2017 Featured Expedition: Rivergator Celebratory Expedition
St. Louis to Gulf of Mexico
March 20 – May 10, 2017

Rivergator Roster. Go to these blogs for more reading and photos live daily from the canoe and campsites along the way.

Introducing Paddlers:

Chris Battaglia – Expedition Film Maker, from Portland, ME, modeled his business after Thoreau’s “simple life” – https://villagevitals.squarespace.com/ Created web page for photos & videos: https://www.villagevitals.com/villageurs

Boyce Upholt – Expedition Chronicler, TFA leader, now turned full-time writer, his current project is called between the levees: https://www.betweenthelevees.com/ which he sub-titles “America’s Great, Misbehaving River – and its Walled-In Wild”

John and LaNae Abnet – paddled the Wabash/Mississippi in 2015. LaNae is blogging this trip and already posted at http://www.separateboats.com/ – go check it out!

Andy McLean – Andy is a Kiwi-based adventurer who loves the outdoors and runs a club in London called “Little Paddle” that was inspired by a trip on the Mississippi in 2015. On entire expedition to the Gulf.

Tony Long – A Brit living in Belgium, passionate pro-European, seasoned traveller and life-long environmental campaigner and political activist; on expedition for one week, to Cairo

Introducing Crew:

John Ruskey – QCC founder, Rivergator creator – http://www.island63.com

Mark “River” Peoples – QCC chief guide and youth leader

Lena Von Machui – QCC secretary and 1st mate

Adam Elliott – QCC Natchez owner – http://www.island63.com/natchez.cfm Mike Clark – BMA founder and leader, teacher – https://www.2muddy.com/

Janet Sullens Moreland – BMA guide, world-class paddler, teacher (check out https://1woman3greatrivers.com) Janet is first person source to sea on both MO River (2013) and MS River (2016)

Roo Yawitz – BMA General Manager, Senior Guide

This spring (March 20 – May 10, 2017) we are making a 6-week expedition from St. Louis to the Gulf in celebration of the completion of the Rivergator (rivergator.org).

The Rivergator is an online paddler’s guide to the Mighty Mississippi River. This is the first-ever guide to the biggest river in North America for paddlers. Rivergator is free of charge, we created it as a public service to help diversify and democratize the river. Six years in the making… one million words with thousands of photos, maps and videos. (It’s not perfect, but it’s the best resource out there – for recreation on the Lower Miss). We are overseen by a non-profit called the Lower Mississippi River Foundation.

The Rivergator is changing the perception of the big river as an industrial canal and superhighway for towboats. There is definitely industry, and it’s definitely the most important route for getting grain out of the heartland and oil back up to the refineries.

But it’s also the longest stretch of free-flowing river in the continental US (1154 miles), and is in fact mostly “wild” (according to wildmiles.org). It’s big and deep and powerful. Very dangerous. Full of myths and stories. Full of the raw wild exuberance of any free-flowing river. We seek to identify and enjoy the wild places. It’s one of the least traveled, least understood, and yet most magnificent wild places left in the country. In 2014 600+ people summited Everest. And more than 700 thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail. Meanwhile, 146 paddled the length of the Mississippi River (as recorded by John Sullivan, the Mississippi River Paddlers Group).

Press from Rivergator Celebratory Expedition:
Story in Riverfront Times
Story from CBS news St. Louis