How about you and I take three and a half years off work and paddle canoes 28000 miles around North America!? That’s what Verlen Kruger did in 1980!
Beginning in Missouri, he circumnavigated the USA, covering half of the Northern border, all of the Pacific seashore, half of the Gulf of Mexico, and all of the Atlantic seashore – as well as the lengths of the Mississippi, Illinois, Missouri, and Colorado rivers!
I’m a firm believer in the old aphorism that anything one man has done, any man can learn to do – BUT I also think that you have to be driven by some special sort of personal demons to accomplish what Verlen Kruger did.
His 1980 expedition was impressive enough – and probably one that will never be repeated but it was a mere drop in the bucket compared to Kruger’s lifetime paddling accomplishments.
In 1986, he embarked on a 4-year, 18000-mile expedition through North and South America, starting at Inuvik NWT and ending at Cape Horn, Chile!
In total, Kruger paddled more than 100 thousand miles in his lifetime – more than any other person in history, and what makes this insane feat even crazier is he never set foot in a canoe until he was 41 years old! Kruger’s exploits inspired the 1971 documentary titled Never Before and Never Again and earned him the 1987 ACA Legends of Paddling Award.