30 miles, stop twice a day for a break, and get supplies from family and friends along the way.  

"You can only sit in a boat for so long and your butt starts to get sore, and your legs get sore, and your belly starts cranking because it's hungry," Zellner said. 

They said their trip has definitely come with it's challenges. 

Including, "Waves, three-four foot waves, wind blowing you so hard that you're down to two miles and hour and you're struggling," Zellner said.  

They've also enjoyed some benefits, like living on Mother Nature's time. 

"The days are all screwed up," Zellner said.  "We don't know what day it is," Gabrielson said.  "It's kind of fun you don't know if it's Saturday or Monday and you don't know what time it is most of the time."

They said their motivation is a girl named Callie Rohr, who died from brain cancer at nine-years-old.

"What we're doing feels like a lot of work, but it's nothing compared to what these kids are going through that are trying to just live," Gabrielson said. 

With each stroke, they get closer to their goal of raising $6,100 for pediatric brain cancer research.  

You can donate to the cause and track their location on their website, 2paddling5


Amy Adamle

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