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SUP paddler eating up the miles on Lake Superior

Jared Munch is still powering his stand-up paddleboard along the North Shore of Lake Superior. Munch, 22, is the University of Minnesota Duluth student who's on a quest to become the first person to circumnavigate Lake Superior on a stand-up padd...

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A gull flys by as Jared Munch begins his effort to circumnavigate Lake Superior on a standup paddleboard. (Steve Kuchera / skuchera@duluthnews.com)

Jared Munch is still powering his stand-up paddleboard along the North Shore of Lake Superior.

Munch, 22, is the University of Minnesota Duluth student who's on a quest to become the first person to circumnavigate Lake Superior on a stand-up paddleboard.

"He's at a blistering pace right now," said his brother, Waylon Munch of Duluth. "He seems to be well ahead of schedule."

Munch left Duluth May 20. According to the latest text message from his GPS device, he had reached St. Ignace Island between Nipigon and Rossport, Ontario, on Tuesday. Munch is out of reach by phone but can communicate by brief text messages.

"Big day today," he texted Tuesday evening. "Sleeping off the sea sickness gave me a late start, but still able to cover 28 miles from Swede (Island) to St. Ignace Island."

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On Sunday, Munch paddled 37 miles.

After leaving Duluth, Munch had reached Grand Portage in just five days, averaging about 30 miles per day. He returned to Duluth by vehicle to teach whitewater paddling classes for UMD's Recreational Sports Outdoor Program, then returned to Grand Portage last Friday to continue his trip. He had to make some major crossings of open water near Thunder Bay.

"Had a nice meeting with a group of sailors on the water," Munch texted Monday. "Looks windy the next couple days, but the biggest crossings are done with. Sheltered islands now."

Boaters on the big lake can't help but notice a solitary figure standing atop a board little larger than a surfboard.

"The fishermen here at St. Ignace fed me well. I'm way ahead of schedule. Might stay here a day," Munch texted on Tuesday.

His entire circumnavigation will cover about 1,700 miles. On his 14-foot stand-up paddleboard (SUP), Munch carries three large waterproof duffels with food, camping gear and clothing. At St. Ignace Island, he was staying overnight in a cabin with a sauna, but most nights along Ontario's shore he plans to camp.

To follow his progress, search on Facebook for " More. A SUPerior Adventure. "

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Jared Munch

Related Topics: LAKE SUPERIOR
Sam Cook is a freelance writer for the News Tribune. Reach him at cooksam48@gmail.com or find his Facebook page at facebook.com/sam.cook.5249.
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