Michael Clark of Big Muddy Adventures attempts to get wireless reception on a sandbar during his St. Louis Circumnavigation in order to communicate with students back at St. Ann's Catholic School. Photo: David Hanson

On March 17, 2012, Michael Clark of Big Muddy Adventures, John Ruskey of Quapaw Canoe Company, David Hanson, adventure journalist, and Mark Peoples, 1Mississippi River Guide intern, joined with the students of St. Ann's Catholic School in St. Louis Mo., and all River Citizens and River Stewards to complete an epic adventure learning project, a complete circumnavigation of the St. Louis region by canoe. The students will be engaged in the expedition through an interactive on-line component, which highlights individual research projects and field studies. Middle-school students will join us for an afternoon on the river.

This is the third circumnavigation of St. Louis for the students and the explorers. We’ll paddle 193 miles on the ring of four rivers: the Mississippi, Missouri, Meramec, and Bourbeuse. The mission is to highlight the beauty of the rivers, the interconnectedness of all residents of this region to the Rivers, and the myriad of issues which face our greatest resource, our water.

The expedition route begins in Washington, MO with a nine-mile portage from the bank of the Missouri to the Union, MO boat ramp and the Bourbeuse River. There we embark on our 193 mile river odyssey. First down the Bourbeuse and Meramec Rivers to the Mississippi. From there, we’ll paddle up the Mississippi 34 miles to the Great Confluence and make the turn for an arduous 69 mile paddle up the Missouri back to the starting point.

The team's route around St. Louis, Mo.

Check out the team’s first correspondence from the field HERE.