Friday, June 19, 2009

Andy is Entering Home Hospice

It's time to say goodbye to Andy.

He will be coming home from the hospital on Saturday, June 20, 2009.

He will be entering home hospice. He said last night that "it was time to wind this thing down".

It has been a long 6 year battle, but now it's nearing the end.
Denise welcomes his friends to come by to visit with Andy.
He will be tired, so short visits and small groups would be best.

Please just come on by, you don't have to call first.

Andy Knapp, Denise Dohrmann, and Kaitlyn Knapp
4936 36th Ave South
Minneapolis, MN 55417

612-729-2879 home phone
612-220-8493 Denise cell

He won't be on hospice long, he is ready to move on to his next big adventure. If you are going to come by for a vist, do so soon.

If you can't visit, leave him a Comment here and Denise can read it to him.


Cheryl S said...

I'd be there if I could, you know that. This is one of those times when I wished I wasn't 1,300 miles away.
But I'm glad I got to see you at the OR show in January. Your last words, "Well, it's been a wild ride". Indeed it has, and I'll continue telling people stories about one of the most amazing person I have ever known:

From the Frog Creek Fire Lane; to finding your wobbling headlight along the north shore after you biked 300 miles in one day; from you guys yanking me out of that crevasse on the Kaskawulsh Glacier; to the 'blizzard of the century' with frozen toes and you spinning stories about the 'strong pain killing' power of M&M's when we ran out of aspirin during the thawing process...

Your strength and tenacity and positive outlook on life, your 'can do' attitude, defines Andy Knapp. I am honored to be your friend. And I will miss you, my friend....

mk said...


It's really hard to read this post. It's hard to believe that after all the fight you've given, that the outcome isn't different. I guess that sometimes winning is not about fighting. The world is ruled by letting thing take their course.

It sounds cliche, but you are a inspiration beyond words. The outdoor industry will never, ever forget you. I will never forget when I was a new rep and you always gave me the time of day and spoke with me as I had been repping for years. I will never forget that a buyer for such a key retailer showed me so much respect. It was the confidence I needed to know that I could be successful at my job. Thank you.

May your next journey be the best one ever. I only hope that I get to hear the stories some day.

Mahalo, Andy. It was an honor to know you and to learn from you.

Megan Kress

RIch S. said...

Andy, there was a time when my life seemed part of a golden time, and you were a big part of that. There was always a next great adventure to consider, and you were constantly organizing those adventures.

I took part in all too few of those adventures, but I will never forget a certain mountain in Alaska, approached by a) the Alcan Highway, with its 600+ miles of gravel and mud, none too adventurous for you and your '61 Cadillac, b) crossing the Copper River in a 2-person rubber raft, about 12 trips for the four of us, and c) 45 miles of tundra and countless stream crossings and glacier and a few crevasses thrown in for good measure. And I will never forget one of your no doubt "routine" adventures, riding from St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin, at 4:45am, to Big Stone City, South Dakota, roughly 17 hours later.

For most of us, that time of great adventures seems to have passed long ago, but it seems like it did not pass for you. Many of us will join you on your next great adventure, but will have to catch up, so to speak. As you once caught up to a few of us, in the Yukon, in that '61 Cadillac, on the way to a great adventure that you shared with us.

And some day, if ever again I'm on a bus filled with tourists in a national park in Alaska, and they are constantly running to the one side of the bus or the other, to snap pictures of bears 200 yards away, or such, I'll try to remember to yell, "Look, a tundra buzzard!" And then remember a golden time, and Andy Knapp who helped make it golden.

ktoy said...


You are so well loved by everyone in this crazy industry. We are in the business to sell fun as my mentor Sandy Graham told me. You are the epitome of that mantra. May you breathe that into you next adventure.

You are loved by so many,
Kristen Toy
Peregrine Outfitters

beerdoc said...

I've never known anyone who's lived life with more verve and energy. You're one of my heroes, fer sure. Thanks, too, for saving my life, and scruffy butt, in the BWCA donkey's years ago, and for leading me on my only planned winter camping trip, across Lake Mille Lacs on your 10th anniversary "expedition". Vaya con huevos, compadre mio... Geoff, tbd(the beer doc)

Lou Dzierzak said...

Andy-Peace to you, my friend. Although we live in the same city and I visit Midwest Mountaineering often I won't forget our frequent conversations at OR. Last summer on the plaza sharing beers and listening to your tales --your voice still stirs my soul to seek out adventures.
Your enthusiasm for the wild places in the Midwest will have a long legacy for generations to come.


Brad Werntz said...


It's almost the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. Whatever the weather, wherever you are, I'm sure that it will be a beautiful day. I hope you enjoy it, and know that we are thinking of you.

Thanks for your inspiration, your stories, and your support. It's a gift to have worked with you, to have shared beers with you, and to know you. Thank you.

Wherever your travels take you next, say "Hey" to anybody we know in common, and tip a glass for us. We'll do the same for you.

Take care,

ps: I hope you know that this in no way frees you from obligations written or implied. There are world problems to solve, and many beers to drink. We'll be doing both in your name forever forward.

Jeff said...


I don't know how, perhaps the gods of fleece made it possible, but each and every Outdoor Retailer opening night Industry Party, I've run into you and have enjoyed a nice visit. I don't know how many times I've had the privilege, perhaps 10 or so...certainly not many, but each time you see me, it's instant recognition. You take the time to ask me about Stillwater, and my little shop...which has been a real honor coming from a veteran of the industry such as yourself.

Perhaps the best part of our visits, though, has always been hearing of your adventures. I mentioned that I've not known you long, so I believe you relished the thought of starting at the beginning of your adventurous history with me...a set of virgin ears, so to speak. Each time we chatted, it was a new story -- but the theme remained the same. At least my take on the theme: Inspiration and determination.

Andy...each and every time we had a visit, I walked away feeling inspired and determined to accomplish all that I can. Thank you! You will continue to be force of inspiration and determination in my life.

May peace be with you.

Jeff Anderson
45 Degrees

Brian said...

You are one of the people I always look forward to seeing in Salt Lake City. It has been my pleasure getting to know you and my privilege to have shared so many conversations in the aisles or over a beer at the bottom of the escalators. Your presence at the board meetings will also be missed.

Thanks for being a friend and I wish you a very peaceful time at home in the coming days.

With a very heavy heart,

Brian Mildenstein
Fin & Feather
Iowa City, Iowa

Kitt Swenson said...

I am another one that you inspired and guided on my best outdoor adventures. For me it was Mt. Blackburn, 1976. Kitty Kelley.
Those mountain tops got me through the biggest challenges of my life, medical school, divorce, etc.
Recently I joined Rich Swenson, we got married last year.
So Kitt Swenson will be able to come and spend a little time in person with you. And the mountain tops will continue to give us both strength.

Anonymous said...

Hi Andy:

Since I'm in Kuwait right now, I won't be seeing you off. I'll always remember you from the great Kaskawulsh Glacier Yukon Expedition we did together.

Believe it or not, I still remember the picture of you and the article about your first bike trip up the AlCan, which was framed on the wall of The Bike Shop near the U of M. They were proud to have sold you that old Viking! I still can't believe how you carried that thing to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back up the other side in 1 day either!
I was always glad that you forgave me for stealing your girlfriend too, though I'm sorry that I eventually made a mess of that. The important thing is that we could all get on with it and still had no shortage of friendships & adventures. ' Just sorry that you'll be getting a little head start on resting up from all those adventures before we all catch up with you again.

Matt Kerr
Woodland WA

canoelover said...


Since I last saw you at Winter OR I've thought about you often and your amazing determination to fight. I makes me want to take it up a notch when I feel discouraged.

Whenever I feel like I'm an experienced paddler, I think about you and become a novice again.

When I feel pessimistic, I think about your eternal optimism.

If you ever doubt for an instant the love this industry has for you, remember the hat passing at Canoecopia. You are much loved by many and that won't change just because of your "residency status." You will not stop being you, we just won't be able to reach you as easily. :-)

The world won't be the same without you, but more importantly, the world would never have been what it is without you. The richness of your life inspires all of us to grab the bones of life and suck out all the marrow, every day, to take today as a the incredible gift it is.

To quote Sig Olson, "A new adventure is coming and I know it's going to be a good one." I couldn't put it better than that.

Until we meet again,


P.S. I'm going to sell someone a sea kayak today, and I'm going to tell them about what is possible and I'll take my text from the Book of Knapp.

Nikki said...

Andy, as I sit down to leave a message I wish I knew all the right things to say. I don't.

All I know is that you have inspired me so many times throughout my career in Paddlesports. Working with you in a couple of different capacities was a real pleasure and I will so miss seeing you at shows and industry events.

One of the highlights for me was presenting you with the Lifetime Achievement award from the industry 2 or 3 years ago at Canoecopia. How I managed not to cry is still a miracle to me.

May your next adventure be all you have hoped and dreamed.

THANK YOU Andy for the pleasure of knowing you, learning from you and being your friend.

Love, Nikki R.

p.s. I am a bit disappointed that I won't be able to bend your ear about your adventures with Richard D. Anderson in person :)

Nate Flesness said...

Andy, a grateful voice from long ago - all my life when the going got tough I've thought of you - an inspiration to so many of us on how to cheerfully put one foot ahead of the other... no matter what... With Cheryl S and you skiing the Kek during the "blizzard of the century" - halfway across you put on your skis and your frozen stiff boots shattered your ski bidings, you calmly lashed your boots to the skis and pressed on for miles of hard-to-ski terrain ...

You taught a lot of us how to press on...

Wishing you now a fair wind and a following sea,

Terry Grier said...

Looking at old slides, I realized that I had never been on a long trip with you! How that happened, I don't know, but you were a great influence on me. From the Rover days when Joyce and I camped out in front of Coffman Union at the U of M with you, to the mid-week bike trips, and working with you for many years at Midwest. You were truly an inspiration, and I may never have biked to Alaska with Rudi if you had not shown that it was possible. Sorry that I missed Mt. Sanford, but I had to bike home and get married.

Joyce and I really loved the canoeing trip in the BWCA with you and Denise, and the many xc ski trips to Golden Eagle Lodge with you, Denise, and Kaitlyn. I always was excited to hear of your wild adventures, because they made me realize there was so much more to be done. Happy trails to you!

Anonymous said...

Hello Fellow Earthling,
i remember that from the drawing in your room at Pillsbury Ave. Lo, these many years. Back then we shared the stairs and refrigerators and put strange things in our food to discourage poaching. You put wheat germ in orange juice and I drank a lot of buttermilk. Our only trip alone together was the snowshoe on the Border Routewhen it stayed below -20 for 60 hours and below 0 for about 78 hours. It's in a notebook. I remember it because the trip wasn't an epic ordeal or expedition. We didn't starve or freeze, or get lost or hurt or have to take care of anybody. I learned then that you were the consummate professional outdoors and you could get things properly done. Nothing you've done has ever surprised me because out there is home to you. Go home, buddy, and go well. Chuck Koenig

Anonymous said...


Rudi from Midwest Mountaineering, many trips and many beers here.

In one day I see a tremendous outpouring of love for you in these posts. It shall always be. I was thinking of all those trips you did in the past which I was so lucky to have tagged along on. You were the leader of each, the only one of all your adventuring friends who could dream up so many zany wonderful trips and so much fun for all.

Here is some of what we at Midwest
Mountaineering will be saying about you. I just wrote this up for that day when it comes but hey, you and everyone of your friends should be proud to read this now: Too long. Next post.

Andy, There is much talk of humor and beers here. I remember all of that. I remember my favorite wry humor bit was when I asked you to draw a map telling customers how to find Midwest Mountaineering. You drew a picture of a tall building falling down. Your caption said "If the IDS Tower were to fall straight east it would miss us by a mile". I published that in one of my first newsletters to our customers. They found us anyway. (This was well before 911 and at the time seemed funny). Well, Andy, whichever direction you fall down, a whole lot of people will be missing you.
Because you touched us all.

Anonymous said...

Andy and friends,

Here is what Midwest Mountaineering will be sharing with the public:

Andy Knapp, the long time head buyer of hardgoods at Midwest Mountaineering is in hospice at home. He has been fighting against kidney cancer for the past six years. In February, 2009 he entered the hospital for a full bone marrow transplant. His body rejected the process but Andy and his doctors and family continued the fight with several experimental remedies. Andy never gave up.

Andy never gave up during his entire life. We at Midwest Mountaineering knew him as the most persistent outdoor adventurer among us. He bicycled to work every day, even in the foulest of weather, even until the last day before that February hospital stay. He logged more human powered miles on his bicycle, kayaks, canoes, and feet than anyone we know, more than 156,000 miles! Included was a bicycle trip to Alaska and back in 1967, a 500-mile backpacking journey through the Brooks Range in 1972, and a 30-day circumnavigation of Lake Superior in 1996, the first without resupply. He paddled across Lake Superior from north to south. He climbed Mount McKinley, made first ascents in the St Elias Mountains and summited 21,000 foot peaks in Nepal. Andy bicycled in 34 states and 12 other countries, hiked and climbed throughout North America, and paddled extensively in the wilderness waters of the upper Great Lakes area, Baja, Alaska, Florida and beyond. He bicycled from Minneapolis to Canada in one day. He was named the Minnesota Adventurer and Explorer of the Year in 2008.

Andy worked for over 34 years in the outdoor equipment industry as a retail buyer. He served on the boards of several industry trade associations and volunteer advocacy groups including serving as president of the Minnesota Rovers Outdoor Club and the Lake Superior Water Trail Association. He wrote two books and numerous magazine columns.

Andy had been the Midwest Mountaineering buyer of camping, canoeing and kayaking products for many years. He literally launched the sport of sea kayaking in the Midwest and established Midwest Mountaineering as the premier source for sea kayaks.

After being diagnosed with potentially terminal kidney cancer in 2003, and, after the initial panic, Andy realized that he must face the uncertainty and pain with the same stubbornness, perseverance, and sense of humor that he put into the thousands of miles of paddling, bicycling, hiking, skiing, and mountaineering adventures. With the help of family and friends, Andy survived two major surgeries, a bout with radiation, and a series of potent drugs, all the while still bicycling and paddling away. He bicycled to Alaska again in 2008.

At Midwest Mountaineering Andy’s wealth of hands-on knowledge about what makes good gear great will be missed.

We at Midwest Mountaineering also wish to extend our condolences to Andy’s family, his wife Denise and daughter Kaitlyn, as well as to the hundreds of other people who were touched by Andy’s strong will and total commitment to outdoor fun. He made our lives rich with appreciation of his and our own human possibilities.

torry said...


One of the best things in this outdoor industry is the people that we get to meet along the way. I consider myself fortunate to have spent many evenings hearing about your next or past adventures, and was always amazed at the range of experiences and abilities that one person can possess.

You have been an inspiration, as well as a friend.

I wish peace for you and your family, and may the next turn in the road be the start of your next great journey.

You will be greatly missed.

Torry Moore

Dave@ said...


You're treading a trail we will all have to follow-- I hope I can do it with the strength and dignity with which you have tread it.

I didn't have the chance to know you very well, but I do see in you all that makes working in this industry such a great thing.

Peaceful travels, Andy

Dave Johnson
Sales Manager
Granite Gear

rpagen said...


I've only known you through the eyes and heart of my girlfriend Kristin, who has worked part time at Midwest Mountaineering for about as long as I've known her. Her admiration and respect for you has led her to share with me many stories of your amazing life.

Your passionate and graceful approach to life and living has touched those of us who never even had the pleasure of meeting you face to face. Thanks for that.

peace and love,
rich pagen

Kristin Wornson said...

Andy –

I have watched and admired you from afar for many years. From my very first days of working at Midwest Mountaineering, you were a legend of impossible achievement and unimaginable adventure. Your stories passed through everybody who worked there, and trickled down through every level of the store. I was always a bit intimidated by you through the years – your stories were larger than life, and the life that you lived was mythical and inconceivable. I will never forget the few times that we spoke – and the stories that you shared. I will never forget your kindness, and the boundless energy that you possessed. The first time I felt I really got to know you on a personal level, was when I attended the talk that you gave at the Canoe Event just a couple of years ago – about your infamous bicycle trips to Alaska. Though I had heard about the first one many times, it was through the photos that you shared – and the humor that you integrated – and the stories that you told in such a heartfelt and intimate way, that I felt I finally knew you. I went home and shared these tales, with family and with friends – and the enthusiasm that you gave me was once again passed down.

So although it has been from afar – you have touched me very deeply. Even today, as I read the stories of so many whose lives you have touched, I feel I am still getting to know you. I have no doubt that I will be getting to know you for many years to come.

Thank you for giving us the tales of what it is to truly live big – and to do it with a grace that is so very rare. You are an inspiration – and will continue to be, and I thank you so very much for being the person that you are –

Kristin Wornson


I'm truly sorry I won't be able to come visit this weekend! Jen and I will be traveling to Iowa to visit my mom who is going through much the same as you right now.
I want to thank you for many years of wonderful memories. I spent at least a few years at Midwest before I knew you were hiding up there in the office and a few more before I had any clue of the amazing adventures you've been on. I'm thrilled to have had the opportunity to spend numerous drinking nights with you and hear your stories. I'm glad you took the time to record many of them so we can all enjoy them for years to come.
As much of a pain in the ass as you could be to work with at times ;)the many, many good times far out-weigh those rare occasions.
I'm going to miss you Andy. There will be a void that can't be filled.
I pray the rest of your time to be filled with peace and love and your family at your side.

Pete Grimes

Anonymous said...

Andy, you've always been larger than life to me. When I think of all the amazing things that fellow Rovers have done, you seem to be front and center. I loved your story telling ability and your amazing memory for details large and minuscule. I admired your ability to do almost anything. You are the stuff of legends.

Thank you for being our friend. Go in peace.

Linda Higgins

Anonymous said...

So many times I remember driving past you on riverside as I was going to work. You would be coming from a medical appt of sorts at the hospital. Each time I wanted to stop and ask if you would like a ride. But I knew better. You wanted to walk, and you could - so you did. A little later I would be working up in Thrifty and wait for you to get to the top of the stairs so I could say hello. You - always with a great big smile on your face.

Anytime I would see you at an expo surrounded by a crowd of people, telling one of your great stories, I would grab as many new employees or temps I could find. I would tell them to go listen to you - they would never regret it. I usually followed behind. And ALWAYS...I mean had me in tears from so much laughter.

I was thankful to have attended your going away party at the store. Again, I left in tears. Though this time it was not only out of laughter, but pure inspiration. I didnt want the tales to end.

Thankfully they wont. They will live in each and everyone of us who are so blessed to have had you in our lives, no matter how long or short.

If you dont mind, I would like to share a prayer of sorts. It comes from the Tibeten Book of Living and Dying. It can be transformed or modified into whatever beliefs you have....

"Through your blessing, grace, and guidance, through the power of the light that streams from you:

May all my negative karma, destructive emotions, obscurations, and blockages be purified and removed,

May I know myself forgiven for all the harm I may have though and done.

May I die a good and peaceful death.

And through the triumph of my death, may I be able to benefit all other beings, living or dead."

I particularly like the last part. You HAVE benefited every living person you have encountered. I have no doubt there will be plenty more laughter and inspiration to be shared in your next journey .

Thanks for being YOU, Andy!

May the rest of your time and transition into your new adventure be in peace.

Carolyn Hansen

Anonymous said...

I don't know if you remember me or my mom (rod's 2nd daughter and wife). We like many people have been inspired by the many things you have done in your life, and will continue to be.

Brian Hall said...

While we never shared an adventure together, the countless stories and talks we had over the years were a constant source of inspiration to me. Winding away the hours after a busy expo, fueled by beers, your stories were one of the highlights of my time at Midwest.
Saying goodbye is always difficult, but I'm comforted by the fact that you have lived a full and amazing life and that you are surrounded by many people who love you deeply. Beyond your adventures and achievements, you are an incredible human being and that is the true essence of Andy Knapp.

I feel very lucky to know you.

Brian Hall

Robert said...


I will never forget all the wonderful discussions we had.... solving most of the world's problems over that wonderful cold Summit beer at the Expo gatherings..ahh if I could only remember what they were... You have had a big impact on me Andy and I count myself very lucky to have known you. My father who battled cancer said to me that he could deal with the idea of not being here because he was'nt always here and he could deal with the cancer....but it was the journey of getting from here to there that was the most difficult for him. You have always had a way of making the most difficult journeys seem easy... I wish the wind to your back on this one..My thoughts are with you and your family during this time.... Bob Sass

Robin Stanton said...

Dear Andy - I'm thinking about your stories --wish I could hear one more.

Raymond said...

Dear Andy,
You are one of the most impressive people I have ever met. Your zest for life, your courage, humor, conviction and kindness are an amazing combination.

Thank you for all your help and guidance over the years. Your gentle and thoughtful style was a huge help to me in the early TAPS days.

You leave a legacy of amazing memories and personal triumphs that will inspire people for years.

Thank you for everything.

your friend,

Anonymous said...

You are an inspiration, I wished I had stayed in touch more. I will never forget our ice climbs and rock climbing in Taylor Falls with John Nygaard, Jeff Graves, John Garton and Coleman Miller.
You will be in great company.
Nail big walls!

Tony Newman

Anonymous said...

Andy -

We've had some amazing adventures together over the past 33 years - Mt. Pacharmo in Nepal, Everest base camp, Mt. Ranier, and Mt. McKinley, among many others. When others were lagging, I remember you were strong as a horse after our climb up the west rib to the summit of Mt. McKinley! It's fitting that you're one of the first entries into Midwest Mountaineering's Outdoor Adventurer and Explorer Hall of Fame.

Your zest for life, work, fun, family and friends is legendary.
You've willingly shared all your experiences with others in order to help them through their own struggles. You've not wasted a minute of the gift of your own life. Your courage, optimism, strength and tenacity during all of your adventures have been, and will continue to be, an inspiration to all of us.

You're the embodiment of Midwest Mountaineering's motto: "Ask us. We've been there." Your stories are legend, and they'll be told and retold over many years to come.

We're grateful for the 33 years you've devoted to Midwest Mountaineering and to the outdoor industry. Your contributions over the years are an example for us all.

Sharon and I join with Midwest Mountaineering and your hundreds of friends in sending our love to you and to your family as you start your next adventure.

Rod and Sharon

L & M Kania said...

We love you, Andy!

So many wonderful memories. Organizing the annual kayak rendezvous in the Apostle Islands is our favorite.

You have been an inspiration to us all. More than you can ever imagine.

See you in our next life together. It will be special, we're sure.


Laurie and Matt Kania

Jeff Knight said...


I'll never forget Dan and I walking into your office in 1986 to show you our newly developed canoe gear. You where the first buyer we ever showed our stuff to and you gave us our start and i want you to know that I'm eternally thankful to you for this. You where always willing to give us words of encouragement. Sometimes these words came slightly slurred as the Summit beer had been flowing for a while.
In the early days when we needed one more good sale at the end of the month you would give us one. All it took was a phone call.

Andy, you can rest assured we will be toasting you at our annual City Creek Inn party in Salt Lake which we've dedicated to another Life Well Lived "Rob Hart". Thank You for who you are and all you done for us! I will miss you greatly!

Jeff Knight
Granite Gear

Anonymous said...

Andy, You are loved.

Anonymous said...

Andy, You don't know us well but Norton (Johnson) served on the Water Trail board with you for several years. Both of us (Marge and Norton) love kayaking and have been so grateful for all your efforts and work to make kayaking Lake Superior what it is today. A big THANKS!

Matt and Laurie Kania have kept us up to speed on your journey and that's how we connected here. We now live in Tucson so miss the big lake but get to kayak when we're back in MN.

Thanks again for all you have done and being who you are. You have touched many lives including ours and we will always be grateful. Please know you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. Peace, Marge and Norton Johnson

Anonymous said...

Graceful warrior,
deep peace to you
as you prepare yet again
for another grand adventure.
May the abundance of love that
pours out to you fill you warmth.
You are well loved and will be
well remembered.

Anonymous said...

We did a New Year's Eve winter camping on Eagle Mountain in BWCA, the highest point in MN, about 3,000 feet! Right when we were beginning the trailing clearing thing and that was one of the trails we restored. Somebody found an old logging trail and said, "Oh let's check this out. See if it's still there" kind of thing. I don't remember exactly why, but Ed, Cheryl, you and a bunch of people decided to go.

You were regaling us with stories from your bicycle trip to Alaska on the Alcan Hwy (before it was paved). While we were waiting for midnight, you were talking about how "The New Year is sweeping toward us across the plains of Manitoba."

We had the big down sleeping bags, the 111B, Eureka tents. We hiked in from a road somewhere with snowshoes.

You'd bike across MN in a day, stopping only to eat every 3-4 hours. We've always been inspired by that.

We were at a party one night in the summer in Mpls and you decided you were going to take, at midnight, and bike all the way to Thunder Bay, Ontario. And you did. It took you like a day. 300 miles.

You're still the inspiration, just like back in those days when we were young beginning Rovers.

You were never a mushy guy, but different times call for different things. We have tears in our eyes reading your blog. It is hard to see the keyboard.

We will miss you here and will join you later, where you will lead us into new adventures.
Love, Bob and Noel Jarvis

Rosie said...


I hope where you are going there won't be mosquitos and ticks, but that there will be always fresh water, shade and shelter when you need it.

I don't know you personally, but that's what your kharma looks like to me.

Save journey,

Anonymous said...

Dear Andy, What a pleasure to have gotten to know you through the TAPS board and the running into you at every Summer OR. I think always of your intense focus and passion for life and experience, when you get talking about your adventures. I don’t think that I have every met anyone who holds a candle to you; you are the guy who has made an art form out of living life intensely and making it rich like no one else!
Andy, I refer to you as the American who knows more about Canada then most Canadians. Your story telling is legendary! You have pedaled by bike through northern BC, my part of the world, en route to Alaska, more than once. You have breathed the air, hung out with the locals, and filled up your water bottle in many obscure parts of the continent moving through the world under your own power – one step, one stroke, one push on the bike pedal at a time.
Who know what comes next after this life in our fragile human bodies? Whatever it may be Andy, I see you squeezing the most out of the experience.
Andy, you have been a source of amazement and an inspiration to so many and you will truly be missed. My thoughts are with you and your family. Love from Susan at Aquabatics

Thomas said...

Dear Andy,

I want you to know that you are one of my personal heros. You've inspired me and will continue to to do so until our paths meet again someday. I wish you well and I will never forget you. Tommy Norton

Anonymous said...


For this final journey you are about to take, do not be afraid.

With secure belay ropes waiting to assist you are your old climbing buddies Bob Hanson, the Johns (Nygaard and Garton) and Jeff Graves. They will keep you safe as you take the final steps into this last journey.

Hopefully you will be there for us too, when we are ready to follow.

Your life has been so full, have no regrets. Pass joyfully and peracefully into your final great adventure.

Rich S said...

In case it does not get fixed soon, the correct cell phone for Denise is 612-220-8493.

We talked with her this (Sunday) afternoon, and she says you need not call first, you can just stop by.

Andy, old friend, your next big adventure is going to be soon, too soon. We love you, and will catch up later.

Erik Thompson said...

Andy my friend:

I remember hopping up and down telling you about the new sport of Kiteboarding, and getting an eager ear to "run it up the flagpole" at your winter expo.

i remember convincing you we could sell $300 sleds at the same show a year later (okay we missed on that one)

But most of all, I remember being at the same event two years ago, days after my mother died from cancer and my father was diagnosed with brain cancer.

In those times you found it within yourself to take the time to talk to me, explain your battle, go through the various procedures you had volunteered for , and just make sure I was OK.

You contribution to the fight against this disease has been your most courageous achievement. It will not be forgotten, and will serve to save countless lives in the future. It is a long road that you found yourself at the beginning of, but I promise you I will make sure we find the end.

God bless you on your journey..

Erik Thompson

Ryan said...

You have been an inspiration to all adventurers, especially those working at Midwest Mountaineering. Thank you for the energy, the joy, the courage, and the tenacity you brought with you to work and shared with all of those around you.

In sum, thank you for touching so many lives.

ryan alaniz
boat room employee

Anonymous said...

Andy, as I was reading all these many posts of folks that know you and love you, and of all the beers that many of us shared together, I just recieved an email from Mot saying that you just took off. You are an amazaing man Andy, both in the way you could be the last man standing and still sipping away, or that you could endure many many miles of terrible weather and sunny days that never seemed to end. And now you move on and we have to stay behind and imagine what your trip report would be like! It's a bit hard to think that I won't be contending with you for that last man standing honor and I'll have to finish that beer with the other folks that love you here, but I can guarantee that everytime we tip one back, your name will be thought of. You are in some serious company now, boy. Keep the keg cold, and I'll keep my glass waiting. You are a great friend and an incredibly funny man, Andy; and you are already greatly missed.

pat said...

You're my hero Andy. You've done so much. Your in my prayers. You've always been such a kind and gentle soul. Truly a leader by example! I'll keep your memory with me for the rest of my life.

I feel blessed to have known you.

pat carr

Anonymous said...

Denise and Kaitlyn, My thoughts and love were focused on you and Andy last night as I drove home along lakes Superior. The Lake was calm and strong last night, with a fog rising closer to Duluth. I often looked out to see the lake and hear it's memory of Andy, his travels & love. This morning I know our good friend and outdoor mentor has passed on. Brings tears to my eyes to say goodbye, but he is now healed and his spirit will continue to grace our lives. Love Janet

Peter Hark said...

Our adventures up on the North shore with the water trail were excellent and the thought of you on many occasions telling the crazy ass stories of your life adventures - every time… making me laugh so hard that my belly hurt and the tears would stream down my face - this always bring a huge smile on my face.

Adventure on Andy!

Peter Hark