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Jul 2, 2011:

Doug Pace -- Paddling for Blindness

(2 Images)

Go, Doug!!

He's planning to kayak the ENTIRE length of the Mighty Mississippi River starting May 2012, and he's legally blind! He's doing this all by himself, without any sighted person's guidance or assistance! Another cool trip and another inspiring feat for the visually impaired community. See (pun intended), we can do cool things!

Doug was diagnosed with RP (Retinitis Pigmentosa, which is what Tauru has) in 2000, but he's still keeping an active lifestyle. His central vision is only 5 degrees, and he has night blindness and is sensitive to glare. He's been kayaking for 10 years and has a lot of experience hiking, backpacking, and fishing. These skills and experiences will definitely help him on his journey from the Mississippi River Headwaters to the Gulf of Mexico.

In June 2010, he backpacked solo in Arizona and Utah (Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks) and hiked the Grand Canyon (South Rim). It just goes to show that motivation, training, and effort can overcome a lot. And that's what he's trying to do for his solo kayak trip next May: showcase and demonstrate the independence persons with disabilities have, inspire and motivate the blind community, and encourage everyone to live life to its fullest.

We'll be following him on his journey as he will with ours. His trip, like ours, will be totally dependent on how he uses everything else that he has to make it through. With limited vision, there'll have to be other senses and other skills that will take over and guide him (us) through his 2-month journey.

How cool would that be? To kayak down a river every day and camp wherever feels right? Hungry? Throw a line in! We're also thinking about learning how to fish for our trip, especially through the Alaskan-Canadian Highway since there'll be lots of rivers.

Go, Doug! We're excited for you. By the way (note: Doug is Canadian), Americans are really nice people. What you see on the news is not necessarily all true ...about the dangers, murders, crazies, etc. People warn us all the time that Latin America is dangerous, so we thought we'd let you know, too, about America. It could be a dangerous place, like everywhere else in the world; but seriously, Americans are nice folks! :-)

Doug on Facebook: blindkayaker.

PS: Doug's also got a blue belt in Shotokan Karate. So fishees, watch out!

Photo is of Doug hiking in Utah.  He stands for a photo with what looks like a white cane in his hand.
Doug in Utah. Is that a trekking pole ...or a white cane?!

Image is of a cartoon of a kayaker and a cartoon map showing the entire length of the Mississippi River.
Paddling for Blindness. The Mighty Mississippi and a solo kayaker.

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