The route was through US waterways. The trip started in the vicinities of the city of Chicago, IL May 4th, 2010 on the Illinois river and ended in Baton Rouge, LA June 3rd, 2010 on the Lower Mississippi river. It covered a distance of +2400km (1500mi). The trip was documented with pictures and blog entries. You can read a summary (posts made along the way) below in chronological order or here.
I will always remember the Mississippi river. Often I used to sit close to the water and stare at it while dreaming. Sometimes like a sheet of glass some other times agitated. But always flowing…. flowing at the pace of time. A pace I never managed to understand.
I will always remember the peace on the Mississippi but as well the wars against the elements of nature on that same river. I had the river pretty much all to myself. Exceptionally I had to share it during the day when a barge was passing by or at night every once in a while when they were looking for their routes and scanning the river with their spotlights. The bright spotlights sometimes stopping on my campsite and then continuing all around. These were my rare interactions with ‘civilization’. The Mississippi river other than that was empty.
I will miss the sunrise and the river and so many other elements associated with this river. At Baton Rouge whenever I came back to check the kayak, I could feel a pinch in my heart seeing the river.
I don’t know how the changes in myself can be described after a month of paddling. It’s not ‘before’ and ‘after’. It’s never ‘before’ and ‘after’ in life I think. Life is a many experiences adding up in your mind to help you take the best decisions in the future. I learned a lot about myself. I understand myself and I am at peace with myself and happy.