It was an ordinary 21-foot canoe. They were an ordinary family – a divorced father and his two teenage sons. But what they did was extraordinary. From Winnipeg, they paddled heading south. Twenty-three months later, two of them swept down the Amazon to Belem, Brazil, on the Atlantic – the longest canoe trip ever recorded.
The trip begins down the Red River and into the Mississippi system, through Minnesota and Illinois, to the heart of Dixie and New Orleans. It then continues westward along the Texas coast, across the mouth of the Rio Grande and into the open seas of the Gulf of Mexico. The seas almost kill them, broadsiding the canoe, again and again, leaving the Starkells struggling into the surf. – https://www.paddletotheamazon.com/
When 10-year-old Dana bought a book about Tarzan rather than a candy bar with his first $1 allowance, he had no idea just how fateful that decision would be. After being inspired by the book he told his dad, Don, that he wanted to walk to the Amazon River. Don, being the imaginative adventurer that he was, took his son’s request seriously and began planning what would become the world’s longest-ever canoe trip. It would take 10 years before Don, Dana, and his brother, Jeff, would set out on their 12,000 miles, the 2-year-long journey to the mouth of the Amazon River. Jeff eventually dropped out of the adventure, but Don and Dana made it to the end, earning their induction into the Guinness Book of World Records for having completed the longest canoe journey ever, a distance of 12,181 miles (19,603 kilometers).
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It was crazy. It was unthinkable. It was the adventure of a lifetime.
When Don and Dana Starkell left Winnipeg in a tiny three-seater canoe, they had no idea of the dangers that lay ahead. Two years and 12,180 miles later, father and son had each paddled nearly twenty million strokes, slept on beaches, in jungles and fields, dined on tapir, shark, and heaps of roasted ants.
They encountered piranhas, wild pigs, and hungry alligators. They were arrested, shot at, taken for spies and drug smugglers, and set upon by pirates. They had lived through terrifying hurricanes, food poisoning, and near starvation. And at the same time, they had set a record for a thrilling, unforgettable voyage of discovery and old-fashioned adventure.
“Courageous . . . Exciting and always immediate.” — The New York Times Book Review
“One of the finest real-life adventure books of our time.”
ROBERT STEWART, MONTREAL GAZETTE