On Friday, Sept. 23, people from across the state began gathering in Hermann, Mo., to begin a five-day journey down the last 100 miles of the Missouri River.

For me, feelings of excitement offset with worries of all the things that could go wrong was swimming around inside me.

Last year scholarship awardee Rob Hunt and I scouted Paddle Georgia with hopes to launch Paddle MO in 2016. By golly with the help of many partners, sponsors, board members, and cheerers we did it!paddlemogroup

After intense planning and fundraising, in a very short amount of time, we were here registering folks on a warm Friday evening from all over the state and ranging in ages from 28-74. The first Paddle MO Event had 31 thru-paddlers (paddled the full five days) and 31 lite-paddlers (paddled for a few days) for a total of 62 paddlers!

On Saturday, Sept. 24, we launched our boats from Hermann and began the 100-mile journey with some expected stops and some surprises along the way, like rainbows and shooting stars.

Each day participants averaged around 20 miles of paddling and refueling was a focal point of the Paddle MO event. Participants were able to taste the flavors of the Missouri River Valley through locally sourced ingredients and locally owned restaurants.

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