Update: Paddling the Mississippi for Mental Health
John Wellens of Lexington is about halfway through paddling the Mighty Mississippi River.
31 days ago he began his 2,350-mile journey at the river’s headwaters deep in Minnesota. Now he has paddled over 1,000 miles and is passing through Memphis, Tennessee.
He set out on his journey to raise money for the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) and has already raised over $7,000. NAMI is a non-profit dedicated to enhancing the lives of those with mental illness and their families.
John is passionate about helping those who suffer from mental illness. His brother, Pete Wellens struggled with depression as a young adult.
"John has gone to NAMI meetings for the friends and family of those with a mental illness.
"He also did photography for the NAMI Walks South Carolina."
On the second leg of his journey, John expects to travel much quicker. The River is much wider with fewer obstacles hopefully translating to smooth sailing. He switched to a faster composite kayak for the open river.
Early on he used a more versatile plastic kayak for the narrower, more challenging sections.
John continues to paddle 8-12 hours a day until he reaches the Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana.
Learn more about John, track his progress, and Consider Donating to NAMI on his website https://www.namipaddle.org/