|The presenters, Mike, Mark, Laura, and Allison, are connected in many ways. Mike Heiman and his wife Allison live in Ely MN. Mike, along with his brother, Mark, grew up in Ely. Mike is a former geological engineer and now works as a guide in Ely. Allison works at non-profit in Ely. Mark Heiman was still in undergrad at the University of Wisconsin when the trip took place. He recently graduated and now works at Epic Systems in Verona WI.
Laura Gundlach met Mike when they both lived in the same freshman dorm at University of Wisconsin. She is also Allison's twin sister. Laura lives in Madison WI and works at a local community center. Laura and Allison are from Racine, WI and grew up with no camping/canoeing experience until college.
All four presenters had various levels of experience paddling in the BWCA and Quetico and were inspired by the books Caneoing with the Cree and Distant Fires, as well as stories from acquaintances in Ely who completed similar trips.