World record kayaking attempt

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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - A Missouri woman is now 1,500 miles into her solo kayak trip around the Great Lakes.

The last time we talked to her, she had just crossed Little Bay de Noc on her way along the southern shore of the UP.

"I've totally fell in love with the State of Michigan," World record challenger Traci Lynn Martin said.

Traci currently lives in Kansas City, but after spending time in mackinaw with her family, she says she fully planned on selling her house and moving there.

"Now that I've seen the UP, now I think it's Grand Marais," Martin said. "Pictured rocks was just beautiful and the town of Grand Marais, that is a great place to take off from and you have the twelve mile beach, that is really pretty."

On top of the beauty, she says she has never known a nicer town of people.

The original trip was planned for 8,600.

That included the St. Lawrence Seaway, but weather and time encouraged her to modify the plan.

"I'm not going to have time to do the St. Lawrence Seaway," Martin said. "Even if I don't reach my 58-5,900 I'll still be OK."

To break the current record, she has to go 3,900 miles before December 31st, and her new plan will put her at around 5,900 miles.

"When I paddled to this beach yesterday I hit 1,500 miles," Martin said. "I'm just going to do the 5 Great Lakes and finish in Detroit and I'm going to call it an expedition."

On her expedition, she has a truck and trailer following along.

"I thought I'd see what I could do and got a little more involved than I originally planned," Support truck driver Bill Noble said. "She needed the help and I was available."

The truck keeps her arthritis medicine, supplies and provides a bed.

Which isn't necessarily every night.

"Roads just don't go everywhere the shoreline does, so it becomes a real problem," Noble said.

"If I can't make it back to a place where he can pick me up at, I have my tent with me always, I always have my tent and my sleeping bag," Martin said.

But so far, she's only had to spend the night in her tent 12 times.

She's been incredibly grateful for the people all along the Great Lakes who offer her a warm shower and a bed for the night.

Of all the kayaking she has done so far, she didn't even hesitate in recommending one stretch of shore.

"Pictured Rocks was just beautiful and the town of Grand Marais, that is a great place to take off from and you have the 12 mile beach, that is really pretty and that's a really pretty place to stop and camp at," Martin said. "So if you wanted to do like a short kayak trip if you pulled out at Grand Marais and camped at 12 mile and then went on into Pictured Rocks that would be an amazing trip."

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