Associated Press story on cross-country canoe trip by Zand Martin '08 goes national

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A widely published Associated Press story describes how Alexander “Zand” Martin ’08 paddled rivers, lakes and other waterways during his 4,300-mile cross-country canoe trip. Martin had to do a lot of portaging, too, hauling his 33-pound Kevlar canoe by bike some 800 of those miles to get from one water route to another.zand-martin-08-canoe-yellowstone

The trek, done in several legs, started on April 4, 2009, and ended Sept. 24, 2010. In noting the remarkable feat in restrained AP style, writer David Sharp says that “attempting to paddle a canoe across the country is uncommon. Martin said he’s aware of only one or two others who have had similar success in doing so. But there are no comprehensive records for cross-country paddles.”

The April-to-May 2009 leg took Martin from Portland, Ore., to Jackson Hole, Wyo. The September-to-November 2009 leg took him from the Grand Tetons, down the Yellowstone River, across the Boundary Waters of northern Minnesota to Lake Superior.

The third leg, begun in August, ended at Portland’s East End Beach, where family members waited with balloons and an Allagash beer, which Martin had requested. Portland Press Herald writer John Richardson covered the homecoming.

In Martin’s blog about the adventure, he candidly notes that of the 120 weeks since his graduation as a history major and Outing Club leader (he helped to resurrect the BOC’s annual Legend), “I’ve spent 98 weeks in a sleeping bag on the ground,” either as a NOLS leader or on his canoeing adventure.

“On time off, I visit friends and live their lives for a short time,” he says. Life as an outdoorsman, while fulfilling, raises the question of the social fulfillment he’s missing by not living in a city in his mid-20s. “It will be an ongoing question, and one with no answer.” Martin is now in New Zealand leading NOLS whitewater and hiking expeditions.

View Associated Press story from Sept. 24, 2010.

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