A Mississippi River Journey: Travels with my son

During the summer of 2022, my 15 year old son, Max, and I will attempt to canoe the Mississippi River, source to sea, all 2400 miles. It will take us approximately 10 weeks to make this journey through the heartland of the United States on the longest river in North America. In making this trip, Max will be helping me complete a lifelong dream as I approach my 60th birthday this year. You can find out more about what has inspired me to do this in a post I am going to write all about the project. Along the way, we’ll be posting written narratives, photos, and videos. We hope you’ll subscribe to our blog and follow along. This trip is more than just an adventurous trip down the river though. For the past six years I have been employed as the director of The International School Yangon (ISY), in Myanmar. Max is originally from Myanmar. As a result we have a unique affinity for the country. In these unique and challenging times, we want to take advantage of this trip to do something for the children of Myanmar by collecting funds for two projects ISY supports. So, if you feel so inclined, we hope you’ll check out the information on United World Schools (UWS) and the Care for the Least Center (CLC) on our blog and consider a tax deductible sponsorship donation to help us in our support of the children of Myanmar. All funds will be equally divided between the school ISY supports through UWS, and CLC.

To give you an idea of the kind of people you will be benefitting I made the below video from photos I have taken since being in Myanmar.

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Donor Wall Comments

Congratulations, Greg & Max! We are looking forward to following you when you return for Part II of this adventure! 🤩

We just found out the news from early July. Sorry that you had to cancel your trip, but that was the right thing to do. GOD bless you all!

Well done Greg and Max!

You two are amazing! Congratulations on the journey so far; well done!

Great job Greg and Max!!!👍😎👍😎

An amazing effort Greg and Max . Loved following your journey

We’re proud of and amazed at what you and Max have accomplished, making it over half the way! We’re happy to donate and support UWS and Care to the Least Centre. Well done both!

Congratulations on every single day of this daring adventure – well done Greg and Max!!

Thank you for your dedication to these wonderful organizations that are making real changes in a place that can needs much support. I am donating today to celebrate your wonderful journey and support your difficult decision to pause for now.

We have enjoyed following your journey. It is amazing what you have accomplished on this adventure. Thank you for allowing us to travel along. We are happy to support your cause. Wishing you all the best and many happy paddling days in the future!

Dear Greg & Max, The Mississippi Challenge that the two of you are doing will lead to a good future for Myanmar Children at this difficult time. Many congratulations to the two of you.

Congrats on your progress and your adventure. We’ll be tracking you all the way. Max – I’ve canoed with your dad before…When he’s in the stern, you’ll keep an eye on him! 😉

I am watching your site. What a great accomplishment.

Motor Max, keep up the good work paddling for your dad! Gregory, just keep up the good work 🙂

Great journey, love watching the journey.

It is so wonderful to see such a positive challenge being taken during tumultuous times. It is such a pleasure to share in this journey, not only on the water, but in spirit over past few years.

Just about 2 weeks down, only 8 more to go!! We are enjoying following the journey! All the best Greg and Max!

SO looking forward to seeing your regular updates, Greg and Max. May your journey be filled with the wonderment of nature and the challenges result in memories for a lifetime.

Greg you set the example of a wonderful father. What a great adventure to share with Max. Thank you both for raising awareness and providing opportunities for your friends and colleagues to invest in these worthy causes in Myanmar. I hope you build a lifetime of memories while you paddle and you surpass your $50,000 goal.

Good luck, Dr. Hedger and Max! We will be following your progress.

I paddled from St. Cloud to Lake Pepin with my teenage kids and husband about 10 years ago, it was a memorable and fun time….Enjoy!

What a fabulous adventure for father and son. Looking forward to following your trip on the Mighty Mississippi.

What an adventure! Enjoy!

We are pleased to support this wonderful endeavor. We look forward to hearing about the trip from Greg and Max.

What a fabulous experience for you and Max to have together. We look forward to following the journey!

CHEERS to your journey, Max and Greg! Hope to see you at the launch and some time along the journey!

All the best for your upcoming adventure, we’re sure you and Max will do great! What a memory!

I love a good adventure, and love the causes you have attached to this, also. Myanmar is near and dear to my heart. Best wishes with your father-son journey. I’ll be following the story.

Fabulous adventure, good luck!

Absolutely wonderful endeavor!
All the very best with the fundraising effort…

What a great adventure! Have fun!

Let us know when you come through St. Louis

A great adventure and what a wonderful contribution. Cheers to Dr. Hedger & Max!!

A great adventure and a better cause.

Greg and Max: wishing you all the best on this great adventure–onward!

Looking forward to hearing more about your grand adventure!

Yes you can go the distance! Best of luck.

So proud of Dad and Max for taking on this gigantic adventure and for supporting children in Myanmar.

An adventure of a lifetime that will change the lives of many. Enjoy the planning, enjoy the adventure.

What a wonderful fundraiser!

Keep filling your moment jar and keep teaching your son how to fill his…loving this. Lmk if you’re taking on “guest paddlers” for any portions of your journey. We’d be honored to share in any fellowship…

Max and I can’t wait to start this journey. We look forward to sharing it.

Go Greg and Max!


Tracey & John

Ralph and Susie

Alison Harley

Krisztina Douglas

Marlene Kohnson

Joneen Walker

Todd & Meghan

Jeff and Ellie

Rebekka Jensen

Angel Andy Annika Saur

Kyaw Naing

Steve Osmek

Greg Von Spreecken

Cindy Larson

Brett Costin

Adam Fraser

Dan & Laura

Kay Mitchell

Tamara Melzer Levenson

Milly & Franco

Holly Bowen-Bailey

Cindy and Bob Dunham

Jim Roussin

Ron & Jeanne Hedger

The Taylor Family

Greg Herzog

The O’Sullivan Family

Lorelei Loveridge

Adrian Morrice

Paul Chmelik

Luba Borisova

Lynn and Perry Bartels

Thanda Noi SAO

Mark Harrison

John Shepard

Ronda & Mitch

Jayne & Steve

Kaija & Ryan



The DuBose Foundation

Gregory Hedger

Gavin & Lindsey

Mississippi Challenge Blog Posts

Donating to the Care to the Least Center

It’s amazing how time flies! I can’t believe that just two and a half months ago Max and I were paddling down the Mississippi River getting up to over 40 days and 1,300 miles covered. Back to reality for me and back to school for Max.

Day 40 and 41

The hardest day so far in extremely challenging conditions followed by a trip to the hospital! We then had to make the hard decision not to continue the trip for safety reasons.

Day 37 – 39

Two well earned rest days around the 4th July which we spent with my brother-in-late, Jeff Kirsch. Then it was back on the river and having to deal with the hot weather.

Days 34 – 36

Two fairly comfortable days and a rest day in between made possible by putting in some extra miles earlier. Things to note are the snakes we are seeing, a baby raccoon, golf carts and opening resupply packages like it’s Christmas!

Days 31 – 33

Three more good days taking us past the 1,000 mile mark for the trip. We got to see some Mark Twain sights and are putting up with flying carp! Hopefully we’re past our last lock now – next stop St. Louis.

Days 28 to 30

Three good days from Moline to Quincy, Illinois but leaving Iowa on our right and heading in to Missouri, our 5th State! The Mississippi Angels are a group of people who help out people on the river and we met up with even more of them over these days. Great people!

Days 23 to 25 (27)

We said goodbye to Kirstin for the last time until the trip ends and then met some nice people along the way. Some good weather, some bad, lots of barges to contend with and a snake!

Care to the Least Center Video

With just a bit over a month to go until we launch from the headwaters of the Mississippi in Minnesota, USA, Max and I are watching the conditions closely. Meanwhile a group of students have created a video about one of the organizations we are raising money for.

Trip Itinerary

Quite a few people have reached out to us wanting to know where we’ll be when so that we can say hello to some friendly faces. This post has our planned itinerary for the trip.