My friends Shawn Corey(aka Balls) and Cameron Nicols(aka Cam)are canoeing from Pittsburgh all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. I wanted to share this story so maybe some LiveLeakers can offer them support or just follow their blog. It's really an interesting read and I included an article that appeared in the Erie,PA newspaper. My buddy Cam is the blogger, it really is a fun read as he writes very well! The one pic is all of us Primanti Brothers in Pittsburgh. Please enjoy and share their story, donations can be made on the blog if anyone really wants to or if anyone is located near the Mississippi maybe offer MRE's or canned items or whatever; its all good! They are having a tough going because of the drought though that's for sure. If anyone needs to communicate with them post here or on the blog, Enjoy! (some pics at bottom)
News Article: http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2012308049920
Titusville locals canoeing down to Gulf of Mexico
By HERB SCRIBNER,
To travel the country is one thing. To travel the country "Mark Twain style," as Cameron Nicols puts it, is another.
Nicols and Shawn Corey, of Titusville, are well on their way to paddling 2,100 miles down to the Gulf of Mexico by canoe.
The adventurous duo started their journey in Warren on June 4 on the
Allegheny River. They eventually merged into the Ohio River and are now
roughly 60 miles from the Mississippi River.
They still have another 900 miles before they reach the Gulf.
They're planning to average about 20 miles a day, with a goal of reaching their destination in early September.
Nicols, 23, and Corey, 32, have already gone through Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Louisville, Ky.
"We take our time and just fish a little bit and cruise and see stuff along the way," Corey said.
Their days begin at sunup.
They scarf down a quick coffee-and-eggs breakfast before loading up their separate canoes and heading into the water.
Corey and Nicols try to knock out some miles in the morning so they
have time to explore during the day. Then they'll stop on the shore for
They don't want to spend too much money, so they limit their restaurant visits.
The guys often stop at convenience stores and buy canned food and
snacks, or they chow down on Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) they received
from Corey's brother-in-law at the start of the trip.
After lunch, they're back on the river, canoeing through historic sites along the way.
Nicols said one of his favorite parts of the trip has been seeing river towns, like Rabbit Hash, Ky., that are "frozen in time."
They've seen wildlife, too.
They saw a deer swim across the width of the Ohio River, which Corey said was a good quarter mile in length. He marveled at it.
They saw eight bald eagles swoop down into the water and catch fish, with two of the birds battling for the same breakfast.
Corey and Nicols have also had their own battles on their trek to the Gulf.
There have been days where they were blocked by the wind's stubborn push. "Headwinds will really screw your day up," Corey said.
When out of the water, the pair roughed it through rugged terrain,
carrying 100 pounds of gear over the side of a mountain for a rest.
They bunkered down in a West Virginia forest during a set of
thunderstorms that swept across Midwest and Atlantic Coast states on
June 29 and 30, leaving 22 dead and millions without power.
"It was crazy," Nicols said. "Winds were ripping shingles off houses. We had to jump over things flying in the streets."
When times weren't so hectic, they covered 36 miles in a day.
A strenuous workout is often followed by a nice shower. Not for these
guys. They've had only two traditional showers since the trip began.
One was at a campground in Ohio, the other at a hotel in Kentucky.
Otherwise, they bathe in the river with a bar of soap.
At night, they sleep at campgrounds or cheap motels. Funding for
their trip is bolstered by about $1,000 in donations from friends and
Before the journey began, Corey and Nicols were tied to their
respective jobs. Corey was working as a contractor in Buffalo, N.Y., and
had little down time. He needed a break.
He remembered something his father said while fishing on the
Allegheny River when Corey was 8. "You can follow the river to the Gulf
of Mexico," his dad told him.
Nicols was working a part-time job in Pittsburgh around the same time
that Corey was looking for a partner to join him for the journey.
Nicols returned home one weekend and heard Corey talking about the
possible canoe voyage south.
"I got psyched on it," Nicols said.
Corey and Nicols saved enough money to pay their bills a few months
ahead. They also left their jobs for the summer, with the full support
of their employers.
"This is a good time to take a break from it all," Nicols said. "There's a lot of time to think."
But on the river, there's still a lot to learn.
"I'm not exactly Huck Finn yet," Nicols said.
There is no deadline to reach the Gulf of Mexico. It'll always be
there for them. They remain relaxed as they travel down to the salt
They don't even know how they're coming back.
They know they're not paddling back, but they might fly home and mail their gear. Maybe it'll be a long bus ride.
For now, it's all about getting to the Gulf.
Tags: mississippi, canoe, hippie, pittsburgh, yinzer, Shawn Corey, Cameron Nicols, Balls, Cam, muff diver
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States (load item map)
Marked as: approved
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