Canoe & Kayak is pleased to announce the winning submission from the top five finalists of the 2017 Dream Adventure Contest presented by NRS.

Over 16,000 reader votes determined the finalists from a record field of 107 entries, and the winning entry was chosen by committee at the Paddlesports Retailer show the week before last in Madison, Wis. Judges considered the detail and scope of expedition plans outlined to ensure the $10,000 award, split evenly between a $5,000 cash prize and $5,000 in NRS expedition paddling equipment, would go toward an individual or team embarking on “a once in a lifetime extraordinary journey” as well as taking account of voting anomalies that may have reflected computer, automated, bot, proxy or fraudulent voting, as outlined in the contest rules.

Thank you to all those who entered and voted!

And congratulations to the winning 2017 Dream Adventure:
“Coursing Through America, a 4,700-mile Canoe Trip from the Pacific to Florida Keys.”

Read the winning entry, below, and watch entrant Luke Kimmes, an outdoor educator from Steamboat Springs, Colo., accept the award on behalf of his international crew which also includes Martin Trahan, Yan Kaczynski, and Keven Martel. Check back for more updates as the crew prepares for their expedition beginning in spring 2018:

Coursing Through America is the next adventure to follow that will inspire all. After completing the 5,300 mile canoe expedition Rediscovering North America in 2015, which spanned from the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic Ocean, we wanted to continue to inspire. Coursing Through America is a canoe expedition across America, paddling and portaging from the Pacific Ocean, paddling up the Columbia and Snake Rivers. Portaging roughly 300 miles via bikes to Helena to the Missouri. Going downstream we will then take the Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, and Tombigbee rivers, until we meet the Gulf of Mexico. Leaving Mobile AL we will follow the Gulf of Mexico shoreline until we reach our destination the Florida Keys! After winning the Expedition of the Year award in 2016, I wanted to continue to inspire all walks of life. Also one of the three other trip members was a runner up in the Expedition of the Year award in 2016 for a cross Canada canoe expedition. The two of us and including two others are looking at making the 4,700 mile journey in two canoes starting April 2018. A Outdoor Education Teacher, Social Worker/Long Distance Canoe Enthusiast, Canadian Armed Forces/Outdoor Enthusiast, and a Photo Journalist, Dream big to help inspire others to get out and see what this beautiful world has to offer.