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 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!)
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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