The best part about our store is the people in it
Sure, we have all sorts of great gear and clothing, but the people in our store are what really make it special. Here’s your chance to get to know a little bit about our team.
I opened Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply in June of 2010, after moving up to Grand Marais a couple of years prior. The first time I traveled in the Boundary Waters and Quetico was in 1962, with a group of Boy Scouts out of New Ulm, Minnesota. It was a 10-day trip out of Charles L. Sommers Wilderness Canoe Base in Ely and that trip sold me on this part of the country.
After graduating from the College of St. Thomas, I worked for a little time for The Lob Pine in Roseville, Minnesota, before it was bought out by EMS. Then I spent a couple of years with Eddie Bauer in downtown Minneapolis. At the time, Eddie Bauer was in the forefront in selling high quality downwear and outdoor equipment. It made a huge impression on me and I always told myself that if I was ever able to open a high adventure shop, I was going to base it on my Bauer experience. It took me many years and a career as an oil marketer and trader and finally I have been able to attain my dream.
So, welcome to my world.
Favorite season: Fall
Favorite thing to do: Spend time with my grandkids. I live for that.
Favorite kayak route: Little Trout Bay
Favorite place to eat besides home: You really think I’d answer that? You have to come in and ask.
Stone Harbor has been a perfect fit for me, since my husband and I moved to Grand Marais in 2016. It merges my recreational interests with personal and professional strengths and challenges. As the General Manager, I have always felt honored to lead a team of people who are passionate about the outdoors, and just as passionate about helping others experience them as safely and comfortably as possible. My favorite thing about the store isn’t the cool gear, clothes and shoes; it’s connecting with the people who walk through our doors and learning from their adventures. Grand Marais is an amazing place with no shortage of different lakes and trails to explore, which I do with my husband and our two daughters.
I’ve always loved to be on the water and I’m equally happy in a kayak or on a stand-up-paddle board. I came to the midwest with some whitewater river (in Virginia and West Virginia) and ocean (in Hawaii) paddling experience. It has been so much fun to continue to grow as a paddler here with the American Canoe Association both in my own skills and as an instructor and trip leader. I sometimes still get to take our guests out kayaking or stand-up-paddle boarding and count myself privileged to be able to share what I love with others.
Favorite shoes: Oboz
Favorite place to paddle: Somewhere new
All things design
This is the tag line you will find on my social, professional and personal endorsements. Simply stated, this covers it all. My love of design and how to place, coordinate and display with cohesion and contrast. Be it paint, clothing, furnishings, in fashion or interiors, design is my clear passion.
I studied Fashion Merchandising at Stout University. The name of the game on any given day is design in some form. Working as a designer, I can be found dressing windows, creating a floor layout or maybe huddled up with a client finding the perfect palette. “The color wheel is the color wheel” is an answer I often use. The elements of design are universal and the happy place for me.
Favorite season: Summer
Favorite shoes: Flip-flops
ANN PAPENFUSS WING
Web site & social media
Growing up in the driftless region of southeastern Minnesota, water and hills are my home. I’m happiest when I’m skiing or paddling, and luckily my husband agrees (we met at Buck Hill). I love to share that passion for the outdoors with others. I spent eight winters in Crested Butte, Colorado, teaching adaptive skiing and now I volunteer with Courage Kenny’s adaptive ski program and the Lake Harriet adaptive sailing program. And if you are in Grand Marais for the water festival, let me teach you how to paddle board–you’ll love it!
Web design and social media feed the geek side of me (I have a degree in electrical engineering from Marquette University). Basically, I share pretty pictures and nice stories on the web.
Favorite season: Winter. Definitely winter.
Favorite events: Winter Sports Clinic for Disabled Veterans at Snowmass, Ski Geeks Clinic at Loveleand, and Grand Marais Water Festival
I’m looking forward to meeting you! Thank you for visiting our store and our community! I’m here to support, help and encourage my coworkers, and to equip people to conquer their fears in nature and in life!
This county has been my beloved home since I was born, and although I left upon graduating high school, I returned for the love of our wilderness and this people. My hope is that your time here will cause you to want to return as well, in anticipation of another meaningful connection with nature or other adventurous sojourners.
While this wilderness is beautiful and alluring, it is not void of risk and even danger for those who are unaware, unprepared or haphazard. Thus, we at Stone Harbor will help equip you to master your experience, allowing you to get close to, wrestle with and conquer the waters, terrains and elements, and go home with stories and memories that will soon cause you to return with a desire for more!
Since my first camping trip at six months old, I have chosen to spend as much time as possible in the outdoors. As a teenager, I participated in summer camps that led me to the Boundary Waters, Quetico, and several Canadian rivers and culminated in a six-week journey on the fast-flowing rivers of the Arctic. My experiences there taught me so much about the earth, my own life, and sense of purpose, and how these things intersect that I decided to pursue work in the outdoor industry in the hope of giving more people the opportunity to be outside.
In May of 2020, I graduated Outdoor Academy, a two-year education in outdoor recreation and wilderness guiding located at Kronoby Folk High School on the eastern coast of Finland, with the Finnish Trade Exam for a Wilderness Guide. The two years I spent there taught me innumerable things about people, culture, safety, and above all, the outdoors. It grew my love of sea kayaking in a six week Specialization that included paddling both in the Baltic Sea and the Atlantic in the Lofoten Islands on the Norwegian Coast. It also introduced me to backcountry alpine ski touring, one of my favorite things to do in winter.
I love all forms of paddling, especially whitewater kayaking and canoeing. My hope is to continue creating accessible and safe environments for everyone to have good experiences outside, and to advocate for equal access to the natural world for everyone.
Working in the back office at Stone Harbor has been a treat for me. Opening and unpacking our inventory when it arrives feels like Christmas every day! While I’m relatively new to the job, Cook County has been my home for the past 15 years. One of my loves of the area is the Big Lake. Large bodies of water have always been a source of joy and refreshment to me. Countless hours of my childhood were spent snorkeling and diving in the South China Sea as my parents were expats working in the Philippines. Though the temperatures of Lake Superior are drastically colder, the water holds the same draw for me. I love to sit on the shores and find rest in the sound of the waves. My hope for you is that you too will find the refreshment you need during your stay in our neck of the woods. Whether snowshoeing, fishing, kayaking, or basking on the lake shore on a sunny day, may you enjoy the incredible beauty that is found here.
Favorite person: Jake Patten (yep, he’s my hubby!)
Favorite thing to cook over a fire: Fry Bread
Favorite item at Stone Harbor: hatchet -I love splitting kindling!!!
Hi there! This is my first summer at Stone Harbor, and I am enjoying working here a lot! I moved up here in January, but I also lived here for two years as a kid. I have come up to this area my whole life and love it.
My family moved to the U.S. a year ago after living in Mongolia for three and a half years (Keean is my brother). Being outdoors both here and there was and is a joy to me. One of my favorite things to do there was horseback riding, and here I love to hike, canoe, and swim. I am looking forward to learning how to do more outside this summer, especially kayaking and paddle boarding. I also love reading, writing, and acting, and I’m hoping to get a degree involving all three.
I want to help people find the things they are passionate about doing and help them to do them. I try to treat each person I cross paths with as a special, unique individual, and I hope that is the attitude that people see in all of Stone Harbor as soon as they walk in!
Years ago, during the Regan years, I instructed kayaking for the US military in Europe. Those were good times and for those seven years I flourished. Feeling the need to become responsible, I left that role and jumped into corporate America with both feet. After years of cubicle farms, department meetings, and rigid structure, the effect on my sanity felt like a roundhouse kick to my temple. It was time to bail. I migrated north and landed here. As the lead kayak guide, I now spend most days back on the water. I am feeling refreshed again and am looking forward to my fourth year of providing tours for the store. I am a certified level 3 ACA kayak instructor and have my wilderness first aid and CPR certifications. I am also an avid cyclist and in the winter months I spend a dangerous amount of time on the cross-country ski trails.
Fishing & Footwear
I grew up in southern Minnesota, where I developed a passion for the outdoors at a young age, specifically for angling! I went to Bemidji State University where I studied Aquatic Biology with an emphasis in fisheries, so I’m a full blown fish geek. As of the time I’m writing this, I have over 130 species of fish caught on hook-and-line under my belt, but my favorite places to fish have always been the lakes and streams of Cook County. We are lucky to have such pristine fisheries here, and I love to share them with other people. Pristine as our fisheries may be, they can be tricky to figure out! So whether you are interested in fly fishing, ice fishing or conventional fishing, I’m more than happy to share some knowledge with you and help you on your path to fishing success.
Looking forward to meeting you!