July 25, 2019
Detroit Lakes, Minnesota
Dear Family & Friends:
By the time you read this, I will be underway on my canoe trip down the Mississippi River. I am beyond ready and excited.
I arrived in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota on July 16, after our trip to Egeland, North Dakota to stay at Sharon’s childhood home. I have been staying with Elizabeth and Mark at their lakeside home. Elizabeth is Sharon’s cousin. My beautiful canoe arrived on July 19. I have been practicing on Detroit Lakes. The canoe is sleek and fast and rides beautifully. It cuts through the waves like butter and throws off almost no spray. This is the perfect canoe for my trip.
On July 21, I travelled to Lake Itasca to plan my trip and find a good put-in point. Lake Itasca is the headwaters of the Mighty Mississippi. Today, I practiced self-rescue on Detroit Lakes. Self-rescue is finding a way to renter the canoe if it capsizes or throws me into the River. After a problematic practice trial with the wrong equipment, I finally figured this out.
I have a lot of gear to load in the boat. Almost more than the gear I take to climb Mt. Everest. Hopefully, this weight will make it harder for the canoe to capsize.
I hope to make it to Coffee Pot Landing on my first day tomorrow. This is 15-miles from the headwaters at Lake Itasca. More likely, I will stop at Wanagan Campsite, which is 5-miles from the headwaters.
Like my first Mt. Everest expedition in 2007, I feel a mixture of excitement, anticipation and sheer terror.
I want to thank Elizabeth and Mark for the amazing hospitality they showed me at their home in Detroit Lakes. They allowed me to practice on their lake and ferried my canoe from Detroit Lakes to the headwaters. I could not have started this trip without them. God Bless you Elizabeth and Mark.
Wow Bill, that is quite the setup!!! Best of luck for a positive experience.
As always you are an inspiration. Best wishes on the trip! Sounds so exciting.
Amazing & enviable spirit and daring.
Enjoy and be safe.
Good luck, Bill. I will be following your trip. You are amazing.
God’s speed Bill !!
Best of luck to you. We can’t wait to see your posts especially photos.
What a beautiful boat. God speed.
Hope you have great success on your trip!
The canoe is beautiful. Best wishes for a GREAT ADVENTURE. Please keep posting your progress.
I am so excited for this adventure! God speed
Oh Boy , Another trip to
go on👏👏👏 be safe Bill
I was wondering about you and glad to get the report. Funny how much gear u need. I figured only one way down river. Don’t get sunburned and enjoy the journey.
What an exciting adventure!
I hope this trip gives you everything that you wish to receive from it.
Bon voyage from Burbank💙
Blessing, Bill, on your adventure. You will have the sleekest vessel on the river! Looking forward to your observations and posts.
Your Canadian friend and follower here again…I do not know if my 65 year old heart can take any more of your crazy trips…I always feel like I am doing the trips along side of you, from the way that you narrate your journeys…I am just so excited for you.
….as many others have commented before me, Godspeed ahead..
You are so encouraging to many of us, and I wanted to Thank you for being such a light to those of us, who have lived in our own darkness and fears, for way too long.
Your magnificent latest adventure continues to be an inspiration to me and others. Stay safe my friend!
Wow what a beautiful canoe! My son was #16 to complete the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail in 2015 via kayak. We look forward to your posts!
I have been dreaming of doing your trip for 30 years after I read Mississippi Solo. I’m still dreaming but you are doing it. Send lost of pictures.
Go BA Bill Go…..how exciting! We will be following your adventure….
Safe travels on this incredible adventure.
I am sure Danny is with you.
Great meeting you! I am so glad Mark stopped at his neighbors and introduced you to me. I just met you and I have shared your story with my family! You are an inspiration for so many!
Enjoy your Journey!
Be safe and enjoy your trip!
Keep us posted on your progress. Melissa and I will cheer you on when you make it to Missouri!!
email@example.com Bill ur New Canoe” iS BeautfuL”It will Glide Thru ‘Current& aMaZe’Uu MoRe each Mile of your adVv’Find Ur”Paddle’on FB’Wish U’SaFeTy &a’Buddy&for Portage’X’s along yur way’ as Louis&ClaRk’to ShaRe the AdVv😎&yur Paddle*to Feather’For Wind’&Pwr’inCurrent’a’RaRe’ThRiLL”😎
“Nobody said it would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it”
Love you Bill♥️🇺🇸♥️
GO BILL! One of my favorite childhood memories was loon calls on the water after a long day of paddling to a new destination. Pure peace. The Danny’s are surely watching over you and sending you many loons!
What a great adventure. Love seeing pics and reading the narrative of your progress.