A Newton kayaker has completed his 400 mile trip across the state of Iowa for the Hickory Ridge Wilderness Camp, located on Lake Red Rock north of Knoxville. John Craun began his voyage around 3pm April 30th and finished the trip Tuesday afternoon. Despite the thunderstorm warnings, high water levels and high winds Craun made it all the way down the Des Moines River safe and sound and raised nearly $10,000 for the wilderness camp.
A celebration event was held in Des Moines on Saturday as a group of friends and supporters met up with Craun to join him on a portion of the journey from the Saylorville Access to Birdland Marina where they listened to various speakers from the Department of Natural Resources and Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation followed by Craun sharing some of the interesting stories he had from the trip thus far.
Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation Outreach Coordinator, Ann Robinson tells KNIA/KRLS news she is thrilled that a big chunk of the money needed to be able to open the camp up to the public has been raised and she hopes the momentum will continue in the future. She adds that Craun is very inspiring and would like to thank him for his dedication and enthusiasm. Robinson says his positive attitude is contagious and has helped show others what volunteers can accomplish.