On June 8th a daughter of Ottawa County will be heading on a grand adventure, and we have been invited along. Woodmore graduate Madelyn Hille, 23, and her partner Adam Hoffmeister, 25, will set out with their canoe and their dog Joschko to paddle and capture the Mississippi--all 2500 miles of it, beginning at the headwaters at Itasca State Park in Minnesota and ending with the Gulf of Mexico.
Along the way Hille, an aspiring photojournalist now living in Indianapolis, will be documenting the trip. She will select one photo each day that captures that day’s experience, then compile the photos into a hard-cover book titled “Capturing the Mississippi”. Madelyn will also be sharing photos each week with Beacon readers.
Hille aspires to “take people along who can’t go on this adventure themselves. My hope is that people will feel that they are right there with us.”
Hille and Hoffmeister are experienced paddlers, travelers and campers who have been planning the trip for the past year. “Adam and I both have a passion for travel. When we were first inspired, it soon became all about making it a reality. It is one thing to dream and quite another to make it happen.”
Inspired by a PBS documentary film by photographer C.C. Lockwood of a houseboat trip on the Mississippi, the couple set about making it happen. Hoffmeister, an IT consultant, and Hille will be putting their careers on hold for the estimated 70 to 100 days it will take to make the trip.
The trip, says Hille, will be all about “going with the flow, taking the lessons from the river. As the Mississippi grows, we hope to grow with the river.” She anticipates the biggest challenges will be “keeping going, keeping our spirits up, remembering to have fun.”
As their plans came together Hille and Hoffmeister had the idea to ask companies to help provision the trip. “It was amazing to find out that they were glad to help out if you are brave enough to ask.” To date they have received donations from Nova Craft of a 18’ Royalex Canoe, paddles from Sawyer , a waterproof camera case from Seahorse, tshirts and other items from Moosejaw, MTI Adventurewear, Granite Gear, and other outdoor companies who want to be a part of the adventure.
Last week “Capturing the Mississippi” opened a Kickstarter account for those who want to contribute. Funds will go to help finance the trip and to the outdoor education programs of the YMCA.
To view the video about the trip or to contribute, go to www.kickstarter.com and search for “Capturing the Mississippi”. To follow on Facebook, “like” the Capturing the Mississippi page.