Don’t be surprised if you see a little mayhem on the Mississippi this spring. On May 5, 2013, The Mountain Folk Adventure Series officially begins with the launch of the Mississippi River Run, a free-for-all journey down the entire 2,350 miles of the Mississippi River—starting at Lake Itasca, Minnesota and ending in New Orleans…
Founded by Bloomington, Ind.’s Michael Waterford, the series, sponosred by the Abita Brewing Co., is a philanthropic endeavor to raise money for charities all over the world, while “infusing a hedonistic oasis with adversity and survival to provide, at the very least, indescribable and unforgettable experiences.”
Each team is required to raise $1,000 that will go directly to the chosen charity, which for this year’s River Run will be the Habitat for Humanity.
“The idea is that as The Mountain Folk Series grows, it will be able donate to the non-profits that dutifully look after areas like the Mississippi River,” says the group’s Zach Robinson. “Not only will we be able to bestow a vast appreciation for Mother Nature and enrich the lives of those living in each rally location, we’ll also be able to protect areas trekked and touched by The Mountain Folk by donating back to the wilderness—the same one that everyone fell in love with during each series.”
The team is currently searching for the best charities to partner with for each series. As Waterford puts it, “What better way to appreciate the beauty and solace of the river, its biodiversity and enchantment, than to explore every inch of it without leaving but a few footprints in the mud, and then to turn around and equip organizations with means to continue protecting these very places?”.
The Mississippi River Run will begin with pre-plunge camping on May 3, followed by the Pre-Plunge Party and shenanigans on May 4. The party will be centered on sending off every team in the appropriate Mountain Folk style, with all teams gathered together to celebrate a collective nervous excitement.
The journey will begin on May 5, leaving the teams to their own devices. Teams will meet again at two unique checkpoints along the way under the banner of The Mountain Folk to stretch their legs, mingle and let loose. Boats will run ashore in New Orleans after approximately two months for the final celebration.
“As this is the first River Run and teams go at their own pace, the date can only be an approximation,” says Robinson. “It takes a drop of water approximately ninety days to reach the Gulf of Mexico from Lake Itasca in Minnesota, so shave off one-hundred miles and add some oars and you’ve got something that equals closer to two months.”
Every year The Mountain Folk plan to add new adventures to the series, adding incredulity and spectacles most outlandish along the way. Future series will include rallies in jalopy, compact cars for thousands of miles and derbies over a thousand miles on horseback. “There will be plenty of times when people aren’t sure where they are—and plenty of times that they don’t care,” says Robinson. “If nothing goes wrong, then everything has gone wrong.”