NMU Adventure Team

The NMU Adventure Team is for those wildcats who are on a permanent quest to escape the ordinary. 

Four the Water Team
Jared VanOordt, Drew Etling, Karol Rajski & Ryan Busch, Four the Water

Four friends kayaked around the biggest freshwater lake in the world (by surface area) to help raise money to conserve the pristine waters and landscapes they behold, share stories and values of what makes our backyard so important to us and those that live with it, and make a documentary film at the end of the journey.

Along the trip, they interviewed individuals, families, and businesses on how Lake Superior has impacted their lives. They are striving to make a change in the way people think and feel about the lakes so that our individual changes can add up to great changes in the future. 

Learn more and watch the film at www.fourthewater.com

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Photo of Liza working with one of her dogs
Liza Dietzen, Owner of "Team Evergreen Kennel"

Liza Dietzen grew up in Kaukauna, Wisconsin. She ran her first race with Snowy Plains Kennel in 2010 after moving to the Upper Peninsula to attend college.

In 2011, Liza gained the opportunity to join musher David Gill at Team Evergreen Kennel. That season, Liza competed competitively for the first time, including a 150 mile race. When David retired from the sport in 2012, Liza took over the remaining dogs from the team and continued Team Evergreen at the age of 23.

In 2014, Liza amped things up as she raced in her first two Iditarod qualifying races: Seney 300 and UP200, bringing her team just a little bit closer to her one day dream of running the big race in Alaska. As she continually gains experience from her racing, she is excited to think about Iditarod becoming a reality in the not so distant future.

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Photo of Brooke Crull
Brooke Crull, USA Skelton Racer

Crull is an Upper Peninsula native, from Powers, Mich. She graduated from NMU in 2013 with an English major and biology minor. Crull was on the NMU Track & Field team competing in events for heptathlon, triple jump, high jump and 400 hurdles. Her hobbies include horses, reading, writing, crocheting, knitting and running.

“I have been invited to join the U.S. Development Team, building my speed and skills at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, N.Y.. during the winter of 2016. If I have one of the top six qualifying times, I will make the USA Skeleton Team, and potentially go on to compete in the Olympic Games.”

Crull has three goals:

  1. USA  Skeleton Team
  2. World Cup Skeleton Team
  3. 2018 Winter Olympics, PyeongChang, South Korea
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Photo of Bill Thompson
Bill Thompson, Owner of "Downwind Sports"

Bill has been at Down Wind since 1992 after he graduated from Northern Michigan University with a masters degree in Community College Teaching/Outdoor Recreation.  While at Northern he was the director of the Outdoor Recreation Center leading adventure trips throughout the country.  He also taught classes for the outdoor recreation curriculum.

His store responsibilities include buying, marketing, events coordinator and maintaining web sites and social media. (Funny because he is a self proclaimed computer illiterate).

In the summer Bill can usually be found climbing at the local crag, paddling the shores of Lake Superior, or backpacking at his favorite spot in the U.P.- the McCormick Tract.  When the snow flies Bill is an avid telemark skier and ice climber. International travel is also a passion and every year you can find Bill and his family adventuring in some exotic location around the world.

Photo of the "Great Lakes, Great Stories" team after they completed their journey

Photo of the "Great Lakes, Great Stories" team with their NMU adventure team patches

Great Lakes, Great Stories Team: Dylan Gonda, Ryan Watling & Olivia Walcott

Dylan Gonda, Olivia Walcott, and Ryan Watling are students at Northern Michigan University. They love the outdoors and Lake Superior and want to share its stories with the world. Great Lakes, Great Stories will follow a 1,400-mile route around the coast of Lake Superior.

Walcott was born and raised in Allendale, Michigan. Olivia is in her second year at Northern Michigan University where she is majoring in Environmental Science with a concentration in Natural Resources. When she’s not an unofficial resident of the library, you can find Olivia rock climbing, gardening, skiing, camping, cross stitching, and ice climbing around Marquette.

Gonda is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and moved to Michigan during middle school, and instantly fell in love with the inland oceans surrounding his new home. When he is not studying Outdoor Recreation Leadership and Management, Art, or Marketing he is listening to NPR, skiing, fly fishing, or knitting a scarf. 

Watling moved to Marquette, Michigan to attend Northern Michigan University in 2015. Away from studying Neuroscience and Spanish, Ryan spends his time exploring the beautiful Upper Peninsula of Michigan (usually by foot or bike) or making terrible jokes.

Follow along on their adventure at http://www.greatlakesgreatstories.org/. 

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The Yooper Troopers

"Yooper Troopers" at their photo shoot for their trip

The Yooper Troopers: Austin, Gordon & Hanna

We are a team in this years Mongol Rally which is a charity fundraiser that draws teams from around the world to drive from London to Mongolia in the name of adventure, and charity.

Our route will take us from London on July 16th, through eastern Europe and onward through the 'Stans before charging up the Mongolian Steppes, and ending in Ulan Ude Russia on on the shores of Lake Baikal August 26th.

Now you might be asking, why in the world would we subject ourselves to this torture? Well, to raise money for two wonderful charities: Bay Cliff Health Camp, and Cool Earth.

We are incredibly excited for this adventure and feel very thankful for all the help and support we receive. Follow our progress on our Facebook page and Instagram! (to be announced) where we will post daily updates (when internet access allows). We will also post team member bios, and progress on our vehicle build, and solutions to issues that arise!

To learn more about the rally visit: http://www.theadventurists.com/mongol-rally/

To donate: https://www.gofundme.com/yoopertroopers

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