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Cathy Mumford at the end of the NFCT in Fort Kent, Maine.
Cathy Mumford at the end of the NFCT in Fort Kent, Maine.

A midlife solo kayak adventure

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A New Jersey woman spent most of this summer paddling from the Adirondacks to Maine. Cathy Mumford is the first woman to solo through-paddle the entire 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail. During her 62-day kayak odyssey she passed through 22 rivers and streams, 56 miles of lakes, 55 miles of portages in 62 carries and three national wildlife refuges. The trail crosses northern New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Quebec. NFCT officials say fewer than 30 paddlers have completed the full length of water trail in a single trip, since it was completed in 2006. Mumford grew up along the shores of a reservoir in Colts Neck, New Jersey. With her children grown, and after being laid off from her job, Mumford wanted to take a long-distance kayak trip that would allow for some soul-searching. Now, she plans to share the challenge of wilderness tripping with young women, and write about her experiences. Todd Moe spoke with Mumford about the summer trek, celebrating her 50th birthday on the water and relying on her 9-foot plastic kayak, nicknamed "Sparky".

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Solitude. One of her photos from the trip.

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Reported by

Todd Moe
Morning Host and Producer

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