Prior to his stroke on May 22, 2006, Dean Reinke was an avid whitewater canoeist. In fact, just days before, he made a strenuous whitewater canoeing trip on the Dog River, close to Wawa, Ontario. The route,
which stretched for 23 miles, included a 1,050 feet drop in the water plus a one and one half mile portage (carrying the canoe over dry land), ending at Lake Superior. Dean was more than up to completing this challenge, and at the end of his trip, he then drove 12 hours to get back to his home in Minneapolis, MN.