Canadian self-propelled adventurer Rod Wellington is currently attempting to kayak the entire length of the Missouri-Mississippi river system from source to sea. Wellington began his journey on June 17 at Brower’s Spring in southern Montana. At an elevation of 2700 metres (8800 feet), just 60 metres (200 feet) below the Continental Divide, Brower’s Spring is recognized by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as the utmost source of the Missouri-Mississippi river system. When measured from the river’s source, the Gulf of Mexico lies 6100km (3800 miles) downstream.
As of July 6, Wellington has completed the first 260km (160 miles) of his journey and is currently paddling down the Beaverhead River en route to the headwaters of the Missouri River near Three Forks, Montana. Wellington figures it will take him five months to reach the Gulf of Mexico.
Along the way, Wellington will be doing a number of speaking engagements to promote the self-empowering benefits associated with partaking in low impact, long distance, self-propelled, eco-responsible exploration. These talks, featuring stories and photos from his Missouri-Mississippi adventure, as well as from previous journeys, will be aimed at adults and children alike.
“When we propel ourselves forward”, says Wellington, “we propel the world forward as well. And when we share the stories of our journeys, it inspires others to share their stories.”
Wellington’s Missouri-Mississippi river journey will be the first stage of an ongoing project called the Magnificent Seven Expedition.
“The Magnificent Seven Expedition is a quest to paddle, from source to sea, the longest river system on each of the world’s seven continents.” says Wellington.
His 15-year quest will see him descend the Nile River in Africa, the Amazon River in South America, the Yangtze River in Asia, the Volga River in Europe, the Darling-Murray River in Australia and the Onyx River in Antarctica.
Wellington is no stranger to long distance, self-propelled travel. Since 1997, he has bicycled more than 25,000km (15,000 miles), including continental crossings of North America and Australia. With over 7500km (4600 miles) of river travel experience, including source to sea descents of the Mississippi River in the U.S. and the Murray River in Australia, Wellington feels well equipped to pursue the challenges that lay ahead on the Magnificent Seven Expedition.
As for the Missouri-Mississippi expedition, Wellington is encouraging people to join him to paddle sections of the river.
“Come out and be part of a journey down the longest river system in North America.” says Wellington. “Share your story and share in the adventure!”
For more information about Rod Wellington’s Missouri-Mississippi river journey and his Magnificent Seven Expedition project, visit his website,www.ZeroEmissionsExpeditions.
Updates and photos from the river are regularly posted on Rod’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/rod.
Rod is using a satellite tracker, which places a waypoint on a Google map every ten minutes, to track his progress down the river. Look for links to the ZEE Tracker on Rod’s website.