An Expedition to Inspire Outdoor Desire
According to the EPA, Americans spend 93% of their lives indoors. Half of those waking hours are spent parked—8 hours a day—staring at a screen.
This information comes at a time when a growing body of evidence confirms the physical and mental health benefits that come from communing with nature. And further research suggests that time outdoors also has a profound effect on the personal sense of stewardship for our natural resources that stands as our best hope for saving the planet. Such knowledge should serve as a wake-up call for anyone who’s ever stared into the night sky and yearned for a deeper connection to the world beyond ourselves.
My name is John Connelly, and I have decided to answer that call. In April of 2016, I’ll launch on a 75-day river/ocean odyssey that will carry me over 2 countries, 4 states, 22 streams, 58 lakes, and 1500 miles. As leader of L.L.Bean’s Outdoor Discovery School for 10 years and a former member of the US Canoe & Kayak team with numerous whitewater first-descents to my credit, I believe I am uniquely qualified to meet this challenge.
I invite you to contribute to a trip dedicated to raising awareness of the mental, physical, and spiritual renewal that awaits those who embrace outdoor adventure of any kind. Your support will support an expedition that will also earn the distinction of being the first to link The Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Saint John River, Bay of Fundy and Maine Island Trail—with the goal of garnering increased support for the organizations that maintain these worldclass water trails.
I plan blogging daily with details of the day’s high-points and low-points. I will be posting photos and videos, as well. With supporting technology from DeLorme, my journey can be followed in real-time online. I will encourage followers and friends to stop by my route to wish me well or to wet a paddle and join-in for a stretch. Follow me on Instagram as I prepare at #connellyoutdoors.
After the Expedition
Upon completion, I plan a film and a book about my journey. With a schedule of talks and presentations, I hope to inspire even more people, including young people, to participate in canoeing, kayaking and the outdoors generally. I hope to get them excited and motivated to get out there living their own adventures!
How Money Will Be Used
The primary source of funding for this expedition is from like-minded people like you; people who appreciate the outdoors and value our wild resources. Funds will be used for acquiring specialized high performance expedition boats, camping and other equipment, food, logistics and all expenses required for the expedition.
Timing of Funding
As soon as the ice clears the waterways of New York’s Adirondack Mountains in April, I will begin. This means that I need funding as soon as possible to acquire specialized boats and equipment. Training in these boats over the winter will be important. Meeting the funding goal early will allow me to focus on preparations, training and the logistics of food and supply drops, etc.
What This Means to Me
Your support and the opportunity for successful completion of this expedition mean the world to me. I want to make a difference in the world by getting people outdoors to appreciate the incredible, wild resources available to them. I want people to enjoy the benefits and pay it back by conserving and stewarding our resources for generations to come. This adventure is one more thing I can do toward that end.
For me, this is a physical and mental challenge; an adventure of epic proportions living out of my boat experiencing wild rivers, the volatile ocean, unpredictable weather, diverse wildlife, unique people, quaint backwoods towns and rugged working-waterfront villages along the way; all in one extraordinary 1,500-mile canoe and kayak journey.
It is a gift to be able to carve out the time needed for an epic adventure such as this. It is only possible with the support of my amazing wife and partner in life, Nicole, and my family, friends and colleagues to whom I am so very grateful.
Let’s Do This Together!
It is my sincere hope that this first-of-a-kind trip will inspire others to reconnect with the planetary powers that are the natural birthright of us all. Please join this movement by donating to one of my tiers (and scoring some sweet rewards!) All help is appreciated, thank you!
Falmouth, Maine, USA