Expedition 1000 Update: The Gulf Is In Sight

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It has not been an easy couple of weeks since we last checked in with Dave Cornthwaite and his attempt to cover the entire length of the Mississippi River on a stand-up paddleboard. While he has managed to reach New Orleans, the journey isn’t quite over yet and won’t officially end until he paddles out into the Gulf of Mexico at last. Still, Dave has managed to set a new record for longest distance traveled on a SUP and will likely wrap up the whole expedition sometime tomorrow.

According to Dave’s Twitter feed, he arrived in New Orleans yesterday and begins today with another 70 miles to go until the finish line. As you can imagine, he is exhausted and ready to complete the journey, which began way back June on Lake Itasca in Minnesota. That is where the Mississippi begins, and now, more than 2320 miles further down stream, he is approaching the end of the river, which empties into the Gulf.

As I mentioned, it hasn’t exactly been easy going in recent days. Extremely bad weather hit the Gulf States region last week, courtesy of  Tropical Storm Lee, which brought high winds and plenty of rain down on Louisiana just as Dave was paddling through the heart of the region. Shipping traffic has picked up as he’s gotten closer to the Gulf as well, with much larger barges and tankers moving along the Mississippi too. Those large watercraft present their level of challenges for anyone paddling in a kayak, canoe, or SUP.

Dave has been routinely knocking off large chunks of milage, sometimes in excess of 50 miles per day, so I expect we’ll get news tomorrow that he has reached his end point in the Gulf of Mexico. From there, it will be on to some much needed rest before planning his next adventure. This journey is just the latest in his Expedition 1000 project which will see him circling the globe on 25 non-motorized journeys of 1000  miles or more.

Kraig Becker