Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Paddle Pilgrim

Credit: author's webpage

Paddle Pilgrim: An Adventure of Learning and Spirit, Kayaking the Mississippi River, by Dr. David R. Ellison (self-published, 2013, 122pp, 85 b&w photos)

If his biographical site is current, Dr. David Ellison is a Professor of Children, Youth, and Family studies at Trinity Lutheran College in Everett, WA.  His trip down the Mississippi River was done as a sabbatical and took place in 2012.  It wasn’t until near the end of the book that I learned that he had written it to supplement the blog he has done during the trip.  That helped to explain the brevity of the book.  At 122 pages, fairly large print, and 85 pictures, making almost one to a page, it is a very, very short book.  So, I had to go searching for the blog.  It may be found at, and has the pictures from the book in color, along with many others that weren’t in the book.  You may find the blog of interest.  Also, here is the link to a video he did about his trip that I found on his Facebook page.  He started the trip in a folding kayak, which did not survive, so you’ll later see the red kayak he replaced it with.

It’s unfortunate that the book wasn’t done as a stand-alone project, but it does provide the reader with a flavor of the trip.  In spite of the tougher paddling, he likes the river above Minneapolis much better than the remainder of the river because of the abundance of wildlife and more enjoyable scenery.  Also helpful was having companionship on that first leg.  Jim Lewis, author of Ka-Ka-Ska-Ska, which was reviewed in this blog previously (2/18/15, accessible in blog archives), accompanied Dr. Ellison on that initial section.

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