September 20th I wil launch from the Southern most point of Michigans Upper Penninsula to attempt the second documented solo circumnavigation of Lake Michigan (1,640 miles). The purspose of this trip is equal parts personal, physical and philanthropic.
Personal: I have long dreamt of attempting this trip, and now, due to a series of fortunate and unfortunate occurences in my life, am given a window to fulfill the expedition I have lost so much sleep contemplating over the past few years. The majority of this trip will be in the fall, with various temperatures and conditions ranging from below freezing to the mid to upper 70's (20 celcius)
Physical: In March I was hit by a vehicle whilst serving with the Peace Corps in Africa; the results of which were (and still are) a complicated tibia break in two places and a complex series of fractures in my ankle which to date have left me with a limp, severe pain, and an unknown window of recovery. Cycling has become my own form of physical therapy, and kayaking, which requires consistant pressure with the feet, ankle and calves to stear, will become the other. Yes, with the government bailing on physical therapy for a proper recovery I have become my own physical therapist so to speak:)
Philanthropy: As a certified rock climbing instructor (in New Zealand) I have seen first hand the positive effects that the sport/hobby/past-time has had on countless individuals of all ages of over the past few years. It was with this knowledge, and with a desire to do more than just serve my role in the Peace Corps, that I decided it would be very worthwhile to build a rock climbing wall/bouldering wall, in the village (or villages) where I will be serving in the Peace Corps. In my spare time (of which I had a significant amount during the first few months of this injury) I contacted, and will be regularly contacting, climbing companies to donate climbing holds to the Kayak 2 Climb Project.
If you chose to donate to my campaign you will helping pay for the shipment of the climbing holds and any additional equipment needed to my country of service, and to the expedition itself. 60% of the overall donated income will go to the wall, and 40% towards food and equipment I'll need to complete the circumnavigation which I have guaged could take anywhere from 1 to 2 months weather depending.
This is the best part. I don't have one. I don't overthink things, its a big lake with a fair number of cities of towns along the way (Chicago and Milwaukee to name a few). I will leave with approximately one weeks food rations, and minimal equiment, a tent and clothing - I'll figure the rest out along the way.
Mathew St Martin