• Leon Pantenburg | Survival Common Sense


See the slide show video of my 1980 Source-to-Sea Mississippi River canoe voyage

578 400 Survival Common Sense Blog | Emergency Preparedness

by Leon Pantenburg

On June 7, 1980, I set out to canoe the length of the Mississippi River. On that day, my brother, Michael Pantenburg, sister Karla Pantenburg Moore and friend Alan Johnson left the headwaters of the Mississippi at Lake Itasca, Minnesota and headed downstream.

Karla and Al canoed with Mike and me the first week. Mike and I continued on for another five weeks and 600 miles to St. Paul, where Mike departed for home in Gilbert, Iowa . The rest of the voyage was a solo.

The take-off crew: Me, Alan Johnson, Michael Pantenburg, Andrew Michalicek and Karla Pantenburg Moore.

The idea behind the trip was to photograph and write a book about the people who live along the big river. My former Iowa State University roommate, Andrew Michalicek sponsored the project. I finished the manuscript the next year, but it never went anywhere. Some 13 publishers (at last count!) rejected the book. Apparently, nobody liked it as much as I did! (But Skyhorse publishing and Simon and Schuster  did like my book Bushcraft Basics!)

My voyage made the cover of Picture magazine and also got the center spread. Thanks, Jean Trumbo, for your incredible photography!

Here are some images from that voyage.


Want to go on a river trip with me? Here’s how you can.

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