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Submitted by:  Robert Stopper

Bill Nedderman, world famous paddler, hiker, biker, and adventurer, camped on the canal bank next to the Peppermint gardens in Lyons on Thursday evening, June 14, 2012. He arrived in his home made, 16 foot, cedar striped canoe, the “Helen Lucille”. Bill constructed the canoe 20 years ago and named it “In honor of my Mom.”

Bill deserved a good rest– he left his home town of Lovilia, Iowa on October 2, 2011 and entered the Mississippi River on the first leg of the 3500 Great Loop. This was to be Bill’s longest canoe journey ever.

Bill is no stranger to adventure. His credits include the following over 30,000 paddle miles, over 34, 000 hiking miles, and over 63,00 biking miles. His adventures have included conquering the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest, the Continental Divide, the Inner Passage in Alaska, and now, the Great Loop and the Erie Canal.

When asked why he does this, Bill simply replied, “Why not– life is an adventure to be enjoyed! When I see something interesting, I gotta check it out! Why sit around and wonder about it”! Bill usually travels alone. He learns about life in an area by simply stopping and chatting. He usually sleeps “somewhere in a tent” at night. As an experienced outdoor adventurer, Bill knows the importance of water and faithfully follows the golden rule – a minimum one gallon a day! Bill estimates it might cost five or six dollars a day for travel!

Bill canoes between 20 and 30 miles each day. So far, he has enjoyed canoeing the Erie Canal portion of his Great Loop journey. According to Bill, “The Erie Canal Water is quite a treat compared to the tides rushing in and out in Georgia. Then too, people are all so friendly and helpful! For example, last evening I was invited to supper aboard the MAIA, a boat already docked”!
Nedderman exiting the Lyons Canal Lock

Bill hopes to be “off” Lake Michigan by Mid September. As he paddled away from the dock in Lyons and into Lock E 27, he had new cargo, an Erie Canal Tee Shirt presented to him by Lockmaster John Albanese, a bottle of fresh water, and yes, a few sprigs of freshly picked Peppermint Plant!


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