A Trip by the Numbers

mo river

From the edge of Yellowstone National Park to the foot of the St. Louis Gateway Arch:

  • States (7): Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri (Wyoming??? Illinois???)
  • Total miles: 2,450
    • Madison River: 100
    • Missouri River: 2,341
    • Mississippi River: 9
  • Number of dams: 15
  • Average depth: 10 to 20 ft, at least 6ft at low water
  • Average current speed: 1.2 to 3 miles per hour, zero mph on the lakes
  • 3 of 5 of America’s largest reservoirs: Lake Sakakawea, Lake Oahe, Fort Peck Lake
  • Total number of days from start to finish: 90 to 140


Can You Canoe?

In talking about my trip with a friend recently, I explained how it was difficult in trying to explain to kids (and some adults, too) exactly what I’d be doing during my MO River descent.  He told me about these fantastic artists, the Okee Dokee Brothers. They created a full album about paddling on the Mississippi River, appropriately written and performed during their Itasca to St. Louis trip in 2011. His kids love it and it really introduced them to the river and the poeple who are crazy enough to paddle it. Fantastic!

One Step Closer…

Heavy snow is falling late this Friday afternoon. It promises to keep up until tomorrow night. It is a very good day. Today brought me one step closer to making this trip a reality. I notified my boss at work that I’d like to ask for a sabbatical. I explained what I am planning on doing and of course had to answer a lot of the basic questions. She let our VP and HR rep know and it seems to have gone over ok. Now I’ll wait for the gears of officialdom to grind, then hopefully get approved and start working out the details of the sabbatical itself, the plan for my absence and what I can expect to come back to.

In the meantime, here is me at Three Forks, MT. The start of the Missouri River. The Jefferson River is behind me, the Madison River to my right. I’ll be starting about 100 miles upstream of here on the Madison. Sara and I stopped at Three Forks during our honeymoon in October 2017. At the time I knew I’d be back there, I just didn’t know it would be this soon.