ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KPLR) - Although their journey is charted, it’s never been done before. Six friends are canoeing from the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic Ocean. FOX 2 caught up with the adventurers as they passed through St. Louis on Wednesday.
With howling wind and snow in their beards, these intrepid outdoors-men arrived in St. Louis two months into their 5,200-mile journey.
“The route that we’re taking has never been done before, that we know of, so it’s kind of crazy to see what’s possible,” says Iowa native Luke Kimmes.
Their passion for the outdoors brought these six adventurers together. Four are high school friends from Minnesota. Two are friends from Iowa.
Adam Trigg explains how it got started: “[We] were just joking around, I was like, let’s start in the Gulf of Mexico and canoe up the Mississippi River. It was a joke, and then a week later, he was looking into it and was like, dude, it’s totally possible.”
Some barge captains and fishermen still think they’re joking, paddling the Mississippi upstream.
But now, 62 days in, they’re well on their way. When the weather holds up, they canoe 20 to 30 miles per day. They pass the time by telling stories and singing pop songs.
At night, they’ll camp out, or stay in someone’s home. Because of the snow, they've rested in St. Louis for three days, a chance to stock up on supplies, and take in the sites.
Lewis and Clark launched their expedition just north of the Chain of Rocks more than 200 years ago. St. Louis’s adventurous legacy isn’t lost on these modern-day explorers. Trigg says, “I guess it doesn’t really set it in when we’re in our boats every day, but having the time to sit around and think more about it here, it’s pretty sweet to think about, and it’s getting more real every day.”
Now, they’re anxious to get back on the water. They still have a long way to go and challenges to overcome, from ice to locks and dams, and seemingly endless Canadian lakes. “If it gets windy, you can have 10-foot waves for a couple of days at a time,” Trigg warns.
But one thing isn’t mapped out yet. Kimmes and Trigg explain, “We don’t know how we’re getting home yet. We’re going to figure that out when we get there, worry about it when it’s an actual problem. We still have another 7 months to figure it out.”
To follow these adventurers on their journey, you can visit their website, http://www.rediscoverna.com/.
You can also follow them on Facebook.