08/09/2011 09:33 EDT | Updated 10/09/2011 05:12 EDT

Wisconsin dad, 3 sons wrap up 72-day kayak trip around Lake Superior

IRONWOOD, Mich. - A Wisconsin man and his three sons have made a 72-day, 2,570-kilometre journey by kayak around Lake Superior.

Joe Bodewes of Hazelhurst set out in May from Black River Harbor in Michigan's northwestern Upper Peninsula with 14-year-old Will, 12-year-old Luke and 10-year-old Noah. They returned Monday, about two weeks ahead of schedule, the Daily Globe of Ironwood, Mich., reported.

They paddled in three kayaks, staying close to the shore of Lake Superior, which touches Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Ontario. After rough weather in the early part of the trip, they finished with 30 consecutive days of paddling and no further weather-related breaks.

"We kind of struggled in Minnesota," Bodewes said, in part because they found relatively few camping spots along the shore. "It was cold in June and the water was around 38 degrees. Around the Fourth of July in Canada, it turned warmer, but then the bugs came out."

Bodewes is a veterinarian. His wife, Molly, and their two daughters, Lana and Kristina, were part of a welcoming party of about a dozen people at the harbour.

"There come my boys," Lana said as people along the beach applauded the kayakers.