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Boonville Daily News - Boonville, MO
  • Two men bring cancer awareness to light while canoeing on Missouri River

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  • Gary Nordloh and Brandon North have been canoeing the Missouri River along with their dog Rosco for children's and breast cancer awareness. They began their journey in May after entering the headwaters of the Missouri River in Three Forks Montana. Their journey will end in St. Louis.
    The 2,341 mile long river is North America's longest river that starts in western Montana and ends in St. Louis. Fortunately Boonville reaps the benefits of the river as it is located on its banks. It is here that Lewis and Clark traveled up to survey the lands that the United States had purchased from France in 1803. The river also provides an opportunity for people to enjoy recreational activity as well, even if that activity is for a cause to benefit something.
    While the trip began as a vacation, Nordloh and the North's uncle thought a purpose or cause for their trip would be more fitting. They chose children's and breast cancer as their cause. During the six months of planning North's uncle could not make the journey so North filled in as a backup.
    During the planning phase the two spent months going around Montana's capitol of Helena getting people interested in supporting them on their cause.
    "We handed out flyers and told people of our cause," Nordloh said.
    Nordloh said that the response was awesome. For a fundraiser, they let children paint their handprints on the side of one of their canoes. They said that the fundraiser received a lot of support from area children.
    The journey began in mid May and progressed down the river, in the complete opposite way Lewis and Clark traveled at the beginning of their journey over two hundred years ago.
    While most of the journey went without hitch, a flipping of the canoe in North Dakota and seeing two rattle snakes, almost stepping on one, made the journey a little more eventful for them. North also said that they had stayed in hotels only a number of times.
    Wednesday brought them to Boonville. They set up a tent under the Boonslick bridge awaiting to leave Thursday morning to Jefferson City. Like any other stop along the way, they left their tent and traveled up the banks to replenish their supplies. They said that Boonville was a good town and received some support for their cause. At their arrival they say that there was not much activity in the town.
    At their stop in Boonville, they were entering the end of their journey with only four days left. They intend to rent a car in St. Louis and follow the river back to see some of the places that they missed along the way.
    "There are many places we want to see in much more detail. We can only see so much from the river," Nordloh said.
    Page 2 of 2 - Along the way they have been handing out bumper stickers with children's and breast cancer awareness and bracelets as well. They have a website, canoeingforcancer.com, but that site has been down because of server issues.
    This coming Sunday will mark the end of their 2,000 mile journey coming down the Missouri River.

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