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Viking Waterway Tour comes to DL

Ever been interested in hearing about where the Vikings passed through Minnesota? Or even interested enough to trace their tracks?

A Viking Waterway Tour heads through the Detroit Lakes area on Sept. 28. You won’t have to worry about rowing though. Participants will travel via a 57-passenger bus and the event is free of charge.

“This started about the year 2000,” said Myron Paine, who has organized the tour. “When I retired, I told my daughter, ‘gee, I don’t know what to do with myself,’ and she said, ‘Dad, you remember those 4,000 Norwegians that walked away from Greenland? You were going to investigate that.’”

And so the investigating began.

Paine, who lives in Elderwood, Conn., started reading books on Greenland. He read about Greenland for 18 months, learning all there is about Greenland — or a lot of it anyway.

“In Minnesota, you have the Kensington Runestone. It’s been there since 1898, and it’s got Scandinavian characters on it,” he said of the runestone that was found in Douglas County and is now located in the Runestone Museum in Alexandria.

One of those books that he studied was by Hjalmar Holand, who spent his life studying the runestone and wrote a book called “Explorations in America before Columbus.”

Holand, who lived in Wisconsin, found artifacts and studied the authenticity of the Kensington Runestone.

With the book being published in 1956, Paine said he was in his early 20s when he first read the book and “he thoroughly convinced me that the Kensington Runestone was authentic.”

After he read up on Greenland, Paine worked to find out the exact route of the Norwegians. One author, he said, told how the Norwegians “walked into the Hudson Straight and never came back.”

He started researching American Indians and found the Walam Olum, which some said was a hoax, but he continued on with his research of it. He found it to be about walking across the straight on ice, same as he had found with the Norwegians.

With his research, Paine ended up writing two books of his own about the journeys — Frozen Trail to Merica 1 and 2.

On the tour going through Detroit Lakes, Paine intends to take participants to Lake Park and see a 1,000-foot long ramp that goes up a hillside Paine and his assistant found while exploring this area themselves.

“We ask, why would anybody go through the work of digging a ramp up a hillside that’s 16 feet deep?”

After getting home and looking it up on Google Earth, they found it to be a horst, which is a natural shift in the earth’s crust causing a rise in the land.

The tour will then go through Audubon and Boyer Lake.

“If you’re a Norseman and you get your boats into Boyer Lake, you’ve got a shock because when you look ahead, instead of lifting the boats 60 feet, you’ve got to lift them 180 feet.”

Once they would get to Little Cormorant Lake, he said, they would be “at the highest point between you and the Gulf of Mexico.”

People will be able to get off the bus during the tour and view the ramp, the lakes, the accesses and more.

Get your boarding pass for the Viking Waterway Tour from Paine at myronpaine@frozentrail.org, or call 925-957-0260.

The tour will start at 8 a.m. and end around 6:40 p.m. They will load at the Detroit Lakes Chamber parking lot.

Lunch, snacks, beverages and water will be provided.

To read more from Paine and his research and discoveries, visit http://lenape-epic.blogspot.com.

Follow Pippi Mayfield on Twitter at @PippiMayfield.

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