Six friends canoe nine months from Gulf of Mexico to Arctic Ocean

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Nine months crammed into a canoe requires discipline.

For six friends from Iowa and Minnesota, they're doing just that, canoeing upstream from the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic Ocean north of the Canadian border, all in the name of adventure. They call it "Rediscovering North America: A Journey from the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic Ocean."

A 5,200 mile trip, their canoes led them to Schweibert Park in Rock Island, Illinois, on Thursday, March 19.

The group of six began their adventure just west of New Orleans on January 2, 2015. They'll eventually meet the Minnesota River, before arriving at the Bois des Sioux River which flows to the Red River.

A warm start to their trip didn't last, and they've paddled their way through a frozen Mississippi River and sub-zero temperatures.

"We've seen anything from 10 degrees to minus 15 degrees," said Adam Trigg, a native of St. Cloud, Minnesota.

On average, the group paddles a little more than 20 miles a day. Camping in tents along the river, they go to bed early and wake up early.   Their goal is reach the Arctic Ocean by mid September.

"This length is new to me," John Keaveny said, explaining the challenge of paddling all those miles upriver instead of downriver.

"We've gotten plenty of practice at it these past 75 days," Keaveny said with a laugh.


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