Phil running hose on a 120 acre wild fire.

Phil directs water to where it is needed most.








We hope that the following will help address any concerns that our friends and loved ones may have about our adventure, like everything on our blog this list is a work in progress but if you have a question you would like us to address, feel free to leave a comment and we will be more than willing to address it here on this page.

What will you do for water?  We will most likely each be drinking one gallon of water per day. Our current plan is to bring a couple of water jugs that we will fill up at stops along the way. Worse case senario is we will be purifying water from the center of the river and filtering out the silt to the best of our ability. 

Where will you sleep? There are camp grounds along the way that we intend to take advantage of, when there are no camp grounds to be found, there are plenty of trees to hide away in. When we encounter major cities, couch surfing is a wonderful skill that we hope to hone in on. 

Where will you go to the bathroom? Neither of us want to be sending any more logs floating down the river, so we will be digging cat holes far from the water and practicing “minimal impact”  techniques. When the opportunity arises we will molest local facilities to the full extent of the law.

Where will you bathe? There are some wonderful advantages to being next to the world’s 3rd-largest river, lots ‘n lots of water to dunk ones self. It may not be suitable to drink but for the most part it is clean enough to bathe in. Once again, we will be practicing “minimal impact” techniques and using environmentally friendly soap.

How far do you plan to travel each day? In areas where there is little or no current we intend to paddle 25 miles a day. In areas where the river is moving faster we hope to double that and do as much as 50 if not more. 

What will you do in heavy commercial river traffic? Tugs and barges along with other large vessels are our biggest danger on the river because of the large amount of water they displace. The best thing we can do is pay attention and give them as much space as possible. When confronted with their wake we will do the same thing we will do in heavy seas and turn directly into the waves. We will also keep our center mass as low as possible by paddleing on our knees. The last thing we want to do is take a big wave broadside, that’s a sure way to swamp a canoe.

What will you do in severe weather? We would rather paddle wet and cold than sit around being miserable, wet and cold; so for rain we will paddle through it. When it comes to lightning we will get off the river and play chess in our tent or the temporary shelter we conceive at the time. As for hurricanes and tropical storms, we are planning on having enough of a warning to make it to a church or local community center for shelter.  

Where are you starting, where are you ending?  We will be putting in at Lake Nemekagen, which is about 35 miles south of Northland College, where we currently go to school.  This lake empties into the Nemekagen River, which goes for about 50 miles before it joins up with the St. Croix River, which joins with the Mississippi at Prescott, WI.  We chose this starting point because it is easier to get to from Northland than Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota.  We will not stop paddling until we reach the Gulf of Mexico.  This requires us to paddle through the city of New Orleans and all the way through the delta until we hit open water.  So technically our goal isn’t New Orleans, its the Gulf, but Gulf or Bust just makes us sound like avid sports fans.

Why are you bringing Tchaikovsky? As noted in his blurb, Tchaikovsky swore a life oath to Rich and we intend to reap the benefits fully. We are also bringing Tchaikovsky along to serve as our scapegoat. Needless to say, things will go wrong on this trip. If these unwanted occurrences  are because of human error it will be obvious who is at fault given that there is only the two of us. So instead of allowing ourselves to get mad at each other we will be venting all of our anger and frustration on Tchaikovsky for these unfortunate events. I guess you could say that we were inspired by Calvin and Hobbes. Rest assured he will be given a PFD along with basic necessities needed to live life as a stuffed tiger. 

What will you do if one of you gets hurt? Both being medically  trained neither of us can wait to play doctor. For minor injuries that do not inhibit the expedition’s progress or life and limb of the individual; such as broken a leg, we will be treating the injury in the field. For more severe stuff like traumatic brain injuries, heart failure and respiratory arrest, we will not hesitate to  seek professional help by calling 911, the Coast guard, or directing ourselves to the nearest medical clinic. We will be conducting this trip in a professional manner. This means we will each have a laminated copy of our pertinent medical history and insurance information. We will also be giving written permission to the other party member to make medical decisions on behalf of the injured individual in the event of incapacitation and the absence of their parent. All of this information will be stored the “oh shit bag” (see Equipment). Out of respect to our parents, we will be notifying them as soon as practical of any injury or event that warrants a trip to doctor.


How can I contact you? Leave a comment on this blog.

How much does this trip cost? For us, about $800 worth of food and extra equipment. 100_3590

What will you do when you get there? This is the question that our parents won’t like the answer to. Both myself and Rich have come to the realization that we are no longer willing to live under our parents roof. Neither of us have been kicked out of the nest per say, but its about time we jump on our own accord to see if we can fly. There is no real reason to go back to the north country, so we have decided to stay in the south. The plan is to rent an apartment together and get certified as EMT’s. At this point, I will be pursuing a childhood dream and joining USCG, by doing so I will be honoring a long line of military heritage as well as serving this country that I love(Not to mention, that G.I bill looks pretty nice). As for Rich, I do not want to speak for his long term goals so I will allow him to put his own plans.


2 Responses to “FAQ.”

  1. What’s the difference between an aluminum canoe and
    and a sloop or cutter like Lunie or SV N_____ ? By the end of yer trip, i wud like tae know yer answer.

    Ye can trim a Genoa in a blow and keep watch for shore rocks from a crow’s nest, laddie, ye don’t need no more searoom in the ‘rent’s house except for lang and eagerly awaited visits. The pilot berth on board the SV N______ will have room fer ye ’til the seas run dry.

  2. Abraham Says:

    Hey Phil, this is Abraham, the guy that came from Texas a few weeks ago on a “educational trip”. We talked a few times, usually early mornings when I was getting in from the night life . Just wanted to say that yalls trip really made me think alot and it would be so much fun to do something like that soon. Gunna be graduating in August, so I have to do a little bit of thinking till then… Well I just wanted to say thanks for the advice when I was there. Later

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