Thanks to …


This journey is in honor of my late friend, classmate, and wilderness canoe traveller, Scott Anderson (author of Distant Fires), who inspired many people young and old. I dedicate this voyage to his parents, Paul and Carol Anderson, and to his family and friends who still grieve his loss. May we live honorably and respectfully in his remembrance and be forever inspired by his passion of life.

I am sincerely grateful to my family, friends and the following people for inspiration and support: Thank You!

My Family: Vern Simula, Naomi Brigan, Tim Sedor, Becky & Denny Randelin, Dan Simula, Kyle Simula, Ben Simula, Anna Simula, Dawn Simula: (niinimoshe/my sweetheart), Kevin Fairbanks, Leann Fairbanks, Brian Fairbanks, Tim Braford, Shannon Braford, Chris Doty, Harry Murphy, Howard Simula, Herb Simula, Steve & Kathy Simula, Bear Carlson, Jay & Billi, Cassi & Jake Carlson, Todd Carlson & family, Doug & Barb Norbeck and all my aunts, uncles, cousins and other relatives. I love you all.


Bearskin Lodge

Duluth Pack

Brandenburg Gallery

North House Folk School

WTIP Northshore Radio (90.7 FM)

Ames Farm

Ryden’s Border Store

Anderson’s Canoe Outfitters – Crane Lake


Randy Schwalbach

Ev Roley

Ted Ford

Ken Gilbertson

Linda & Bob Watson

Steve Emerson (Frost River)

Mindy Alberman & Frank Koppala

Terry Horejshi

Robert Stangler

David Gilligan

Seth Wotten (Water For Future Generations)

Brian & Dayna Gallagher (Irish Creek Kennels)

Jim Brandenburg (Brandenburg Gallery)

Bob, Sue, Kaitlin & Quinn McCloughan (Bearskin Lodge)

Andy McDonnell

Eric Kemp

Jim Raml, Jay Hutchinson, Tom Peever, Greg Perry, Michael Scribner-O’Pray, Tukaluk, Digger, Steve, Terry, Eric, David, Ernest and many others (canoe builders)

Scott Pollock, Tom Suprenant, Greg Wright, (North House Folk School)

Lonnie & Kelly Dupre

Bert Hyde

Bigfork River Jack Todd

Tim Cochrane, Jon Sage, Bun Gagnon, Pam Neil, Dave Cooper, David Riehm, Daniel Walker, Jake Korf, Bern Olker, Karl Koster & Amber Pfeil,  Jeremy Kingsbury, Steve & Deb Veit, Ron Anderson, Jerry Waha, Duane Spry, Carolyn and other staff (Grand Portage National Monument)

Mike & Margaret Plummer-Steen

Todd & Cheryl Carlson

Sam Cook

Scott Ollila

Jeremy Ward (Canadian Canoe Museum)

Ralph Frese (Chicagoland Canoe Base)

Henri Vallaincourt

Pat Kruse

Johnny Mitchell

Frank Sherman

Curtis Gagnon, Beth Drost & Pete Gagnon

Cameron Norman

Layne Kennedy

Dave Olesen

Arleigh Jorgenson (Jorgenson’s Sled Dog Adventures)

Jane Comee

Brian Stewart

Maureen Donahue

David & Martha Tomeo

Tim & Beth George

Brian Fredericksen (Ames Farm)

Mike Link (Audubon Center of the Northwoods)

Travis Novitsky

Jack & Sherri Hayden (Denali West Lodge)

Rueben Fasthorse

Carl Gawboy

Earl Nyholm

Ferde Goode

Adam & Mica Harju

Matthias Herling

Linda Henry

Kerry Donars

Ron Hobart

Mark Hansen (Hansen Boat Works)

Bert Hyde

Anna Lujan & Jackson Sneve

Henri ja Anu Munne

Michael Nordskog

George Ottenbrett

Will Steger

John Pierce & Karen Pick

Peter Pestalozzi & Jeanne Bourquin (Bourquin Boats)

Hans Smith

Leroy Yoki

Tim White

Kelly Murphy

Bob Swanson

Jim Brekke

David Christopherson

Mike Anderson

Megan Kress

Charles Smith (Capt., Duluth Fire Department)

Duluth Fire Dept./Police Dept./St. Louis County Sheriff Dept./MN DNR/US Coast Guard/and other 5/12/09 responders and volunteers

Andrew Slade

J.D. (Lutsen)

John Abrams

Marty Torgerson

Steve Heinle

Ron Coleman

Frank Nelson

Butch Egan 

Jerry Nelson

Charlie Bergstedt


John Duke

Bobby Johnson

Davey Warner

Joe Mattson

Sheryl Hinderman

Justine Curgenven

John Powers

Calvin Ottertail

MENTORS (no longer with us):

Russ Merritt

Joe Seliga

Bob Cary

Gilbert Caribou

Hal Murphy

Stan Walsh




  1. What a challenge… why doesn’t this surprise me? Sending you energy and travelling mercies!

  2. Just arrived back in the area. Talked to your old friend Scott and he directed us to this site. What a journey. Wishing you wind at your back and a successful journey! Will keep watching the progress.
    Take care!

  3. Erik,

    Hello from your old friend and neighbor. Best wishes on your epic and impressive adventure.

    Scott Ollila

  4. Erik,

    I was happy to see that you are on yet another wonderful journey with the birchbark canoe! What an adventure! Best of luck to you! I am hoping to get in on the NHFS wild rice course you are teaching this fall. PS, just returned from a weekend trip near Grand Rapids on a bark hunt–found some big trees but not quite tall or straight enough. Sadly found a wonderful birch sawed/destroyed into a firewood pile….the search will continue….take care 🙂

    • Greg,
      Sounds as if you are on your way to building your own canoe–great! Good luck on the search for bark. I’m anxious to check in with Erik somewhere soon along his route.
      Jay Hutchinson

  5. Hi Erik,

    A friend who attended a talk you gave last winter heard about the trip and that it was in honor of Scott. She told us about it, but we didn’t hear more until reading about you in the Duluth paper about your travels through here a day ago. Sam Cook filled us in. Sure wish we would have known, we’d have loved to put you up overnight and hear your story. We’ll follow your progress and if lucky, maybe we can connect with you at some point and share some “granola!” What an exciting trip–Scott would definitely approve!! We wish you the very best!!

    Paul and Carol Anderson

    • You still have a chance to share that granola with Erik. He’s doing a fireside chat tonight at Indian Point.

  6. Go get’em E. !!!! I will be thinking of you and wish you the best of a journey.



  7. To Erik from a guy who asked him a thousand questions about birchbark canoe building during the 3 years I was building my own canoe and attending Erik’s first Folk School canoe class at Grand Portage in 2005. He answered them all patiently, gave me many tips on sewing with roots, selecting bark, peeling bark, splitting cedar, and all the finer points that a master builder has learned over the years. Buena suerte (Sp.) and God Tur Vidare (Sw.) And keep the spruce gum handy!

  8. Erik,

    Just wanted to let you know that we are all thinking of you on “launch day” and hope this trip is everything you’ve dreamed it will be. We are cheering you on and will be following your blog closely and sharing your travels with all the visitors who will no doubt be asking about you this summer! Safe travels to you! We look forward to welcoming you home at Rendezvous 🙂

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