By Timothy Rohwer
PLATTSMOUTH – Neal Moore is touring the country in what he described as a most “amazing” way.
The California-bred Moore, who has lived overseas for the last 30 years, has returned to America and is seeing it by canoeing on its major rivers—from Sea to Shining Sea.
“To come back to my home country and to see it this way is truly amazing,” Moore said during a stopover in Plattsmouth on Tuesday.
He started his cross-country journey in Oregon at the mouth of the Columbia River in early February, and reached the Missouri River in Helena, Mont., in early June.
Moore is currently canoeing down the river and hopes to reach New Orleans, La., by year’s end with the goal of reaching New York City on rivers by the end of 2021. “This would include reaching Lake Erie near Buffalo, hopefully before winter arrives,” he said.
“To experience the raw power of nature is really something.”
He estimates his journey from start to finish will total 7,500 miles.
At the height of the Great Recession in 2008, Moore decided to canoe on the Mississippi River to see America from a different view.
“I was finding hard-luck towns and each had a cause or a theme,” he said.
Eventually, he met a man from Montana who was living his life on the rivers, Moore said.
He told Moore to slow down on his journeys, to get out and walk around and learn of the people along his routes.
On Monday evening, Moore camped on a sandbar near where the Platte River meets the Missouri. On Tuesday morning, he toured downtown Plattsmouth and met patrons at a Main Street restaurant where one of them paid Moore’s meal.
“I’m happy to be here,” he said of his visit.
On Tuesday evening, Moore was scheduled to stay overnight in Nebraska City.
He hopes to write a book on his experiences after finishing his journey, Moore said.
“To come back and see your home country in this way has to be the greatest adventure of your life.”