Welcome! And thank you for joining me on this journey. I still have a lot to do to get ready before actually getting on the water. But in all honesty, the idea of this journey started about 11 years ago while I was hiking the Appalachian Trail.
In 2006, before I finished hiking the Appalachian Trail, I was looking for my next adventure. The Mississippi River would combine my love for extended outdoor adventures and being on the water. As much fun as I had hiking and having everything I needed to survive on my back, I thought that a river trip might be a bit more enjoyable for one main reason … I could carry more stuff in a boat with ease than I could on my back. And by more stuff I mean a large cooler of booze. I mean who wouldn’t want to be floating down the river, literally and figuratively?
After finishing the Appalachian Trail I started researching paddling the Mississippi. Like any true alcoholic or addict, I WANTED MORE. I set my focus on Montana and the Missouri River, the longest river North America. One of the tributaries of the Missouri is the Gallatin River. I thought how cool would it be to start on a river named after kin and finish in the gulf? That trip didn't work out but the opportunity for a new route came about. The river gods have their reasons for me taking this route and come hell or high water (that actually has some meaning now) I am going to take full advantage of it.
A trip like this has been haunting and motivating me for years. It has consumed years of my thinking, trying to make it a reality. It has held me back from moving forward with my life, relationships, and my career. In the back of my mind I have felt that if I committed to life, this trip would never happen and I wouldn’t be happy. Whenever I would get my life to a point that I was financially or personally ready to make this a reality, I would have a major setback. Most of the setbacks were directly related to my addition to drugs and alcohol. When I decided to change my life and get clean and sober I figured that this trip would never happen. I honestly thought my life was over. How in the world do I have fun with out drugs and alcohol? After changing the way I lived my life I realized that if I kept doing what I was doing I could make my dreams a reality. I didn’t make this life change to live a boring life.
While dreaming and planning this trip for years I read several other adventure journals. Many of them used trips to raise money and awareness for a cause. I always thought that would be a good idea, only problem was that I didn’t have a cause that I felt passionate about or impacted me directly. Fast forward several beers and years later, I finally found a cause. Something that I am extremely passionate about and has impacted me directly. If you are thinking about finding a cause I would suggest avoiding doing the amount of research that I did.
I figured I would post a few entries to “Set the mood” and bring you into the mind and life of what is going into this trip. Sit back, relax, and enjoy from the comfort of your nice comfy, climate-controlled house as I brave the elements to bring you along on this journey!