CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - A man paddled his canoe up to the Cape Girardeau riverfront, just one stop along his 7,500 mile journey.
“Just a chance of a lifetime," said Neal Moore.
Moore’s adventure started in February in Oregon, and he plans to make his way to New York City by December 2021. His trip takes him through 22 states and 22 rivers.
“As a kid, 12-years-old, probably as a Boy Scout, I spent a half a day on a canoe. I just fell in love with it," said Moore.
Now, he gets to see the country from a unique perspective, from sleeping on sand bars to navigating the currents on the river by day.
“The opportunity to see it like this. Up close and personal, and to be able to experience the nature and the towns and the people as well, and to be able to learn from the community. To learn from our history," said Moore. “Not really having an agenda but by coming through and just listening to folks, it strengthens my takes on humanity itself, on the best of us.”
Folks like Donna McClark from Jackson, who waved him down to come to shore in Wittenberg, Missouri a few days back.
“I was so excited. I have a video of it. I was really excited," said McClark.
She then decided to stop and cheer Moore on in Cape Girardeau as well.
“He’s right. We do need to all pull together in all of these smalls downs and learn the history of each place and take care of each other. It’s just an absolute must, especially right now," said McClark.
Although times are tough right now, Moore said he sees people step up and come together each stop of the way.
“To be able to come through and try to document that and learn from the people and feel of their spirit just feels great," said Moore.
Moore isn’t new to canoeing. He paddled the length of the Mississippi River once before.
He plans to write a book about this trip. You can follow his journey on his website, 22rivers.com.