Just Around The Pointe - 2020

To be the first person to circumnavigate all 5 Great Lakes in less than one year- and in the process Inspire All Individuals who struggle everyday with a chronic health condition or disability to never give up.  

Meet my Dedicated Team

2020 Driver and Log​istics

Marv Kuziel

He is an avid kayaker/kayak camper, as well as engaging the world wide paddling community.

Marv strongly believes in Traci’s dedication to inspiring others to get the most of their days on this planet and always reach for the stars.


2017 Driver and 2020 Logistics Advisor

Bill Noble

Bill strongly believes in Traci’s dedication to inspiring others to get the most of their days on this planet and always reach for the stars.


Project Manager​

Tab McBlane

He is an avid kayaker/kayak camper, as well as engaging the world wide paddling community.

Tab strongly believes in Traci’s dedication to inspiring others to get the most of their days on this planet and always reach for the stars.


Fund - Raising

Kathy Morse

Kathy heard about Traci's 2017 expedition, and couldnt imagine how anyone would accomplish such a physically exhausting feat with RA. She followed Traci's journey closely. By the time she made it back to Port Huron in October of 2017, Kathy reached out to her and asked what she could do to help. 

Kathy wrestles with her own chronic medical conditions.
She truely understands the importance of Traci's message. 

"Its hard to explain the paralysis of chronic pain and on-going exhaustion. Its a cruel joke when your mind wants to be active but your body refuses to cooperate."

"There are so many chronic illness's affecting so many people in the world today. I know how easy it is for people who suffer to just give up on life and on living."

"This is why I suppot Traci's message of Never Give Up!"

If you are able to help out in any way,  for this monumental expedition, please go to GoFundMe  at:


Logistics Support and Coordinator for the Niagara Falls Region

Bob Van Hise
Patti Zander

Bob is a New York State Licensed Outdoor Guide.
He is the Founder/Administrator at Buffalo Paddles (Facebook).
He has raced in the Adirondack 90-Miler via canoe, kayak, and voyageur canoe.
He is a past member of the Adirondack Mtn. Club Board of Directors in Lake George NY.

Started hiking in 2000 when Rheumatoid Arthritis made it difficult to walk up stairs... "Use it or lose it"

Bob love's to Kayak/camp on Georgian Bay and solo backcountry canoe trips in NY and Ontario.

Became a Adirondack Winter 46er in 2009 (hiking up New York's 46 Adirondack high peaks in winter)

Patti Zander
Has been Kayaking for 10 years
Loves paddling on the Niagara River and kayak touring on

Georgian Bay 

Bob & Patti together:
1) Paddled across Lake Ontario overnight from Niagara to Toronto
2) Lead a Kayak tour 90 miles through the Adirondack lake country
3) Lead numerous group tours among the islands of Georgian Bay - Tobermory to Manitoulin Is., French River to Killarney Prov. Park
4) Have lead local paddlers on Niagara River tours

"Patti and I love paddling, we encourage others to kayak safely, and often lend a kayak to friends who want to learn by paddling with us."

"When we read about Traci's World Record attempt, we knew we wanted to help in any way that she needed. Since we live just a couple blocks from the Niagara River and are situated between Lakes Erie & Ontario, we felt that we were ideally suited to help support her expedition, especially the 10 mile portage around the World-famous Niagara Falls."

"When we learned that Traci had RA, I felt even more connected because I've had that Rheumatoid auto-immune disease for 30 years."

Traci can be seen walking her surf ski the 13 miles around Niagara Falls, November 2017.

The event was coordinated by Bob and Patti.

Logistics Support and Coordinator for the Apostle Island's Region

Oliver Herzog Simes

Oliver is from South Dakota. He has been an avid kayaker for the last 10 years, but has been racing competitively for the last 5 years.

"I really believe that when people have a disability, if I can help them acheive their personal goals, then I should... its amazing that Traci has done what she has done.. its very cool. "

Logistics Support and Coordinator for the Chicago Region

Donald Kelly

He is an avid kayaker/kayak camper, as well as engaging the world wide paddling community.

Logistics Support and Coordinator for the  Region

Fred Collins

He is an avid kayaker/kayak camper, as well as engaging the world wide paddling community.

Logistics Support and Coordinator for the Manistique Region

Gaye & Mark 

He is an avid kayaker/kayak camper, as well as engaging the world wide paddling community.

Mary Strope has more than 30 years of experience working in event management. 

Her love of fine art and contemporary craft, and her joy in helping artists succeed, led her to work for some of the top producers of retail and wholesale shows for artists across the country.

Currently she is semi-retired and resides in Southeast Michigan where she is a consultant for a Detroit-based fine art show producer, and a business writer for two arts magazines. 


Senior Media

Mary Strope

Mary has a passion for  Awesome Adventures.

Mary is an avid adventurer who writes about birding and hiking the marshes, rivers, small towns, and back roads of Southeast Michigan and Northwest Ohio through her blog - www.DayTrippersUS.com. 

Treasurer & Secretary
of the Non-Profit
Just Around The Pointe

"I believe that if anyone can do this, that Traci can. She has more will-power and inner strength than any other person that I have ever known and she has a nuclear powerplant inside of her head that wont let her stop"

John Peterson

John K. Peterson is an archaeologist who currently works for the State of Missouri as their Interpretive Resource Specialist 3.

John is the Treasurer and the Secretary of the Non-Profit Just Around The Pointe.
John will be in charge of contacting the offices of the State Parks in the areas that Traci will be paddling and camping through, to arrange camping sites for her in the State Parks.
John will be handling these logistics, he will be keeping track of all of the donations and expenses from Just Around The Pointe bank account, and he has offered to take care of Traci's dog for the 10 months that she will be gone.

Traci Lynn Martin's
Traci Lynn Martin's
Paddling Experience
Traci Lynn began a love for the outdoors as a recreational paddler and backpacker in 1986. Her noteworthy trips included backpacking portions of the Continental Divide and the Colorado Trail.

From 1988-1995 she was a competitive archer, and in 2005, she began paddling for fitness. Just three years later, she tried her hand at long-distance competitive kayak races. She found something she truly loved. She continued to thrive in kayak racing, as well as running many road races of a variety of distances, along with some sprint triathlons.

Traci takes pride in the fact that in 2013, just a short time after being diagnosed with Rheumatoid Auto Immune Disease, or RA, she took third place in her division in the Summer RoundUp Triathlon.

Traci traveled dozens of times to areas along Lake Superior's North Shore in Minnesota, spending about eight years enjoying the waters near Duluth, Tofte and Grand Marais. She spent countless hours paddling on the icy waters of Lake Superior, so she's no stranger to this portion of the route. In addition, Traci's gone on solo on treks into the Boundary Waters (BWCA), where she's done extensive paddling, camping and navigating. She loved taking her two sons into the BWCA for a family trip where everyone learned about the healing properties of nature.
Traci has participated in dozens of kayak races since 2008 and has taken first place in several categories, including women's solo and mixed tandem. She's a proven winner and loves the spirit of the day that comes with races ranging in length from 40 to 340 miles.

The MR 340, a 340-mile juggernaut that traverses all of the state of Missouri, is a place where Traci's shown her strength, skill and determination. She's taken part eight times since trying it in 2008, and she finished in the top three in her division on four occasions. She won the women's solo division twice in 2011 and 2013.

The MR 340 is the longest, non-stop kayak/canoe race in the United States. It's also where Traci learned how to push herself beyond all limits; she knows she can paddle up to 36 hours without stopping to sleep.

Besides setting five course records in the mixed tandem division, Traci has also set a course record in the women's solo division in:
The Gritty 50 short course
The Freedom Race in 2013
The Osage 36 in 2015
The South Dakota Kayak Challenge in 2016
Traci Lynn Martin grew up near Kansas City, Mo. She is a registered nurse and works at St. Luke's hospital, where she cares for babies and families in the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit.

In 2009, shattering news hit this super-active woman. Traci began showing symptoms of Rheumatoid Auto Immune Disease. In 2010 she was officially diagnosed with this debilitating disease.
Traci said the first couple of years were hard, as she tried to get control of the disease.

“It was amazing how many of my friends who work in health care told me point-blank: Your days of backpacking and kayak racing are over. But I took their feedback to heart and it's felt good to be able to prove those who said it was over – they were wrong!"

Traci pours her determination out with patients who, like her, are facing chronic diseases. “Life can still hold amazing possibilities,” she explains. “I aim to encourage and inspire individuals. Hold onto your dreams. Never stop reaching for them, regardless of what the diagnosis says.”
Midwest Paddle Racing sponsored only two women kayak racers in 2015-2016 – Traci was one of those two. She is also a Speak Network volunteer for AbbVie, the company which makes Humira. In this role, Traci shares her insights with individuals who face RA like she does, and helps teach them how to keep living well with this disease.

Traci's energy level is off the charts. She's working closely with individuals at the Jackson County Parks Department on several different projects, she serves as a volunteer kayak instructor for children during summer camps and at Fort Osage with its many school group tours.

This year, she organized the first family-centered “fun-focused” kayak/canoe race at Fort Osage. The inaugural Dispatch Race was a success.

The Best way to Contact Traci Martin
is by phone text.

Traci Lynn Martin
I want to empower other women and individuals that they can conquer whatever limitations life throws at them.
I want to inspire individuals to be healthier!
There is nothing special about me. I get up every day and do what needs to get done.
I want to show and inspire others, by example, that having Rheumatoid Arthritis does not mean that your life is over. I devote a lot of my time talking to individuals who have some kind of chronic health condition and the message that I try to give to them is that life not only goes on, but it can be productive and rewarding and full of fun adventures... You just have to mentally believe!
Yes, getting up in the mornings when you have Rheumatoid Arthritis, or any chronic health condition, can really suck!
Most mornings when I get out of bed, I am hobbling around like some 95 year old because it feels like someone has taken a sledge hammer and has crushed my feet and ankles.. but I get up anyways. And, the more active you remain, the easier it is to keep doing it. ... You just have to get up and do it!
I want the world to know that while I feel like my Rheumatoid Arthritis force's me
to be one step behind my kayaking peers, I’m pushing twice as hard to stay with the pack!
I want to lead by example.... and show that its not stopping me from reaching my dream's and others can fulfill their dreams as well!
"Kayaking is my Therapy"
"There is pure JOY and excitement of being out on the water alone.... battling the wind and waves and surf..... there is a deep sense of gratification when I am able to conquer these conditions... when I can box up my fear and set it aside...  I cant explain it... the PASSION and FIRE that burns under my skin for this ...
all I know is that you either have it or you dont"
"Being Alone Out On The Water
is my Sanctuary"
Traci Lynn... I have always believed that Nature is the best medicine when you feel down.
Being out in Nature and being out on the water is My Therapy.
My middle child, Daniel, was the only one of my 3 children that was actually planned.
I felt like I had done everything right. I went to the doctor and began taking prenatal vitamins before he was conceived. I had done all of the right things to ensure that he was going to be a healthy baby. In my mind, he was going to grow up and be an Engineer or some kind of Researcher.... he was going to be my kayaking and camping buddy... and  the explorer that I had always wanted to be. He was born in 2002 and by in 2005 he was diagnosised with Autism.
As I grappled with that, and questioned my faith in God, kayaking became my therapy. Out on the water, surrounded by nature, I was able to restore my faith.
I still took Daniel out onto the water with me and camping and backpacking with me.
I taught him how to survive out in the woods. In the end, he has become my camping and hiking buddy... and together we have both become explorers... along with his little brother, Noah-Seth.
Then in 2010, my world was turned upside down again.
I was diagnosised with Rheumatoid Arthritis.
(Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic auto-immune disease which causes severe joint pain and can lead to decreased mobility)  ...  In other words, you wake up in the mornings feeling like someone has beat you up with a baseball bat.
Being as active as I was, it was very difficult coming to terms with it.
Once again, being out on the water gave me a sense of peace and I discovered that it also gave me a safe place to cry.

My 3 children
Noah-Seth, Daniel, and Maranda
May 2015

Traci Lynn
"I want to explore the waters of the Great Lakes.
I want to kayak in the open vastness of them.
I want to interact with the people who live there and work there.
I want to show people that there are still plenty of open spaces to explore, right here in our own backyard."

I desire the simplicity and quiet which is found out on the water. There is a sense of "peace of mind". The simplicity of pure movement.... reach, pull, twist.... reach, pull, twist.

"My soul craves the cool sensation of the water spray on my face, the icy coldness of it as I submerge my paddle and hands into its body..."

My decision to quit my job and leave my family (during the time that it will take to complete this task) is not a rash decision. It is not made idly.  It has been well thought out, it is genuine and it comes from my heart.

Inspire Change

Traci Lynn...   "For a long time now, I feel like I have been slowly drowning".

I have been living my life to please others and meet their expectations of what the ideal good daughter, good partner, and good mother, should be like.
My own mother passed away in June of 2015 of cancer. Sitting beside her before she died, she seemed full of regret that there were so many things left in her life that she was not going to get to do which she had wanted so badly to do.
Watching my mother pass away like that changed me.

I realized that life to too precious of a gift to take for granted and to keep putting off the things that you want to do. During those days sitting with my mother, I decided that I was ready to live my life for me.
After she passed away, I knew, in my heart, that it was time to rediscover whom I was meant to be.
I will be rediscovering myself out on the Great Lakes. I invite you to share this journey with me!

I want to inspire others.

Traci Lynn... I think that most of us are born thinking that only "amazing people can do amazing things".
Most individuals seldom see themselves as amazing.
I lived most of my life wishing that I could make a difference in this world and never thought of myself as anything but ordinary.
I have always taken my two boys out camping, backpacking, 
and kayaking with me. Its just what I do. I have never thought that it was anything special before.
A life changing moment occurred for me when I was out at a race with my son's several years ago (we had raced together as a team), when a woman walked up to me and said that she thought it was great that I was doing this with my children and she wished that she could do it with her children. 
I stayed there and talked with her for awhile and tried to encourage her that she could do anything that I was doing. I told her that most of the time it is just trial and error. But, the more you do it the better you get at it. I walked away feeling good that maybe I had made a difference in her life.