About Me

Hi, I’m Ryan.  My family moved to western North Carolina before I could walk, and I’ve been stationed there ever since.  As much as I love those Appalachian Mountains, I have always had a wanderlust for exploring new places.  Some of the most exciting times I have had are when I’m on the streets of a city that is completely new to me, or alone in a foreign wilderness.  I’ve been dreaming of canoeing the Mississippi River off and on since I was around 16 years old.  This desire is inspired by a combination of the writings of Mark Twain, my recent 23rd birthday, an appetite for adventure, and reading of a 19-year-old Abraham Lincoln’s flatboat journey from New Salem, Illinois, to New Orleans.

Although access to a computer, or my desire to find one may be limited, I plan to chronicle my journey on this website.  Regardless of whether the posts are made in real time or not, I will be journaling extensively and taking lots of photographs, so I hope to one day make this site a complete log of my adventures on the Mighty Mississippi.


19 Responses to About Me

  1. Russ says:

    Hi Ryan,
    It was neat meeting you at the camp siteThurs. evening .I know all of us will be waiting to here from you in the future to see how your trip is progressing.
    Gods blessing,
    Russ Shields

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hi Ryan,
    I am enjoying reading your blog, and admire your adventurous spirit and willingness to undertake such a grand adventure. I’m looking forward to your posts.
    Bon Voyage,
    Liz Dobbs

  3. Mom says:

    Here is the link to the newspaper article about you in the Park Rapids Enterprise, Hope your blog readers enjoy. http://www.parkrapidsenterprise.com/event/article/id/29733/
    Keep Strong and Paddle On!

  4. Mom says:

    Also found the link to the report by the TV reporter in Little Falls, MN, http://ksax.com/article/stories/S2301737.shtml?cat=10230. You are becoming famous! Love, Mom

  5. Mom says:

    You are now featured on the Gander Mountain facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/notes/gander-mountain/float-onward/10150851245300002 . Love, Mom

  6. Mike says:

    I found this site while looking into a solo canoe trip down one of my local rivers. I enjoyed reading about the start of your adventure and look foward to future posts. Godspeed and Good luck.

  7. tony says:

    Greetings, fellow river-traveler!
    I just recently completed paddling down to Memphis, TN., and am now back home in St. Louis, MO. A kayaking friend that I met on my way into Memphis, named Davin, is still on the Mississippi River, and is now in Natchez. I would like to paddel a stretch of the Mississippi River with you, around the St. Louis area. PLEASE BE AWARE OF THE POTENTIAL FOR CLASS 6 AT THE CHAIN OF ROCKS, above St. Louis. my email address is tonyheck1234@gmail.com, please contact me when you approach St. Louis.
    & Snoop, the Wonder Beagle (as in “I Wonder what he’s into now…”)

  8. velochemistj says:

    Ryan, read about your story in the smoky mountain news. Very cool. It mentioned you had just got your degree and were planning on heading to grad school. Do yourself a favor and get a gig as a tour guide at trekamerica.com. I, like you, am an adventurer. I have been leading tours for 5 years. Traveling the world in between. Sounds like it might just be your dream job.

  9. Mark A Smythe says:

    Hey Ryan, thanks for the email letting me know you made it. Congrats! If you ever make it back to northern Minnesota give me a shout & we’ll have a cold one on the end of the dock. Take care.


  10. Thomas says:

    so where does this site say Ryan finished the trip?
    the last post was in October.
    no stories of St. Louis? or cape Girardeua? or Memphis? The bluffs of Vicksburg?
    nothing? what’s up?

    • Mark A Smythe says:

      Just got a short email from Ryan letting me know he paddled into New Orleans on Dec 5th. I assume he hasn’t had a chance to get caught up.

  11. D. Thomas says:

    I do not believe Ryan completed the trip, and that he probably stopped north of the Missouri Confluence.

  12. Ryan, Just a note to say I hope you successfully completed your trip. This journey was quite an undertaking. I wish you well as your life moves forward. Peace.

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