WIU grads paddle the Mississippi to promote awareness

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MOLINE, Illinois – Haley Brasile and Cody Presny, both 24, found a unique way to visit their alma mater on Monday. The 2015 Western Illinois University graduates paddled their canoe to the WIU Riverfront Campus.

They plan to canoe more than 2,300 miles, paddling the entire length of the Mississippi River.

“Just bring awareness to the conservation issues, history and culture of the river,” said Brasile.

They began this remarkable journey in mid-August. By the time they reach New Orleans, it will be late November. A typical day includes 10 hours of paddling to cover more than 25 miles.

These days, they must also contend with high water and flooding.

“We just listen to the river right now,” Brasile said.  “If she tells us to get off, we get off.”

They’ve been camping and staying with hosts along the way.

“We don’t really want to tell people what to do or how to protect the river,” Presny said.  “We put information out there, and let people come to their own conclusions.”

You can follow the adventure with their online blog: amongstthecurrent.com

“What we hear a lot of is, I wish I could do something like this,” Presny said.  “I wish I could get out there and do that.  I just say, we did, so why not try that?”