June 1 - August 29, 2006: Washington, DC to Mandan, ND

     June 1 - July 6, 2007: Mandan, ND to Astoria, OR

     August 2007: "Skipped" Section of Missouri River Completed

Kruger Canoes

These canoes are unique, handcrafted, specialized boats, built for paddlers, by paddlers. Kruger Canoes is dedicated to sharing Verlen's Legacy with Expedition Paddlers.

 

Dahon Folding Bicycles  Folding Bicycles

Dahon was founded with the singular purpose of convincing more people to use environmentally-sustainable forms of transport. With almost 2 million folding bicycles sold, Dahon is the proud worldwide leader in folding bicycles.

 

Paddleboy

This is the cart that attached to my bike and allowed me to portage the canoe by bicycle.

 

 

Route across America

In the News

March 2006 Individual Grant Recipient

Larry Hoff

Residence: South Range, WI

Activity: Ultra Long Distance Adventure

After hiking the Pacific Coast Trail and biking around the perimeter of the continental United States, Larry Hoff is seeking another personal adventure. He plans to paddle and portage a canoe 6,200 miles from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean by way of the PotoBalance Bar Grant Recipient Larry Hoffmac, Ohio, Mississippi, Missouri, Snake and Columbia Rivers. This year, beginning in Washington, D.C., Larry will paddle his way to Mandan, North Dakota, which was the wintering headquarters for Lewis and Clark on their epic journey. Then, in 2007, he will complete the trip to the Pacific Ocean. Every day presents new and challenging obstacles, but Larry believes that each obstacle one overcomes is a small victory on the path to achieving a larger victory. Larry's grant from BALANCE BAR will cover travel and supplies necessary for his journey.

The Daily Telegram, Superior, WI

Hoff begins another transnational trek
By SHELLEY NELSON / Daily Telegram News Editor
The Daily Telegram
Last Updated: Wednesday, May 31st, 2006 02:32:42 PM

SUPERIOR, Wis. (AP) - When Larry Hoff sets a goal for himself, the retired Superior High School football coach doesn't give up until it's met.

Hoff is off again on another transnational adventure, setting out to see the country without a motorized vehicle.

Starting in Washington D.C. Wednesday, he began his trek by paddling and portaging his way up the Potomac River and winding westward along the nations' rivers to the Pacific Ocean.

"This is to be the culmination of three ways crossing the U.S. nonmotorized,'' Hoff said.

He coached Spartan football from 1971-88 and returned in 1993 to coach his youngest son, Ryan. Hoff retired from teaching and coaching in 2000.

While on a family trip in 1998, Hoff said he learned of the Pacific Crest Trail when his family stopped in the Cascade Mountains in Washington state.

The trail, which crosses 2,658 miles of mountainous area in California, Oregon and Washington, intrigued him and planted the seed for his first cross-country adventure.

While his wife, LuAnn, objected to the trip in 1998, Hoff said she knew he one day would walk from Mexico to Canada.

In 2002 and 2003, Hoff struck out on the Pacific Crest Trail. The trip helped raise money for Ryan's Foundation, established in his son's memory, and the Robert W. Warzyniak Scholarship Fund. In 2004, he biked his way around the nation's perimeter to raise money for a proposed Superior High School sports complex.

The canoe trip from the Atlantic to Pacific oceans is expected to cover about 6,200 miles.

Hoff said with one exception, he's found people to be positive and willing to lend a hand as he's made his way cross country.

This time, however, Hoff said his adventure isn't designed as a fundraiser.

In fact, a grant from Balance Bar, the maker of an energy snack bar created for athletes, will help cover trip expenses. The companies grant program allows amateur individuals and teams to pursue activities that enrich their lives.

Hoff said the $5,000 grant will go a long way toward covering his expenses, but it's not the only help he's receiving. Jeff Foster Trucking delivered his gear to Washington D.C., and several companies provided the canoe, paddles, bike and trailer Hoff will use as he travels from the Potomac to the Ohio, Mississippi and Missouri rivers to reach Mandan, N.D. this year.

In 2007, he'll finish the trip to the Pacific.

And the former high school coach already is making plans for the next adventure.

"After this, then it's whatever my wife wants to do,'' he said.

Hoff begins trek from Atlantic to Pacific

The Daily Telegram
Last Updated: Tuesday, July 18th, 2006 12:30:47 PM
EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is the first installment of Larry Hoff’s kayak trip from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.
This cross-country trip isn’t the first major adventure for the former Superior High School teacher and football coach. He earlier hiked from Mexico to Canada and later rode a bicycle around the perimeter of the United States.
Hoff is currently taking a break at home from the trip and will be returning to St. Louis, Mo., on Wednesday to continue his journey to the Pacific Ocean.
“Everything is going well and in fact I’m moving faster than I expected,” Hoff said.
Readers can continue to follow Hoff’s journey on the internet at www.lhoff.com and he welcomes readers to sign his guest book.
“Words of encouragement are always welcomed,” Hoff said.
— Ken Olson,
Daily Telegram Sports Editor

The Daily Telegram is publishing Larry's journal entries on a regular basis

The Daily Telegram

Hoff continues Atlantic to Pacific journey
Emily Kram
Published Saturday, June 02, 2007

 

For many people, retirement signals a period of rest and relaxation in life. In the case of Larry Hoff, however, retirement gave him an opportunity to go on adventures. Extreme adventures.
A few years before retiring from his job as a high school teacher and a football coach at Superior High School, Hoff got the idea that it would be fun to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, which runs from Mexico to Canada and crosses the mountains of California. In 2002, two years after he retired, Hoff went through with his plan and completed the more than 2,500-mile hike.
“When you get to be my age, you think of some crazy things,” Hoff said, laughing.

“I just enjoy the outdoors,” he continued. “People have also said that I enjoy beating myself up.”
Indeed, Hoff hadn’t finished beating himself up after his first trek. After spending so much time by himself on the Pacific Crest Trail, Hoff said he got the idea for another journey, this time by bike.
In 2004, he biked around the perimeter of the United States — roughly 10,000 miles. Two years later, he used yet another form of transportation on his extreme adventures, as he began a quest to paddle and portage from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
Last year, Hoff began the first stretch of his voyage on June 3. He started at Washington D.C. and worked his way up the Potomac River. From there he went down the Ohio River to the Mississippi and then took the Missouri after reaching St. Lois. When he arrived at Bismarck, ND — his set goal for the first leg of the trip — he was two week ahead of his goal.
Hoff said he tries to keep in pretty good shape, so the journey isn’t as difficult for him as it might be for others. In fact, he said the mental part of the experience is a bigger challenge than the physical. Just as marathon runners must mentally prepare for a race, so to does Hoff condition his mind for his feats.
It also helps to have the proper gear. Among his essential items, Hoff carries a sleeping bag, tent, change of clothing, rain gear and a very small collapsible bike. And of course, when he must portage, he hooks his light canoe behind the bike and pedals away. In all, Hoff said his gear weighs about 25 pounds, not counting food and water.
The people Hoff meets as he progresses also make the journey easier. They often offer advice, help or just conversation. But for Hoff, “meeting fantastic people along the way” and the adventure itself is what makes the trip worthwhile.
Hoff said anyone who enjoys the outdoors should go on a similar venture. Of course, one needn’t begin with a cross-country canoe trip. Indeed for those living in the Northland, the opportunity to head out on a adventure lies at their backdoor.
In Hoff’s opinion, the Superior Hiking Trail is one of the most beautiful trails in the country, easily one of the top five in the country. He highly recommended the trail as a great start to anyone interesting in hiking for a day or backpacking for a longer period of time.
Another point Hoff emphasized was that adventures (such as his) are certainly not just for the young. He said as larger numbers of people approach retirement, they should give serious thought to undertaking a trek, whether it’s just a few miles or a journey that lasts a few months. Retirement didn’t mean the end of an active life for Hoff, and he saw no reason why it should for others.
So what’s next for Hoff? He’s thinking Europe. Exactly what challenge he will tackle is not yet certain, but Hoff has ideas. For example, he said it might be fun to swim the English Channel ... even though it would only take one day.
But Hoff will have time to contemplate his next big adventure as he paddles toward the Pacific for the next few month.
Hoff expected to reach Bismarck on May 31 and start paddling on June 1. He will go up the Missouri to Montana and take the Clear Water River to the Snake River. From there he will link up to the Columbia and follow that to the Pacific. This leg of the trip will be about 1,500 miles, and the total for both halves of the venture will be more than 6,000 miles. He hopes to finish the second half of his journey in July.
The Daily Telegram will follow Hoff as he makes his way across the country. His journal entries will be printed periodically and can also be found at www.lhoff.com. Following is Hoff’s first journal entry for the second leg of his Atlantic to Pacific journey.
May 31, 2007 —
Starting off for Bismarck
It’s 5:30 in the morning on the day I’m leaving. My cousin, Gary Hoff, is picking me up at 7:00 AM to drive me to Bismarck. Plans were to write this journal entry yesterday, but I had not packed yet so the day was spent rounding my gear up and running to town to get various items I needed. Then our daughter’s twin boys, Devin and Drake, had their very first baseball game and there was no way I was going to miss that. They both got hits and they won! Also, our friends Charlie and JoAnn Wright, Jim and Sandy Waletzko and Dean and Teri Neumann came over to wish me good luck. Very nice of them. Then I still needed to finish packing so this entry had to wait until now.
Over Memorial Day weekend my sons Dean and Eric took our annual trip to the Boundary Waters along with nine others, including my good friend Charlie Wright and his son Scott. Others included David Edquist, Don Polkinghorne, Pat Boyle, Pete Willcoxon, Jason Waletzko and Nick Milroy. They were all friends of our son, Ryan. Charlie Wright and I have been doing this trip since Dean (soon to be 39) was 7 years old. Ryan was only 5 on his first trip.
The area we usually go to had a forest fire, so we had to camp one lake short of our normal camping spot. We did portage into the burnt area to visit the area Ryan loved so much. I was concerned his favorite little island and the tree we made a cross on in his memory had burnt, but fortunately it was okay.
I spent a couple of hours on the island while the others fished. Only thing I was disappointed in was the two loons that always were at the island every year were not around. When we had our little ceremony on the island 5 years ago, these two loons showed up when we finished. They have always been there every time I have gone back, but this time they were nowhere in sight. Then when it was time to leave and we were paddling back to the portage, out of nowhere off to my right this loon showed up and followed us all the way to the portage.
All in all it was a great trip. Fishing was tough but lots of good times were had by all. Although, I did lose my glasses, headlamp and hat. Some things never seem to change!
Trip plans: Gary will be here in an hour and the two of us along with my gear will take off for Bismarck. Gary is a year younger than I. Along with his brothers Randy and Dan and my brother Don, we spent most of our summers in our preschool and grade school years together. Actually my brother and Gary were very close until Don was killed in a car accident at age 16 in 1963.
I hope to start paddling tomorrow and will need to make a decision as to whether I start in Bismarck and paddle up to the Garrison Dam or go in reverse, starting at the Garrison Dam and paddle to Bismarck and then bike back to the dam. The reason for this is the possible heavy current in this section because of water being released by the dam.
Then of concern will be paddling across the last two dammed up lakes of the Missouri, Lake Sakakawea and Fort Peck. I think Sakakawea is close to two hundred miles long and up to four or five miles wide in places. Fort Peck is about 80.
The guide I’m following, The Complete Paddler, written by David Miller, describes this area as almost impossible to get through. (I’ve noticed before that David seems to err on the side of caution, which is almost 180 degrees, maybe 160 degrees from my thinking).
Lake Sakakawea is supposed to have the possibility of strong winds coming up at a moment’s notice, causing sea-like waves. He suggests staying on one side of the lake and not crossing over because of this. Then in the Fort Peck Lake Indian Reservation area he talks about having bullets flying by him from a few youths fooling around with a pistol on shore. I remember this area when I did my bike ride back in 2004. Three days before I got to Poplar, Montana, a paddler (actually in the same model of canoe I’m using) was retracing the Lewis and Clark route and was attacked in this area. They took everything he had and left him severely injured.
My experience at the time was very pleasant. I had bike problems and needed to get to Williston, ND to get it fixed and an elderly couple from the area was nice enough to give me a lift into Williston, ND some 40 miles away. They even bought me lunch. Very nice people and it’s my hope the same will be true this time.
Well, my cousin will be here soon and I need to say goodbye to the best person in the world, my wife LuAnn.

Daily Telegram

Minneapolis-St.Paul Star-Tribune  June 1, 2006

By SHELLEY NELSON, The Daily Telegram, Superior

Last update: June 01, 2006 – 4:46 PM

SUPERIOR, Wis. (AP) - When Larry Hoff sets a goal for himself, the retired Superior High School football coach doesn't give up until it's met.

SUPERIOR, Wis. (AP) - When Larry Hoff sets a goal for himself, the retired Superior High School football coach doesn't give up until it's met.

Hoff is off again on another transnational adventure, setting out to see the country without a motorized vehicle.

Starting in Washington D.C. Wednesday, he began his trek by paddling and portaging his way up the Potomac River and winding westward along the nations' rivers to the Pacific Ocean.

"This is to be the culmination of three ways crossing the U.S. nonmotorized,'' Hoff said.

He coached Spartan football from 1971-88 and returned in 1993 to coach his youngest son, Ryan. Hoff retired from teaching and coaching in 2000.

While on a family trip in 1998, Hoff said he learned of the Pacific Crest Trail when his family stopped in the Cascade Mountains in Washington state.

The trail, which crosses 2,658 miles of mountainous area in California, Oregon and Washington, intrigued him and planted the seed for his first cross-country adventure.

While his wife, LuAnn, objected to the trip in 1998, Hoff said she knew he one day would walk from Mexico to Canada.

In 2002 and 2003, Hoff struck out on the Pacific Crest Trail. The trip helped raise money for Ryan's Foundation, established in his son's memory, and the Robert W. Warzyniak Scholarship Fund. In 2004, he biked his way around the nation's perimeter to raise money for a proposed Superior High School sports complex.

The canoe trip from the Atlantic to Pacific oceans is expected to cover about 6,200 miles.

Hoff said with one exception, he's found people to be positive and willing to lend a hand as he's made his way cross country.

This time, however, Hoff said his adventure isn't designed as a fundraiser.

In fact, a grant from Balance Bar, the maker of an energy snack bar created for athletes, will help cover trip expenses. The companies grant program allows amateur individuals and teams to pursue activities that enrich their lives.

Hoff said the $5,000 grant will go a long way toward covering his expenses, but it's not the only help he's receiving. Jeff Foster Trucking delivered his gear to Washington D.C., and several companies provided the canoe, paddles, bike and trailer Hoff will use as he travels from the Potomac to the Ohio, Mississippi and Missouri rivers to reach Mandan, N.D. this year.

In 2007, he'll finish the trip to the Pacific.

And the former high school coach already is making plans for the next adventure.

"After this, then it's whatever my wife wants to do,'' he said.

WTAP

Parkersburg, WV

Journey East to West 

By Rachel Withers

Canoeist

A retired teacher made a stop in Belpre Friday, taking a brief break from his journey in the footsteps of legendary explorers Lewis and Clark.

Larry Hoff began his "east to west" journey one week ago in Washington D.C. Mr. Hoff plans to bike and canoe from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific.

The adventurist says his favorite part of traveling is meeting different people. Mr Hoff plans to log the next 5,000 miles by water, before he has to get on his bike and take some of the trek on land.

He expects to finish his journey just north of Portland, Oregon sometime next spring.

 

Williston Herald

Retired educator, coach stops here en route to Pacific
By Thomas A. Kvamme, Scope
Saturday, June 9, 2007 11:28 PM CDT


Hoff in canoe

Larry Hoff of Superior, Wisc., is pictured in his canoe as he makes his way west to the Pacific Ocean. Hoff, a retired teacher and coach, has plans to be in Astoria, Ore., by mid-July. Hoff ran into weather and equipment problems, forcing him to spend some time in Williston earlier this week. COURTESY PHOTO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some folks have dreams to follow, while others just do it for no particular reason.

One individual who fits into the second category is Larry Hoff, a retired teacher and coach from Superior, Wisc.

With plenty of time on his hands, Hoff isn't one to just sit back and relax.

When asked why he likes adventure, his answer was simply “Retired Norwegian.”

With lots of energy to spare, Hoff is back on the second leg of his adventure to reach the Pacific Ocean.

 

Hoff reached Williston on Tuesday, while the windy and unpleasant weather extended his stay through Thursday.

Add to that some equipment problems, and some necessary repairs slowed his progress.

You see, Hoff is operating a bicycle for the ground portion of the trip, pulling a trailer that contains his canoe for the water segments.

Just last year he began on June 3 in Washington D.C. and closed out some two weeks ahead of schedule the first part of August near Mandan.

His goal was to go home and take off again, which he did last week with his cousin providing transportation to Mandan.

HELP ALONG WAY

One might say he weathered the storm, thanks to some helpful individuals from Weatherford International. Hoff recalled he broke down near Lund's Landing and it was his fortune to have Lance, a truck driver with Weatherford, coming to his rescue.

With his bicycle and trailer being “self supported when things are working right,” the trek to Williston allowed for some down time and repairs at the Weatherford shop.

ALONG THE WAY

You can learn more and read his journal by clicking on www.lhoff.com.

Along with posting details of his daily adventure, Hoff provides photographs as well.

His goal is to reach the Pacific Ocean by mid-July at Astoria, Ore., where the famed Lewis & Clark expedition trod.

He has picked up the trail of the explorers from St. Louis, Mo., and will continue en route west.

DONE MORE BEFORE

This is by no means his first time facing the odds as his first came in 2002 with the Pacific Crest Trail, walking from Mexico to Canada, covering some 2,600 miles of mountains from California to Oregon.

Hoff told us this wasn't the first time he stopped here for bike repairs, recalling 2004 when he was part of a 10,000 mile ride across country.

The latest trek began in 2006 and if all goes well he will be able to chalk up yet another successful outing.

GREAT HOSPITALITY

During his time out and about Hoff reports nothing but “great hospitality,” especially from the Weatherford crew, Lance and Tim, who pitched in to get him back on the road.

He also praised personnel at the Airport International Inn.

Having retired back in 2000, Hoff has filled his down time with enough memories to spread around.

Perhaps, once back home he can share some of those memories with former Minnesota Vikings coach Bud Grant, a native of Superior, who lives just down the road.

That will have to wait, as for now Hoff has other things to worry about.

ON THE RIVER

While the official Lewis & Clark events have concluded there appears to be other folks still wanting to get in the act.

Among them is Adam Brooks who hails from Iowa.

He crossed the path of Hoff this week, only thing he was heading east in a Kayak, as a part of his 2007 Missouri Trek.

You can learn more about Brooks, as he follows this Missouri River journey to St. Louis.

Brooks has been posting his journal on his Web site at www.myriverquest.com.

An employee of Knife River/MDU, his company is allowing him time off to pursue his dream and support along the way.

That led to Montana-Dakota Utilities employees giving him a hand the other day as he made a brief stop in Williston.

 

GEEZER JOCK Magazine, December 2007

Geezer Jock

Wisconsin Football Coaches Association

Point After II

Sports Illustrated, December 3, 2007

Faces In The Crowd

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/scorecard/faces/2007/12/03/

.Sports Illustrated

 

 

The generosity of these companies contributed to making a successful adventure...

Balance Bar

The Atlantic to Pacific Journey was greatly helped by a generous grant from Balance Bar.

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Jeff Foster Trucking

Jeff Foster Trucking, Inc. provides national top quality transportation services.  The corporate office is located in Superior, WI.

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ZRE Racing Equipment

"Faster, Lighter, Stronger, Better" high performance canoe paddles from Zaveral Racing Equipment.

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Bass Pro Shops

World's Leading Supplier of Premium Outdoor Gear

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Very Special Thanks

Rich Designs of Superior WI for my "Atlantic to Pacific" decal!!!

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Spectators 

A great place owned by my friend Pat Paquette.