book: the voyage of the paper canoe
When he was 17, Nathaniel Bishop hiked 1,000 miles across South America. Later in life, he became interested in canoes. In 1874, he set off with a friend in an 18-foot wooden canoe, determined to find the most direct passage along natural and man-made waterways from the cold and rocky Gulf of St. Lawrence to the semitropical waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
When he arrived in New York, he encountered a manufacturer of paper boats, and he decided these crafts were much superior to the one he had. Ditching his companion and the wooden boat, Bishop set off to finish the trip alone in his new paper canoe. Though he was "frequently lost in the labyrinth of creeks and marshes which skirt the southern coast of this country", he eventually made it to the Gulf of Mexico in 1875. He had paddled 2,000 miles on his own in a 58-lb paper canoe. If you think this sounds crazy, you are not alone...
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