Eighty Year Old Man Begins 2,300 Mile Trip Down Mississippi

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Many people are satisfied to sit back, relax and reflect on their lives at the age of eighty. Not Dale Sanders.
This week he started on his adventure to paddle the entire 23-hundred mile length of the Mississippi River, from its headwaters in Itasca State Park to the Gulf of Mexico.
Dale Sanders and his 4 traveling companions are looking forward to some nice weather on the river after several days of rain, sleet and high winds, since staring this adventure.
Reporter: “What inspired you at the age of 80 to do this trip?”
Dale Sanders, Bartlett, TN: “My grandniece has juvenile diabetes and I wanted to do something for that field, trying to raise some money, raise awareness for juvenile diabetes and of course I wanted to set some kind of record.”
Now, armed with a solar panel on his canoe to keep his iphone charged for navigation and phone calls, Sanders is off on the adventure of a lifetime. He’s from Tennessee, where he spent his working years in parks and recreation.
Dale Sanders: “I was a world class, competitive spear fisherman back in the 1960’s. I haven’t really done anything that significant since. So, if I can set a reacord as the oldest person to evern paddle the Mississippi River at 80, I think I’ll be set. I call myself the gray bearded adventurer.”
Sanders is not only doing this trip at the age of eighty. He plans to complete it in 80 days. That’s about 8 days faster than the usual canoe trip down the Mississippi.
Reporter: “This is a 3 month trip. Physically, do you think you can do it?”
Dale Sanders: “I think at 80 years old I can do it 80 days. I believe that.”
Richard Sojourner, Friend: “He mentioned he was going to do it and I said, do you need anyone to come along?”
Reporter: “You figured if he’s 80 years old and you’re only 70, you can do it too?”
Sojourner: “Yeah, I figure d it. I need to do it before I get too old to do it.”
Dale Sanders: “I believe I can look back on this… if I can pull it off as the oldest person… I’ll claim the world record on that… the Mississippi River from source to sea.”
So, if you’re thinking you might be a bit too old for the next big adventure in your life, you might want to look to Dale Sanders for a bit of inspiration.
Sanders is being accompanied on the trip by 2 friends and a 2 man crew that is filming the adventure.
If you’d like to donate to Sanders cause or track his progress, we have a link next to the top of this story.