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Few people spend as much time in self-propelled watercraft as Laurel does. She is passionate about paddling, from ultra-long distance races to exploratory whitewater expedition trips. Ironically, Laurel grew up in arid southern Saskatchewan but by the time she was in university she was disappearing into the Canadian wilderness on long canoe trips. She’s paddled rivers, lakes and coasts from Central America to Asia over the past 20 years, and has been a wilderness canoe guide since 1988.

She’s a Master Canoe Instructor, whitewater kayak instructor and Sea Kayak Guide Trainer and Lead Guide. Besides writing a thesis for her Master’s degree in Education, she’s penned three guidebooks based on her extensive experiences canoeing rivers in northern Saskatchewan and British Columbia. In 2007 she was inducted into The Explorers Club for her work in documenting historic and lesser-known canoe routes and her efforts to promote their conservation. Today, when she’s not training competitively for a canoe race, she works as a canoe and sea kayak guide and instructor. She’s a regular COLT instructor for canoeing, whitewater and sea kayaking and almost never misses the Nimpkish River trips. See www.laurelarcher.com for more about Laurel.