|Mary Jean Blaisdell, 60, lives in Independence, Iowa. She is a retired elementary principal who loves wilderness paddling and camping. Having had limited experience growing up with the sport, she later discovered it was a passion. She had heard of wilderness places like the Boundary Waters and dreamed of going. She first attended a Becoming an Outdoors Woman workshop to learn some basic skills and then tried car-camping on her own and then a week long road trip that involved camping and some paddling. She went on a guided group trip to the Apostle Islands and then went on to do BW trips and local river paddling outings. She has taken over 15 trips to the Boundary Waters/Quetico areas and participated on 3 Wabakimi Project (Canada) trips. She has also taken two short successful solo trips and recently completed her longest solo yet of 7 days/6 nights in the BW. She plans to continue taking trips up north with others and alone for as long as possible!