End of an Epic Adventure

Venice, Louisiana
November 18, 2019

Dear Family & Friends:

At 4:30 pm on November 17, I reached the Head of Passes, the official terminus of the Mississippi River. My journey is over.

Larry Hooper was there to greet me and take my canoe and me back to Venice, the last city on the River. Larry runs a commercial charter operation in Venice. He is 4 days younger than me and a great guy.

I am staying at Larry’s home. On Tuesday, Larry will take me to New Orleans. I plan to fly home on Wednesday.

Over the next few days, I will collect my thoughts for a final post when I get home.

Thanks for being part of this trip and for all your good thoughts and prayers.

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow.


Nearing the Head of Passes
Nearing the Head of Passes, 12 miles south of Venice

End of an Epic Journey
Head of Passes (in center of photo before the 3 passes branch off)
Pass a Loutre
Southwest Pass
South Pass


53 thoughts on “End of an Epic Adventure

  1. Loved seeing and reading all about your journey! An amazing trip, thank you for sharing.

    Now, get home to that awesome family of yours oxoxox

    p.s. will miss your posts, can hardly wait to see where your next adventure brings you –
    Newport Beach…

    1. Alan,
      It would be great to meet you too. I’ve been following your blog longer even than Bill’s. I come to Colorado every summer. Would it be possible to meet your for coffee or a beer next summer? Then, to meet TA Loeffler would be a perfect trifecta (however, she is in Newfoundland.

      I think Bill would be willing to give me a “recommendation.”

  2. I was continually impressed with the acts of kindness from all your random personal encounters along your journey. The world needs to hear more stories like these. Very refreshing and uplifting.

    Thanks for sharing your adventure.

    Safe travels home

  3. Congratulations Bill! This is truly living life to the fullest and enjoying the health God has graced you with to keep exploring! Praying for a safe trip home and a sweet reception from family and friends. God bless. Jack

  4. Congratulations, Bill (although congratulations doesn’t seem adequate for what you have accomplished!)

    I, personally, think your next adventure should be with Dr. Robert Ballard – to the bottom of the ocean in a submersible!

    Soooo glad I got to be a small part of your journey. I never thought I would have the opportunity to meet you. It was such a pleasure.

    God Speed

  5. Extraordinary Bill!!!

    Ever since our chance meeting in Namche on your first reconnaissance of Burke-Khang Lindsey and I have been fascinated by your energy, enthusiasm, bravery and tenacity!
    I aspire to climb my own 8 summits in life and paddle my Mississippi but until then, I live vicariously through you;-)

    Cheers Bill. Congratulations!

  6. Congratulations Bill!!!
    I really enjoyed following your adventure, and as always you inspire me to stay active, strong, brave, adventurous, and to trust in people and God’s benevolence.

    All the best,

  7. Bill

    Such a great accomplishment. So fun to follow along with you on this journey of almost 4 months of rowing with new towns and friends discovered along the way.
    Cathy and I are really proud to know you.

  8. Bill…well done and an epic paddle….can’t wait for your book to come out on all your incredible exploits. You should be home to see CDM in their semi-final game which should be exciting. Time to rest up and get ready for that next journey.
    Super job and loved all your history down the Mississippi!

    Welcome home!


  9. Bill — we have been following you on your journey from beginning to end, and laughing, crying and praying with you all the way. We have thought how much Bob Buley would have enjoyed following your trip as well, though he is now gone; perhaps he was watching from above! It was clear to us that this was a God-given adventure — He brought you out of too many possible mishaps for it to be otherwise. We do wonder what your next adventure will be — and surely there will be one. But in the meantime, revel in your rare accomplishment and take some time now to enjoy your family!

  10. Bill. You are incredible and such an inspiration! Kathy and I can’t wait to see you and hear more about your adventure. I can’t even imagine doing something like this and admire all you do and all you stand for! Thanks for being a friend to us and thanks to God for watching over you on your adventure!

  11. Bill. You are incredible and such an inspiration! Kathy and I can’t wait to see you and hear more about your adventure. I can’t even imagine doing something like this and admire all you do and all you stand for! Thanks for being a friend to us and thanks to God for watching over you on your adventure!

  12. It’s easy to see where Danny got his zest for life! This adventure has

    renewed my faith in humanity. You have met the cream of the crop along

    the way. God Bless and enjoy your family and the holidays.



  13. It was truly an adventure for me to “travel” with you down the Mighty Mississippi. Your experiences were exciting and eye-opening. But I particularly loved your quieter times when you told of the history your were unearthing for me.

    Safe home,
    Nancy Wadhams

  14. Congratulations, Bill. I am sure that your entire family is so grateful to have you home, safe and sound as are we, your journey’s followers.

    You need a long rest and I look forward with anticipation, to your closing remarks about the trip.

  15. Congratulation Bill. Haven’t done much posting, but I have been following all your post. You are a real inspiration to old farts like me. Can’t wait for your final trip report and you next future journey.

  16. Congratulations on completing this amazing accomplishment Bill! I have enjoyed following your journey, and I look forward to your summary. God Bless you and your family! I know that they are looking forward to welcoming you home!

  17. Bill so happy for you you made it what a fantastic trip you had and what wonderful people you have met on your adventure Your pictures have been outstanding again putting us all there right with you Now it’s time to come home to your wonderful family to enjoy your Thanksgiving with your loved ones Again so proud of you ❤️🚣🏿‍♂️👏🛩🥇🚣🏿‍♂️

  18. Bill, your trip down the Mississippi River will live on in the minds of all of us who followed your daily trials and tribulations — every one amazing — from the headwaters in Minnesota to the river’s Head of Passes.. A trip to last a thousand lives. The physical trip may be over but not the images and descriptions you left with us on your Huck Finn adventure. By the way, Mark Twain sends best wishes. f

  19. I have thoroughly enjoyed being on this trip with you. What an incredible undertaking. Congratulations. Thanks for sharing and describing the journey, the places, the people, and the challenges for doing this trip.

  20. Bill,

    Absolutely indescribable! I was so impressed by your journey, particularly all the wonderful people who you met and stayed with. Two thoughts for your next adventure; friend of mine just rode his motorcycle from Fairbanks to the tip of South America and get a hop with the Blue Angels in the backseat of an F-18!

  21. Bill

    All good things come to an end, and you’ve just done one good thing. Thank you for sharing your adventure with your many followers. You are a true inspiration.

    All the best

  22. Let me add my voice to congratulate you on completing another awesome adventure—-one of your great “adventures of a lifetime “. Your amazing accomplishments will insure your place among the greatest explorers and adventurers!
    Jacob Waxman

  23. Congratulations again Bill for a job well done! I admire your perseverance and your ability to meet and bring out the best in the people you met on your journey. You are my roll model for aging slowly. Thank you for sharing your incredible journey with us!

    Dawes Eddy

  24. Congratulations Bill. Enjoyed meeting you along the way. The Wabasha County (MN) Herald printed an entire page last edition about your trip and blog. It I’ll be in the mil to you tomorrow.

  25. Huge congratulations!!! But I am so sad-I have come to love your Mississippi posts and was excited to see them in my email list. Always saved them for last! Thank you for sharing your incredible journey and God Bless!

  26. Congratulations on finishing your journey down the river. Im glad we got to meet and talk with you, hope all is well. Your truely a inspiration. Especially with all the negative things we all see and hear, its good to see that there are plenty of good caring people in this world.

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving

  27. Hi Mr. Burke,

    Your trip has been a courageous, wonderful, and heart-felt venture.

    I shall miss reading your daily stories.

    May the New Year bring you and your family the blessings of good health, joy and peace.

    Pamela Gardner
    (your former Shearman & Sterling Head Paralegal:)

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