UK’s Royal Airforce hosted for Ely canoe trip

The Union Jack flew over White Iron Lake

The Union Jack flew over White Iron Lake on Friday and Saturday in honor of 14 Airmen from the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force. Hosted by North Country Canoe Outfitters for the third time, two women and 12 men headed out into the Boundary Waters for a six day outdoor education canoe trip. The two groups of seven each headed out on opening day from Snowbank Lake and Lake One. Their intent was to paddle the same route in opposite directions. Only one participant had been to the USA before, having participated on an earlier trip with North Country. Of the rest of the party, many had never been out of the UK.

The crews are based at RAF Lossiemouth in Northeast Scotland, one of the largest and busiest fast-jet stations in the Royal Air Force. It is home to three front-line units which contribute to the Quick Reaction Alert (Interceptor) North capability which provides continuous protection of UK airspace. North Country’s owner, John Schiefelbein, found trying to determine their Minnesota tax and Forest Service permit status as a non-profit group was a challenge. The Queen’s credit card, however, went through with no problems at all.