Voyages of Discovery: A Missouri River Odyssey

One man. A big river. And a very small boat—a 12-foot pack canoe, to be precise. This could be a recipe for disaster. Or a passport to delight. Tyler Higgins choose delight, and if you, too, are itching to light out for the territory, you’ll want to follow along as Tyler paddles down the broad Missouri.

By Tyler Higgins, with an introduction, note, and afterword by Tamia Nelson
March 13, 2018


What follows is the story of Tyler Higgins’ October 2010 journey down a 340-mile stretch of the broad Missouri, told in his own words. It’s not your everyday paddle. For one thing, Tyler covered prodigious distances between dawn and dusk. For another, he made the trip in a diminutive Old Town Pack. At 12 feet and 30-odd pounds, this little pack canoe isn’t often thought of as a “big water” boat. But it did Tyler proud on the mighty Mo. And vice versa. As you’ll soon learn.

Wavy Line Spacer - (c) and TM Tamia Nelson/Verloren Hoop Productions

Tyler’s Journal

I put in about four in the afternoon [Saturday], figuring to get to cousin Johnson’s place[, my chosen jumping-off point,] by dusk. I remember well how important each mile gained is. … Continue reading this article…

This entry was posted in In the Same Boat: Canoeing & Kayaking, Outside With Others: Columnists and Guests on by .


For half a century, Tamia Nelson has been ranging far and wide by bike, boat, and on foot. A geologist by training, an artist since she could hold a pencil, a photographer since her uncle gave her a twin-lens reflex camera when she was 10, she's made her living as a writer and novelist for two decades. Avocationally her interests span natural history, social history, cooking, art, and self-powered outdoor pursuits, and she has broad experience in mountaineering, canoeing, kayaking, cycling, snowshoeing and skiing.