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Duluthian Paddling to Arctic Ocean

Brandon Weathers
Updated: June 14, 2019 06:56 PM

Jared Munch likes to take his paddle board where no one else has.

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"Four summers ago I paddled the whole way around Lake Superior on a stand-up paddle board," he said.

Now that Jared has graduated with his Master's degree in Civil Engineering from UMD, he's decided to pick up the paddle for the next challenge.

Jared said, "Now is the time, because I'll soon have a job with a lot more commitment than I have in life right now."

He says he's setting out from Brighton Beach in Duluth Saturday. He will ride along the North Shore of Lake Superior and make his way to Michipicoten, Ontario. From that point, he switches from the big lake to paddling up Canadian rivers all the way to James Bay, which is the southermost point of the Arctic Ocean.

All said and done, it'll be roughly 920 miles of paddling over the course of about a month. "Ideally, 30 days, realistically, probably around 40 days," Jared said.

He's using this extreme paddle ride to raise funds for the Neighborhood Youth Service. His goal is $4,000.

"I got to do every fun outdoor kind of thing that I think kids should get to do, "Jared said. "Coming to Duluth and seeing a lot of the kids on the hillside who don't have that readily available to them, it strikes me as something I'm passionate about, and I do want to help chip in so these kids can become involved."

Jared's dad will be joining him on the river once he reaches Michipicoten. He said, "My dad is gonna do all of the downstream action with me and I'll just work my tail off to get to that point."

But the Lake Superior stretch will just be Jared and his board, like it was back in 2015. He expects this trip to go smoother because of the things he learned from the first excursion.

"Last time I did end up losing about 15 pounds during the journey, and I'm a pretty skinny guy, so that's a big deal for me. So I am bringing more food this time."

He also got a brand new board and made his own adjustments to ensure a smooth and safe ride. This included cutting into the bottom of the board and adding an extra fin for stability.

"This was a scary thing to do. Typically, when you get a brand new board that happens to be the board of your dreams, you don't plunge a giant hole into it immediately."

He also added handles, about 20 ties for his gear, and even gave his board a paint job.

"I want it to have a little more pop and the water, just better visibility, so I created a couple of orange stripes up there."

He's spent months establishing contacts along the route to ensure safety. "I know where all of the towns are, I know where a lot of the charter fishing companies are, I know where and how to get help if I need it."

Jared will be able to update his location along his way on Facebook. He will also be keeping a close eye on the weather. He said, "The forecast looks very good for me for about the next 5 days."

Once he and his dad make their way to their final destination at James Bay, getting home will also have a few challenges.

“There’s no road to this town that I’ll be finishing in actually. I have to take a train back about halfway to Lake Superior, then get shuttled from that point back to my dad’s vehicle," Jared said. "Then from there, drive back to Lake Superior to pick up this board, which I will have left there, and then come back to Duluth.”

Credits

Brandon Weathers

Copyright 2019 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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