|Ursula and I this year|
|Buck 30 on the PCT in 2004|
And so the plan began to take more and more shape. It was funny to develop the planning with one of us always hiking. While I was doing research on boats, maps and logistics Buck 30 was hiking Te Araroa in New Zealand. And while I was finishing my hike through Western Europe he did all the last fine tuning of our trip in the US. Despite the fact that we almost only communicated through emails the planning was easy and efficient. Soon we had both purchased a foldable kayak and purchased our flights. I'll be paddling in a Feathercraft K1 and Buck 30 in a Folbot Cooper. Neither of us has been on the water with the boat and neither of us has much experience in paddling a kayak. Basically two rookies will embark on a 2,350 mile long paddling trip that will take us 2 to 3 months.
When I was doing research on a German paddling forum I earned a lot of disbelief and blame for that fact. My German compatriots could not understand how you can embark on such a long trip with no training and a new boat you have not even been on the water with. Instead of getting advice an boats and paddling I was scolded. Luckily my Australian friend and paddling teacher Alan came to my rescue and gave me lots of advice on which boat and paddle to buy. I must admit that I am bit afraid myself how we two rookies will fare on this trip but we have two things in our favour. We might not have much paddling experience but we have both spent years outside on long expeditions and have a lot of outdoor experience. Plus the Mississippi is a very tame river. It has a very low flow rate, no rapids or other obstacles and is relatively warm compared to the Yukon.
When we first talked about the Mississippi Buck 30 told me not to have a romantic Tom Sawyer image of the river but being from Germany I hardly have any image of the Mississippi at all. Although I have done plenty of research now and have read several Mississippi paddling blogs I still have no clear image of the river. This will be very much of a surprise trip full of new experiences. Buck 30 will also keep a journal of this trip here.