S6ALONG THE BANKS of the rivers of this land — from Astoria, Oregon to Queens, New York — we’ll be walking into 100 story-stop towns to underscore and learn hard-fought lessons of inclusivity from people of a certain grit: immigrants, blues, blue-grass and folk musicians, rough and tumble characters, the pulse and life blood of America.

Until “Sea to Shining Sea” kicks off in January 2018, you can look back at a selection of photographs of my tenure on the Mississippi River in 2009 at the height of the Great Recession: CLICK HERE to take a look – the photos shown in reverse – from New Orleans to the source of the Mississippi River – Lake Itasca, Minnesota.

2 thoughts on “100 STORY-STOP TOWNS

  1. Steven Lippincott

    I was googling a friend, Dick Conant when I came upon your journal of your paddle down the Mississippi. In the part that came up, you mentioned meeting Dick early in your journey and said you would have a short interview later. I scanned through the rest of August and didn’t find the interview.

    I was Dick’s college friend and roommate and have been looking for him for years. I got a call yesterday from Ben McGrath, a writer for The New Yorker magazine, who wanted information about Dick’s college years. I wasn’t home at the time so he left his name and number. He told my wife that Dick had died about 6 months ago in a boating accident.

    I haven’t called him back yet, but it appears he wrote about another Dick Conant paddle from Canada (almost) to Florida. Dick had started on near the Canadian border on Lake Champlain and Ben met up with him in the Lower Hudson near or in NYC. From the date of his article (9/22/14) and how long ago he said Dick died, he probably was still on his way to Florida.

    Forwarding any information (the interview) or pictures you may have would be greatly appreciated.

    1. rollingreport

      Steven, thanks for reaching out. I’m very sorry to hear the news of Dick’s passing. Unfortunately, I’ve just arrived in Africa for a two month trip. As soon as I get back home I’ll take a look at my external hard drives (with all the photos and video) and see if I can find footage of Dick. We paddled the upper Mississippi together, on and off, for about three days. Although I only knew him a short time, he was an inspiration to me and the lessons he taught me from his previous experience, I’m quite certain saved my life. An island I was sleeping on later down the river disappeared in the middle of the night (after the water rose more than 10 feet) and I survived because Dick had taught me to always tie my canoe to the highest-elevated tree. I’ll be in contact again in early September. All best, Neal

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