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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 3:37 pm 
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From Lake Itasca to the Gulf of Mexico the Mississippi River is 2,340 miles long, and my buddies plan is to do all of if Solo in his Kayak. He is leaving Thursday from Central Illinois, driving all the way to Lake Itasca, and starting the trip Friday early morning. His hope was to do it all in one trip, but his other jobs and National Guard commitments forced him to break it into sections. The first part will be a 10 day journey going as far as he can get, but he is shooting for Minneapolis at around 500 miles.

His Kayak is a Hobie Mirage Outback.

He has the standard packing list for long term camping, a few days of water/Gatorade, and enough food stuffs to cover probably all 10 days. (His twitter has a picture of him packing) When the sun goes down he'll find a decent campsite along the river, set up camp, cook a warm meal, and sleep till dawn and take off to get more miles in. There are enough towns along the way that there will be a few stops in stores...and more than a few stops in Bars.

Along with the regular camping stuff, he'll take his GoPro for video updates, and has a Time-Lapse camera mounted on the front of his Kayak that will run the entire time. He has an external battery pack for his cellphone, and a small solar panel just for that trickle charge all day if the sun is good.

For this first part of the trip he will be on the river ~5am Central on Friday morning until end of the day on Sunday 13th.

Feel free to ask anything here, or @ him on Twitter. I'd love to answer any questions, or explain things better.

He'll be tweeting updates at least once a day, and is going to try and do more as cell coverage/battery allows. I'll try and keep this thread updated if there is any interest in his trip, but give him a follow on twitter! Follow!

https://twitter.com/Shane_Westen


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 4:52 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:18 am
Posts: 1243
Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
Doing that is on my bucket list with my TI. I grew up on the Mississippi and spent many summers there. Just remind him when he goes thru the locks and the guy throws a line down to you, don't cleat it to the boat (we actually did that with our cabin cruiser the first time, got yelled at lol.
I advise he time his transits thru the locks to avoid any really big boats or barges.
Good idea to have an fm radio
Wish him luck hope he takes lots of pics, the Mississippi is beautiful especially up there.
Bob


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:58 pm 
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fusioneng wrote:
Doing that is on my bucket list with my TI. I grew up on the Mississippi and spent many summers there. Just remind him when he goes thru the locks and the guy throws a line down to you, don't cleat it to the boat (we actually did that with our cabin cruiser the first time, got yelled at lol.
Bob


There was a fantastic story I read about a canoe trip through the lock and the Lock guy said it was going to be an hour+ and to tie up the canoe and walk about. The guy did, and when he came back, there was a Lock Worker in his canoe paddling around. He was confused at first, till the 1st Lock worker said they got the repair job done quicker than thought, and if the other guy didn't take the canoe out, it would have been hanging by the rope 30 feet in the air with all the guys supplies floating in the water.

Goes to show you never know what you are going to see out there!


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 8:33 am 
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Day 1:
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Day 2:
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 8:10 pm 
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Day 3:
Image

He crossed the biggest lake on the river. The maps advise to avoid crossing it in ANY weather conditions but calm. It was really nice and he had a decent tail wind when he started to cross, but the wind picked up and he almost went over a few times. When he got across, people near the bank flagged him down and said they had been watching him and were ready to call 911.

Day 4:
Image

Bad news. When he was pulling into Grand Rapids to grab Lunch, his boats drive system broke. 3 of the teeth on the wheel broke off and he had to get them replaced. He only got half a day in. He called a local place and they had to ship the part in. Rather then paddle slowly and try and meet up with the guy some random place, he stayed in Grand Rapids with his girlfriend the rest of the day while the part was on order.

Day 5:

Part was coming in tomorrow. Chilled in Grand Rapids and took a mini-vacation from his river vacation.

Image

Part came in late morning. He drove to Minneapolis to get it fixed, then drove back to Grand Rapids to start the trip again. Got back in the water late afternoon, and got 20 miles in.


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