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Paddler - Writer/Adventurer Michael J. Waterford

Four years ago Michael set out with a friend to paddle the Mississippi River Source-to-sea. He purchase a couple used canoes online - wrapped his backpacking gear in a trash bag and drove to the headwaters in Minnesota. Nearly two months later he arrived into New Orleans - but not as he expected. His partner had quit early, and due to a late spring melt the river was frozen over and flooded in many areas, thereby only allowing him to paddle two-thirds of the river. But now - he's back, with proper gear, skills, and support, to set a new source-to-sea kayaking speed record on the Mighty Mississippi River.  

Crew Captain - Photographer/Adventurer Abby Keaser

Fueled by my imagination, longing to travel, and coffee, I take on every new adventure with passion in my heart and a camera in my hand. With each new adventure comes a stronger connection to both the natural environment and the individuals that surround me. In my 24 years, I have been shaped into the person I am by these two essential things. My goal is to share these adventures with each of you so that we may grow and experience these connections together.

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Logistics Coordinator/Fixer - Traci "TK" Kroupa

Being an EMT, Swift Water Rescue Technician, rescue diver, and Leave No Trace Awareness Trainer – TK was quickly recognised a the perfect team member for such an expedition . She has worked in Outdoor Education for the National Sports Center for the Disabled in Denver, Colorado, Warrior Expeditions on a Mississippi River paddle, and harnessed some of her many outdoor skills with Outward Bound, Team River Runner, and numerous solo expeditions in the Colorado backcountry. Recently, she’s been teaching others as a Logistics Coordinator/Program Manager for the outdoor education department of local community college in Colorado.  But before that spent 20+ years in the military, which included time as a combat medic with a tour in Iraq with the Marines. 

 

 

Paddling Coach - Michael Bowersox

Originally a native of California, Michael found paddling and his home in the waters of the Pacific Northwest. Learning to kayak in university as a flat-water sprinter, crashing waves, tidal races and the smell of salt led him down the path of sea kayaking, first as a guide in the Salish Sea and San Juan Islands, and now as an instructor and Programs Manager of Next Adventure, an outdoor store and school in the hipster capital of Portland, Oregon. Dedicated to environmental stewardship and the growth of paddle sports, Michael paddles and teaches from a variety of craft to provide new insights and perspectives on water, all coming back to his connection to the sea. He is excited to keep learning and growing as a paddle sports coach, especially in new places and environments. Simply put, there is nothing he enjoys more than messing about in boats.