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Ain't No Sunshine When He's Here




Professor Steve DeVries remains upbeat although his "Fitness for Life" class to the Boundary Waters has endureddismal weather nearly everry year since 1987.

Professor of physical education Steve DeVries has taken a 9th block “Fitness for Life: Camping and Canoeing” class to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness of northeastern Minnesota since 1987. His nearly perfect record for frightful weather each year has finally reached the status of urban legend. From the online newsletter of Sawbill Canoe Outfitters in Tofte, Minn.:

5/14/00—Dr. Steve DeVries is a professor at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa. Every year, Steve, along with co-leader Jeff Reihle, brings a group of college students on a canoe trip through Sawbill as part of a class. In the last 15 years or so, they have endured almost unrelenting bad weather. In spite of this dampened reputation, Steve remains relentlessly positive, enjoying every moment of his time in the wilderness.

On Thursday, it started to rain hard about 15 minutes before they arrived, but the forecast called for improvement. “That’ll change,” said Steve, without rancor. Friday, in all honesty, wasn’t too bad—warm with just some fog and a few light showers. Saturday—snow started to fall early and continued off and on all day in the teeth of a 25-mph northwest wind. Still, the forecast called for improvement.

Steve is due to end his trip tomorrow. The forecast is for clearing and warmer this afternoon, but I’m not planning to take the long johns off until the Cornell group starts back to Iowa.

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