By Tim Mutrie
Last night, the three Bragiel brothers—Peter, Paul and Dan, and their paddling friend, Tony Corella—pitched camp on a sandbar of the lower Mississippi River, about 20 or 30 miles upstream of New Orleans. It marked their 58th straight night out; they’d set out in two canoes from the Mississippi’s headwaters, Lake Itasca, Minn., on July 14. Speaking by cellphone, Peter Braigel noted some factories and rather large ocean-going vessels nearby the camp, and said the crew hoped to finish their source-to-sea journey on Monday.
“Fifty miles Saturday, 50 the next, and then maybe 30 Monday and end in the Gulf of Mexico, mile zero,” Peter Bragiel, 29, a Los Angeles-based filmmaker, said.
Paul Bragiel, 33, a San Francisco-based Internet entrepreneur who works with brother Dan, 31, put it this way: “At this point we'd like to the trip over as soon as possible. So right now, we have a common enemy, and it's the river. We just want to beat him."
Made possible in part by a grant from YouTube, the trip will be the subject of 10-20 video webisodes, produced by Peter, ideally starting a month after they wrap up. After speaking with the crew last night, the videos—see, above, one video Peter produced while en route—promise certain intrigue, considering especially, as Peter says, “The collective experience of all of us canoeing before the trip was maybe three days total. But I'd say we're expert canoers nowadays.”
Stay tuned to C&K this week for further details on the Brothers+1 Mississippi trip.