80-Year-Old Sets Record for Mississippi River Paddle

Completes voyage in 3 months

“When I found out the oldest person that’s ever hiked the Appalachian Trail is 82 years old, I said, ‘Well, I better wait a couple of years before I do that one.’” (bluepoint951/Flickr)

Dale Sanders, an 80-year-old canoe enthusiast from Logan County, Kentucky, on Sunday became the oldest person to paddle the entire length of the Mississippi River, according to the Adventure Blog. The trip stretched from Lake Itasca in Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico and took three months to complete.

Sanders, a retiree who worked at the Department of the Navy for 37 years, traveled in a Wenonah canoe named Anna, after his grandniece who suffers from type 1 diabetes. Part of the purpose of his trip was to raise awareness and gather funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Sanders said he was also enticed by the chance to make history as the Mississippi’s oldest full-length paddler.

“When I found out the oldest person that’s ever hiked the Appalachian Trail is 82 years old,” Sanders said in a video posted on his website, “I said, ‘Well, I better wait a couple of years before I do that one.’”

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