Sunday, July 11, 2010

Adventurous Pursuits

Another hot, humid, insipid day of paddling rewarded Aaron and Jake with another 60 miles to mile marker 525. They were able to resupply their water and saw their first gator. They are just 26 miles from the Louisiana border.

The other day as I sat in the air conditioning on my comfortable couch sipping iced tea, I watched a stage of the Tour De France and was in awe of the physical and mental stamina it must take to bike such a race. The television reporter mentioned the distance of the race and I was surprised to hear that it is roughly the same distance as the Mississippi River. This got me thinking about a few adventurous pursuits that most people are at least casually familiar with. Below I have compared the canoeing the Mississippi River, hiking the Appalachian Trail, and biking the Tour De France.

Approximate total miles -
Mississippi River = 2320
Appalachian Trail = 2178
Tour De France = 2235

Number of people per year who finish the entire length 
Mississippi River = 20-30
Appalachian Trail = 500-600
Tour De France = 150-170

Average Miles per day
Mississippi River = 35-40
Appalachian Trail = 10-20
Tour De France = 10-150
Calories burned each day for a 200 lb person     
Mississippi River = 10,080 (12 hours)
Appalachian Trail = 7,632 (12 hours)
Tour De France = 4,000-5,000 (per stage)
Of course the competitors in the Tour De France have a team of nutrition experts, doctors, coaches and other people who make sure they are well taken care of. They get rubbed down each day, sleep in a comfortable bed and have well thought out meals prepared for them, not to mention the amount of money they earn on the tour. Even the hikers of the Appalachian Trail receive a “2000 Miler” award from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

Most canoeists who complete the entire length of the Mississippi River receive nothing for their accomplishment. Aaron and Jake are the exception – they will receive the gratification that they have raised a substantial amount of money for people affected by breast cancer.

(Can you tell by my words that I am extremely proud of Aaron and Jake’s adventurous pursuit?)

Posted by Aaron’s dad


  1. Makes those bike riders look like a bunch of slackers.

  2. Puts things in perspective. What a great accomplishment!