“So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”
— Christopher Reeve, American actor, 1952-2004
Neal set out from Lake Itasca, the source of the Mississippi in northern Minnesota, on July 10 and arrived on Tuesday evening in New Orleans — a journey of four months and 22 days.
From Neal’s Dec. 1 post: “Fought severe weather today to guide the Andrea safely into New Orleans. Wind and waves and rain and a plethora of barges and tankers as well as borderline hypothermia couldn’t keep me from this fine town. About to join up with friends here locally — gonna be great. My sincere thanks to everyone — could not have made it without your encouragement and support. More to follow …”
Neal and I had been communicating via blog and e-mail before and during our respective journeys. We had toyed with the unlikely notion that we might meet in St. Francisville, in southeastern Louisiana, where our bicycle caravan crossed the Mississippi River on Nov. 4 on our transcontinental journey. (See Nov. 4 post, “The ‘ strong brown god.'”) But Neal, a citizen journalist for CNN, was still upriver in Mississippi doing video stories for CNN and his blog, Flash River Safari.
I thought of Neal that day as I and fellow rider John Vandevelde waited at the ferry landing to cross the river to St. Francisville. The Mississippi, probably a mile wide at that point, was running high and fast, and two men in a canoe were riding the swift current downriver. Their craft seemed so frail on that mighty, mercurial river.
So hats off to Neal for completing an epic journey! Few people get to live their dreams.
Here’s Neal’s latest video post, some random video footage shot on his way down the Mississippi.