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My name is Blakely LaCroix and I am 49 and a rafter and IK'er. (Sounds like a confession.) Physically, I can typically be found just north of Minneapolis, MN. Spiritually, I always seem to be dreaming of a new adventure.

In retrospect, the river appears to be just the current extension of a much longer journey. In the late 60's, I used my thumb to follow the highways to the places I had not yet been. Then bicycling became the vehicle for adventure. For the next 10 years, freightrains were carrying me to my destinations. At the height of my hobo career, I met my soul mate. We married, I founded a business, and we started a family.

When we looked for a hobby we could all do together, rafting was at the top of the list. Every summer we try to do at least one long trip (100 miles plus), usually in the Western US, and preferably in the wilderness (at least the illusion of a wilderness). These are solo trips (one boat/three people) which we all love. The grand finale trip will be a family Grand Canyon run in what looks like 8 years. The trip this summer will be the first leg (Ely to International Fall) of the a multi-year journey to Hudson's Bay.

In the meanwhile, I can be found rowing a Aire 15R6 down local rivers, or paddling an Aire Lynx II (now one for every member of the family). I do not care about the rating of the water I travel down as long as I can still get through safely. Rapids are nice, but not essential. The joy is just to be on the water and exerience Nature in the hope that maybe one can still get a glimpse of what the world was like before man compromised it. For me, the journey is the reward.

Blakely LaCroix Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

The best adventure is yet to come.