Explorers Connect

Allegheny River SUP

EC CommunityJames Hipkiss

Starting on June 6th I will paddle 310 river miles on my SUP down the Allegheny River from Cloudersport, Pennsylvania to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

I will try to knock out at least 30 miles a day, which of course is dependent on the weather and river conditions. Though I believe I can do more if I need to because I'm capable. My goal is to finish by June 14th but I planned to the 16th. I will have my trusty large Pelican Case filled with all my sustenance and of course, my expensive camera equipment I never leave home without. My childhood friend Evan is going to be gracious enough to drop me off at the starting point and leave my truck for me in a predetermined spot along the river in Pittsburgh.

Why the Allegheny? I chose the Allegheny River mostly because of the logistics of being able to get dropped off by my friend, but also the river is navigable through some beautiful parts of central and western Pennsylvania. It's also a relatively short paddle by, hopefully, the standards of my future paddles. From this expedition I can hopefully gauge the necessities and gather the lessons learned for my future paddles. Why am I doing this? I took up stand up paddle boarding last Spring and now I'm hooked.

I'm a long time surfer and I love being on the water. I particularly love the thought of the challenge and being so close to nature in this manner. But I also love when people call me crazy when I tell them I'm doing this. : )In the future, as I tackle greater challenges and longer distances, I would like to raise money for charities, particularly for The Green Beret Foundation, as I currently serve in the Florida Army National Guard. Hopefully, this will be the first of many more long distance expeditions down America's waterways and International waterways on my SUP. Update: I started on June 5 and completed the journey on Friday, June 14th, 10 days later.