Minnesota Man Paddles Mississippi River Standing Up

By Katie Wiedemann, Reporter


By James Steward

DUBUQUE, Iowa - It’s called Stand up Paddle Boarding.

Alex Linnell, 21, is spending the summer trying to do what he says no else has.

He started his trip earlier this month at like Itasca in Minnesota. He hopes to make it to New Orleans by mid to late August.

It’s seems like something straight out of a Mark Twain novel. But maybe with a modern day twist.

“The best part so far is the people and just the beauty of the river as it changes as you go down,” Linnell said.

Linnell is standing tall as he paddles his way down river. His dad follows behind in the boat the two have made their home for the summer.

“Paddle all day. Set up camp. Get good food and sleep. Get up early. Break down camp and get right back on the water,” Linnell said.

He’s still towards the beginning of a 2,400 mile trip. He’s trying to break the record for the most miles traveled on a stand up paddle board.

But for Linnell this is more than just a fun summer adventure.

“In Minnesota itself all the flooding up north. It happens all over the place just right down near my house,” Linnell said.

He’s raising money for the Red Cross. The money he raises will help recent Mississippi River flood victims.

He says it’s physically and mentally tough to keep going each day, especially when the weather and the water work against him.

“The wind and the heat. It’s a little rough. It’s more then wind than anything,” Linnell said.

But Linnell has his mind set on it making breaking records and raising money, no matter what.

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