Our Guides

We’re intimately connected to this place we know and love.

Introductions

About Us

If you're like us when we travel, you don't feel much like hitting all the touristy "I got the t-shirt" places. You want some adventure and a look into the deeper spirit of a place. We offer you a personal journey of exploration. There's incredible beauty here but beauty lies just at the surface. Our native elders teach us that "all things are connected," - sky, earth, water, plants, and animals and of course people. Our goal as guides is to walk by you and create opportunities for you to connect with this place we love and call home....

Jon Michels

Hi everyone, I'm Jon. I live off the grid on the far western side of the Red Cliff Indian Reservation in a small hillside cabin overlooking Sand Bay. Eight years ago I decided to leave my mainstream life and move back to the Lake Superior life. You might call this retirement but I still work hard doing the things I love like guiding kayak and snowshoe tours, picking and selling balsam boughs for Christmas wreath making, gathering wild foods and medicine, hunting and fishing for food, and the occasional carpentry project.

I worked over 30 years as a geologist and natural resource specialist. Much of that work brought me to the wild places of the Lake Superior region. Ironically, most of my time off was spent diving even deeper into the northern wilderness of Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, and Canada traveling by canoe, kayak, and snowshoe. You could say I've slept on the ground quite a bit - lol.

My life has been focused on the natural world from the time I started toddling. My parents tell me I hated being inside and in order to accommodate me, they had me wearing a harness leashed to a tree or sandbox in the yard! What I'm getting at is that I thrive on being outside in the wild. A native elder and teacher of mine told me my gift from the Creator is to "see beyond the material" and "comprehend the connection between all things." He told me to share that gift with anyone willing to join me. So I guess it came natural for me to be a guide and in a sense I've been at it most my life.

I have a philosophy and a personal code for how I Guide. Philosophically, I Guide by traveling alongside people in a metaphoric way. My teacher told me to be humble and "show" more than "tell". I believe our trips are shared experiences. I believe no matter how many times someone walks the same path, each journey can be seen with a new awareness. As a guide I hope to help you develop your own insight and awareness. My guiding code is straight forward. Safety is first. Safety is best conducted by having a keen sense of awareness and avoiding hazardous situations. Second, I'll strive to do and be my best. For me that means being respectful, patient, and honest. This is your vacation or special time away. I understand how valuable that is. I will do whatever I can to make it more memorable for you.

So...I look forward to meeting you and sharing a day in the woods or on the lake.

Travis Barningham

Boozhoo, My name is Travis and I live on this little Indian reservation called Red Cliff, situated on Gitche Gumee (Lake Superior). I have lived here all my life and know the area very well.

As I see it, my job is to guide you on an adventure that creates an impact on your life. When you leave, I hope you carry a strong memory of the beauty, peace, and spirit of this place. As a Tribal Member, I can access areas unavailable to the general public.

Your safety as my top priority. I am CPR and First Aid Certified through the state and have a lifetime of experience on the lake and ice.

Please join me for this great experience!