News Detail

W. MI man preps for paddleboard journey across Lake MI

By: 24 Hour News 8 web staff

Posted: Jul 19, 2018 06:30 PM EDT

Eric Strickler travels on a paddleboard ahead of his journey across Lake Michigan.

NORTH MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — A West Michigan man and his friend are getting ready to travel 80 miles across Lake Michigan on stand-up paddle boards, all in the name of protecting the Great Lakes.

"It’s a real long ways, and trying to stay up that long, 20 to 30 hours, is going to be challenging," said Eric Strickler.

Strickler and his longtime friend make up Michigami Crossing. They’ve been training hard for their journey, which will start in Milwaukee and end at Muskegon State Park. 

"It’s an endurance sport. It’s a marathon, it’s not a sprint,” Strickler said. "We've been doing a lot of balance board training and just a lot of paddling in all kinds of various conditions."

Strickler is aware of how unforgiving Lake Michigan’s waters can be and the dangers they hold.

“A day like today would be awesome, but it doesn’t always happen and things can change really quickly,” he said.

But Strickler says he’s willing to take the risk to encourage others to respect the lake he loves while doing something amazing.

"A big part of doing these types of things is just proving to yourself that you can do them. I think that's a pretty powerful take-home for ourselves and for anybody, to realize that if you prepare yourself, you can do whatever you want," he explained.

The trip is also a fundraiser for Great Lakes conservation and restoration projects. The challenge is set for August.

“I think there’s going to be a lot of adrenaline. We’ll probably go from being real, real tired to real energized as soon as we can see the Muskegon shoreline,” Strickler said.

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