Thinking Out Loud: One woman's Missouri River odyssey

Apr 22, 2014

On this episode of Thinking Out Loud, we meet a woman who took a historic kayak ride from the headwaters of the Missouri River to the Gulf of Mexico. In this week's first segment Janet Moreland shares the story of her ambitious summer 2013 trip. Plus, in this week's second segment, we hear about the Missouri River Cultural Conservancy and that group's May 2 fundraiser.

Talking to Thinking Out Loud host Darren Hellwege, Janet Moreland explained why she floated last summer from the Missouri River headwaters to the Gulf of Mexico. Moreland's inspiration for a Montana to Louisiana kayak trip?

I was looking for an adventure. I have some history of extreme sports adventures from my youth. I have been kind of searching and getting into paddling quite a bit and making a lot of paddling friends. One in particular watered a seed that was planted quite a bit ago and got me thinking about being the first woman to paddle down the Missouri-Mississippi River system from source to sea.

To her knowledge, Moreland is only the third person to kayak the Missouri River from the source to the gulf. The kayak she used was a carbon-light, open-cockpit boat. This boat allowed Moreland to pack a larger amount of gear than she could on a traditional kayak. Along the bigger challenges of the trip? Moreland discussed the process of actually making it into the Gulf of Mexico in her kayak:

Oh, that turned out to be surprisingly epic. We had fog dropped in on us and that was something I never even considered. And we were in the shipping lanes so we had huge freighters coming up from the Southwest pass. Now, we were trying to get through to the Southern pass, which is in the middle. Those freighters and tankers have to come right up and practically cross our paths. we were scared to death for a couple of days. Like a miracle the fog lifted just when we needed it to... I am not sure how the ending would have transpired had we not had that window of clearing.

For additional images from Janet Moreland's 2014 float trip, visit her website and her Facebook page.

For more information on the Missouri River Cultural Conservancy and their upcoming fundraiser, visit their webpage and their YouTube page.

Listen to new episodes of Thinking Out Loud on 91.3fm KBIA each Tuesday at 6:30pm and Thinking Out Loud: Saturday Sports Saturday mornings at 6:00am.