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“Greybeard Adventurer” passes through La Crosse area on solo canoe trip down river



Dale Sanders has set a lofty goal for himself this summer.  The man from Memphis is canoeing solo down the Mississippi River, and wants to finish the trip in 87 days, because he’s 87 years old. 

Sanders, also known as Greybeard, went down the river in just 80 days when he was 80. 

He got to Dresbach on Wednesday, a month into his latest voyage.  Sanders knows what he’ll do when he reaches the mouth of the river at New Orleans, hopefully in early September.

“First thing I’m gonna do is, my wife is going to be down, we’ll give her a hug and kiss,” Sanders says. “The second thing I think I’m gonna do is look up and thank God I made it.”

Sanders has spent recent summers setting age records for long journeys, such as hiking trails around North America. He says he’s right about on schedule a month after starting at Lake Itasca, the source of the Mississippi in northern Minnesota.

Sanders is trying to do about 30 miles a day, and hopes to get to the Gulf of Mexico on the 8th of September, “in 87 days, my age.”

Sanders stopped in Winona this week, and toured a canoe factory, then made a mid-day stop in Dresbach Wednesday before camping for the night south of La Crosse.

A film crew is making a documentary about Greybeard’s river trip.  In real time, you can follow his travels on greybeardadventurer.com.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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