July 11, 2007, 1:30 pm (CST): After 1,704 miles (2,742 km) and 59 days, Jacob has completed his Mississippi journey!
June 29, 2007: Jacob is making good progress along the Lower Mississippi and expects to reach New Orleans by mid-July!
June 25, 2007: Jacob has traveled 1,000 miles, and expects to reach New Orleans before the end of July.
June 20, 2007: Jacob has traveled more than 800 miles, and by tomorrow will have reached the Lower Mississippi.
June 13, 2007: Jacob has traveled more than 700 miles, and has paddled passed St. Louis - the "psychological" half-way point of the journey.
June 1, 2007: Jacob has updated his photo gallery and his blog.
Note: Jacob's access to towns, cellphone signal, and Internet connection (blog, email, etc.) has been worse than he thought... so please have patience if you're trying to reach him.
In the Media:
Interview with Joe Easingwood C-Fax 1070 Radio Victoria, BC, Friday July 20, 8:20 am Pacific.
On the air with Fred and Seven, KCPS Radio Burlington, Iowa, Friday July 20, 7:30 am Central.
On the air with Eric Nelson, WCCO Radio Minneapolis, Wednesday July 15, 1:10 pm Central.
On the air with Eric Nelson, WCCO Radio Minneapolis, Wednesday July 4, 10:00 pm Central.
On the air with Eric Nelson, WCCO Radio Minneapolis, Sunday June 17, 1:10 pm Central.
On the air with Eric Nelson, WCCO Radio Minneapolis, Sunday June 10, 1:10 pm Central.
On the air with Fred and Seven, KCPS Radio Burlington, Iowa, Monday June 4, 6:30 am Central.
On the air with Dan Geiger, WCCO Radio Minneapolis, Saturday June 2, 8:30 pm Central.
News Article: Mississippi Kayak Challenge Kicks Off (Twin Cities Sports, May 2007)
Press Release: Mississippi Kayak Challenge (April 24, 2007)
News Article: Up the river with a kayak (Times Colonist, April 27, 2007)
The Outdoor Enthusiast Next Door: Jacob van der Merwe (Part 1) (Outdoor-Weblog Interview, April 24, 2007)
The Outdoor Enthusiast Next Door: Jacob van der Merwe (Part 2) (Outdoor-Weblog Interview, April 24, 2007)
Jacob van der Merwe, a.k.a. The Crazy Kayaker
Mississippi Challenge 2007
This summer, I got to realize a childhood dream. I completed a 1,704 mile kayak trip on the Mississippi river. My adventure started at St. Paul, MN on May 13, 2007, and I reached New Orleans on July 11, after 59 days on the river.
All my life I have known that one day I will meet this river, and get to know its people, its places and its history, in an up-close and personal way. I can think of few more intimate ways than to make my way downstream in a kayak, paddle in hand, at the river's own pace. To have its powerful waters an eighth of an inch away from my bottom; to be able to reach out and touch it by lowering my hand a few inches, and to let the river take me where it wants me to go, as fast or as slowly as it wants to.
Supply and other logistical arrangements for this expedition are straightforward and for the most part without the challenges inherent to wilderness or ocean trips. more »
An important reason for this adventure, and my end-goal, is to share my experience through a book. It also happens to be how I make my living. more »
More About the Crazy Kayaker
The Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata once said, 'It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.' Some say he borrowed the quote from Cuban revolutionary Jos� Mart�, not that it really matters. Either way, it struck a chord with me. A while back, I adopted a variation of the quote as part of my life philosophy: 'I'd rather die on a river than live in a cubicle.' Which is another way of saying I spend most of my time paddling. more »