Heading down stream

Photo by Joel Stottrup
Photo by Joel Stottrup

Kayaker, Bill Wilkins, of northeast Minneapolis (foreground), and canoeists Andrew “Big Drew” Hiltner, of Norwood, and Morgan Olson, of Alexandria, take a lunch break along the Rum River in Milaca Tuesday, before continuing their trip down the Rum River.

All three had started out in Onamia, Wilkin two days earlier and Hiltner and Olson one day earlier. Wilkin’s destination was northeast Minneapolis, while the other two planned to end their canoe run in Spencer Brook Township east of Princeton. Hiltner and Olson have been going on annual trips together that they call man-ventures ever since the two graduated together from high school in Alexandria.

“We’ve been all over the place, Olson said. “We’re going to keep going until we’re old men. We’ve got big plans.”

Olson noted that he calls Hiltner “Big Drew.” Wilkins said his kayak has been working well on the Rum because it doesn’t get hung up on logs lying below the surface.