December 28, 2008

Man, 54, lives Mississippi River dream

A 54-year-old Texan says he lived his dream by paddling down the Mississippi River for 78 days.

Robert Youens of Austin said paddling his canoe the length of the Mississippi River was the result of decades of campfire dreams, the Austin American-Statesman reported Sunday.

Over 40 years of sitting around campfires, you start dreaming up cool things to do, he said. It's physical exercise. It's quiet. It's a way to get close to nature that you can't do in a motor boat or a car.

Those decades of flights of fancy culminated into a real-life attempt after Youens retired last year from his job as a Briggs & Stratton manager.

After carefully planning out his unusual trip, he finally placed his canoe in the river in Minnesota on Sept. 15 and began his lengthy journey.

After finally completing his mission this month, Youens said he is temporarily putting aside his paddle to write a book about his Mississippi River experiences.

But after the book is completed, Youens hinted to the American-Statesman that an Atlantic Ocean sailing trip is a real possibility.