Ann Raiho and Natalie Warren are childhood friends who in 2011 became the first women to paddle from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay following the 2,000-mile route made famous by Eric Sevareid in his 1935 classic Canoeing with the Cree.
Natalie has gone on to write a book about this journey - Hudson Bay Bound - Two Women, One Dog, Two Thousand Miles to the Arctic.
Today we hear the story from Ann’s perspective.
Ann in her own words:
I grew up outside of St. Paul, Minnesota. While I was in high school, I went to a canoeing camp in the summer called YMCA Camp Menogyn. Natalie and I met the summer of 2007 on a 50-day canoe trip in Nunavut, Canada. Then, by coincidence, we went to college together at St. Olaf College in southern Minnesota.
I majored in mathematics with a minor in environmental studies. But, mostly I was interested in playing a lot of ultimate frisbee and worrying about climate change. Natalie and I were having trouble finding jobs after college. We decided that this would be the perfect time to go on a longer canoe trip.
In the summer of 2011, we paddled 2,000 miles in 85 days to Hudson Bay. During the trip, we both had a lot of time to think about what we wanted to do next. I decided to pursue a career as an ecologist and after the trip got my master's in ecology from Colorado State followed by my Ph.D. in Biology from Notre Dame.
My dissertation work focuses on connecting field-collected paleoecological data with predictive models. Currently, I am a postdoctoral researcher at Colorado State working for the National Park Service in Alaska. I use my skills in mathematics and statistics to understand nature's complexities. Specifically, I identify landscape types in Alaska that may be robust to accelerating climate changes.
My early experiences with long-distance canoeing have given me the ability to persist through hard research tasks and a passion for preserving the wilderness by improving our knowledge of the importance of nature.
New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out.
The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast.
Listen to Ann Now!
Click here if you can't see the link below.
Who is Ann
Family life and growing up
Spending time outdoors
Having access to a cabin in the wilderness
Her dreams as a little girl and wanting to go on crazy adventures
Getting into canoeing
Being inspired at YMCA Camp Menogyn
Deciding to go on a big adventure and challenge
January 2011 and graduating from college
Planning and preparation for the trip
Equipment and paying for the trip
Building a website
Spending 85 days together on the river
The biggest challenge on the expedition
Figuring out how to make decisions
The plan for writing a book after the journey
Sending the journals from the trip…
Picking up a stray dog for the trip
2011 and recreating the journey and meeting people along the way
Lessons learned from the adventure
How canoeing is still a part of her life
Advice for other women who want to get into canoeing
The power of believing in yourself
Myhan The Canoe Dog @myhan_the_canoe_dog
Feeling inspired week after week?
You can do 3 easy things to help me continue to grow the podcast!
Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes, so you won’t miss a single episode
If you’re loving the podcast, please leave a 5-star review on iTunes! I read every single comment!
Share the podcast with your friends, especially if you think it could help them, and spread the #ToughGirlPodcast love.
Your support helps me continue to grow the podcast and do inspiring things in this space! Already done all 3? You’re a rockstar! Thank you!
Want to do more?
Please become a Patron and donate US$5 a month to help fund the runnings costs. Thank you.