WAUSAU (WRN) - A kayaker from Wausau has started a 5,000 mile paddling trip around the eastern third of the U.S. 34-year-old Jake Stachovak left from Portage last week – but his plan to ride the Wisconsin River to the Mississippi got foiled by the big snowstorm. So he drove to St. Louis, where he started again in water that didn’t have any ice. Stachovak told the Wausau Daily Herald it was a gamble to take off during the winter – but it has already paid off with the interesting people he’s met so far. Stachovak plans a solo venture down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico, and then up the Atlantic coast to the New York canals, the Great Lakes, and back to Portage. He expects it to take 10 months. Stachovak said he dreamed of such a trip when he was 12. He admits his journey is not up to “expedition standards,” and he expects to make mistakes along the way. Stachovak has been a carpenter and a kayaking guide in California and Florida. He said he moved back to Wisconsin to be with his family – and that’s where he saved the money for his trip.
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