Sue

Sue

Beware that Sue will gladly take you down every back road seen on a map to find out what's there (she loves exploring). Sue holds a Bachelor's of Science degree from Aquinas College with majors in Geography, Communication Arts, and Studio Art which doesn't really explain anything other than she loves to learn, is curious, and can sort-of read a map. She also attended Kendall College of Art and Design to study graphic design and operates a small design and photography agency. Sue enjoys reading nonfiction books about nearly every topic and is never short on random knowledge to entertain you with. She also makes killer oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. An avid photographer (who shoots with a Nikon, Fuji, and DJI), she will nearly always stop to take a picture.

ACA Level 2 Instructor
ACA Level 2 Trip Leader
ACA Level 2 Skills
Wilderness First Responder
 

William

William

A Detroit native with a decade living in Maryland, William has navigated the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay. Beyond kayaking, he enjoys cycling, Nordic skiing, and golfing. Having attended Michigan State, Lake Superior State, and Oakland University, William has a bachelor’s degree in political science and is now working on a master’s in secondary education. He plans to teach history and social studies “somewhere up north, preferably in the UP.” William has worked as a journalist, an aide on Capitol Hill, for the American Red Cross, the Catholic Church, and nonprofits in health care and education. His passions include reading, movies, international relations, and the Green Bay Packers along with “campfires, something on the grill, and a good IPA.”

Certified in First Aid, CPR, and AED

Sarah

Sarah

Sarah has maintained a lifelong curiosity about what nature has to offer. She has worked for the National Park Service, Illinois State Museum, two environmental education centers, and rounded out her full-time career with 28 years at the Kalamazoo Nature Center as an Interpretive Naturalist and Conservation Educator. She continues to love teaching how to enjoy the natural world to people of all ages. She has also founded a women-only adventure group which teaches outdoor skills and builds confidence for women who might never have enjoyed outdoor adventures growing up. With them, Sarah has guided many kayaking, canoeing, backpacking, and hiking trips. With her husband Wil, she has also traveled and hiked extensively, often with their dog Lily.

Certified Interpretive Guide
Certified Heritage Interpreter
Wilderness First Responder 

Joe

Joe

Love for the outdoors has been Joe’s tagline for many years. This southern Ohio native got his start in a ‘yak in the mid-‘70s creeking whitewater in Tennessee and Kentucky before heading north with an 8-year stint with the US Coast Guard. The big lakes inspired him to jump into a sea kayak where he’s been paddling for the past 30 years — mostly in lakes Superior and Huron. Joe also loves hiking and has explored most of the North Country Trail in the UP. Joe can also talk rock climbing or photography, but his eyes light up when you inquire about blacksmithing. He makes all sorts of things, from the decorative to the practical for people all over Northern Michigan.

ACA Level 2 Trip Leader
First Aid, CPR, AED

Mary

Mary

"All things outside" is Mary’s mantra. A Michigan native, Mary spent many of her adult years in California hiking and backpacking the Sierra’s with her family, participating in triathlons, biking throughout the state, and camping up and down the Pacific coast. Returning to Michigan, Mary has been paddling the Les Cheneaux for almost twenty years — often with her husband Jim. Mary can usually be found paddling either her kayak or SUP most summer days. If not on the water, she can be found in her garden, on a beach rock hunting, taking pictures (mostly of her grandkids playing outside), or baking up something good to go with a cup of coffee.

Candace

Candice

A native of Michigan who loves the outdoors, Candice has a special fondness for northern Lower Michigan and the UP. Candice enjoys spending her free time outdoors golfing, cycling, skiing, hiking and, of course, kayaking. She is a three-time Ironman finisher and an Ironman All-World Athlete. Candice earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communication from Michigan State and Lawrence Technological universities. She is always planning her next adventure and is very excited to take on her next exploit as a kayak guide where she can chat about craft beer, microbreweries, the Spartans, and the history of the Les Cheneaux Islands.    

First Aid, CPR, AED

Tim

Tim

Although a Michigan native, Tim initially caught the paddling bug on Tennessee whitewater before becoming an avid coastal kayaker. BCU and ACA trained, Tim has toured many spots in the Great Lakes, Alaska, Baja, Labrador, and Baffin Island. Never one to turn down an adventure, he has also rafted down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, canoed (and fished) in Ontario’s Quetico Provincial Park, and explored New Zealand. A former engine engineer with General Motors in Nashville, Tim is now retired and enjoys exploring North America with his teardrop trailer, whatever bike fits the terrain, and either a kayak or Kruger canoe. The past two years, Tim has meandered all over the American West and wintered in Baja, Mexico enjoying the freshest fish tacos. Besides guiding with us on Isle Royale, he enjoys IPAs, pasties, and introducing people to kayaking. 

BCU Coach Level 3
BCU 4 Star Proficiency Award
ACA Level 3 Skills
ACA Level 2 Trip Leader

Wil

Wil

Wil grew up on a farm and roamed the forests, streams, and fields as a youth. Not a bad way to start off your love for the out-of-doors! After college, he taught junior high biology and became an environmental educator for that school system. He has also been a director at two nature centers and taught for more than 20 years at both Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Western Michigan University's Environmental Studies Department. In the past few years, with his wife Sarah, he has also been taking long walks — including John Muir’s “1000 Mile Walk to the Gulf” and Spain's 500 mile “El Camino.” Wil's love and passion for the outdoors, along with his wish to help folks enjoy and understand it, burns deeply in his soul. As a leader on many nature walks throughout the United States, he looks forward to sharing his passion with you!

Garrett

Garrett

A cleaning dervish, Garrett attends a farm-based Montessori 7th–9th grade program in Grand Rapids. If you're wondering what that means — it means real, purposeful, and joyful work through the care of the earth, stewardship of the community, heartfelt service, and development of economy. He's working at both the Les Cheneaux Culinary School's restaurant doing prep and dishes and at the shop. Feel free to ask him about the best vacuums on the market, hand-throwing pottery, or driving miniature horses. He enjoys reading, cooking, gardening, chickens, and learning. 

First Aid, CPR, AED

Brian

Brian

Brian works downstate in the technology field, however his college major was Political Science at Aquinas College and he loves engaging conversations on a wide variety of topics. He is constantly in search of great things to eat and drink whether at home or on an adventure. This desire has lead to a passion for cooking, whiskey (primarily bourbon and rye), and of course craft beer (however he does have a weakness for good old American macro brew). When not seeking out the next adventure, gustatory or other, he can be found puttering around the family cottage in Hessel or the Woods and Waters shop most weekends. He enjoys the planning and logistics aspect of the business, as well as improving efficiencies.