Following successful scooter and bicycle journeys around North America, I decided to set my sights on The River. In May of 2016, I prepared my gear into two ruck sacks and ordered an Old Towne Next solo canoe via eBay to the headwaters in Lake Itasca, MN. The 70+ hour Greyhound ride was a memorable experience with many colorful characters and teenage Russian seasonal workers heading to the heartland. Once paddling down the scenic and remote headwaters region, all the preparation and organization began to pay off. Rewarded with incredible wildlife viewing and a serene paddling experience, I made my way down the great River absorbing the changes from the dense northern pine forests to the arid agricultural midwest. The River itself acts as an educator in hazards from snags, rapids and strainers in the headwaters to towboats, metal cables and tankers in the lower river. The journey ended just north of New Orleans where I decided to take out on account of the large commercial ships and difficult paddling for an open canoe. It was only the first of my water-borne adventures and certainly not my last.