Thanks for joining me!
What is the Journey?
My plan is to travel on my pontoon boat, MikoMan, from the Twin Cities to the Gulf of Mexico. Launch day is Wednesday, September 5, 2018 and I hope to reach my destination, Apalachicola, FL, six weeks later.
The “Journey” began more than two years ago with research, planning and acquisition. I’ve learned a lot about boating, solar power and wiring, sonar and GPS navigation during that time. This preparation has been interesting, informative and fun in itself and has led to changes from my original plan, including the route.
My new route will start on the Mississippi River at Inver Grove Heights, MN at the River Heights Marina, tentatively at 9:00 AM. MikoMan will travel south on the Mississippi River to Cairo, IL, up the Ohio River to Puducah, KY, up the Tennessee River to the Tom Bigbee Waterway, and South to Mobile AL and the Gulf. If weather permits, MikoMan will follow the intracoastal waterway to a final destination in Apalachicola, FL. I plan to stop there since the next leg would be into the Gulf itself, and unsuitable for MikoMan.
Kathy and I have spent time scoping things out for the trip in the Twin Cities, and south along the route visiting marinas, historical sites, restaurants and breweries in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky and Tennessee, while at the same time learning, meeting people and just having fun! More preparation is coming.
I have a crew of six friends who will join me for about a week each, before handing off to the next crew member. We will sleep on the boat and do some cooking and fishing. My plan is to visit many of the towns along the way, check out the local restaurants, hopefully meet and talk with people, and absorb the rich history and culture along the way. I really appreciate my crew’s willingness to take on this adventure with me.
Where did the Idea Come From?
People ask me where the Gulf Trip idea came from. I can’t really remember. For years I thought about a bicycle tour from Lake Itaska, headwaters of the Mississippi, riding to the Gulf. Never got to it!
I’ve always been attracted to water. I’ve fished, boated, sailed, and paddled for years. Two or three years ago, my Gulf trip idea evolved from cycling to a pontoon boat trip “camping” on the rivers. This was helped along when I ran into a blog at bacshortly.wordpress.com that chronicles the adventures of a couple of guys including completion of a Mississippi River pontoon trip to the Gulf. I’ve enjoyed the research, scouting and planning for what I think is going to be a great adventure.
As many of you know, I’ve been a Type 1 diabetic requiring insulin for many years. I would like to use the trip as a fundraiser for the JDRF organization, to help fund research to stop Type 1 Diabetes. Please help if you can by clicking on the JDRF link below. Thank you in advance!