The Magnificent Seven Expedition
A quest to paddle, from source to sea, the longest river system on each of the world’s seven continents
Beginning in June 2012, Canadian self-propelled adventurer Rod Wellington will embark on a grand-sized, multi-stage, decade-spanning journey that will see him descend six of the world’s longest river systems from source to sea as well as one very short, very cold river in Antarctica. Rod’s epic quest will take him to each of the world’s seven continents, where, as part of a team or going it alone, he will search out the humble beginnings of each continent’s longest river system and follow its winding course to its respective saltwater merger. Using human power alone, Rod plans to travel on foot, raft and kayak, covering each metre of every river without the aid of motorized transport. Along the way, the Magnificent Seven Expedition is sure to present Rod with an unending array of mental, physical and logistical challenges – all duly balanced by a healthy surplus of satisfying successes and profound personal insights. Sharing these insights and experiences with the public through multi-media presentations will be one of the many ongoing facets of the Magnificent Seven Expedition.
Stage One of the M7 Expedition will focus on the Missouri-Mississippi river system. At approximately 6100km (3800 miles) in length, the Missouri-Mississippi river system is the longest river system in North America and the fourth longest river system in the world, trailing only the Amazon, Nile and Yangtze river systems. The Missouri River proper, as measured from its official beginning near the city of Three Forks, Montana, to its confluence with the Mississippi, ranks as America’s longest river at an approximate length of 3767km (2341 miles). The Missouri’s primary linear tributaries above Three Forks comprise a combined length of approximately 480km (300 miles), making the total length of the Missouri from its true source to its mouth approximately 4250km (2640 miles).
Missouri River drainage map (Brower’s Spring, the source of the Missouri in southern Montana, can be found on the map, close to the Idaho border directly above the word “Yellowstone” in “Yellowstone Lake”. The Missouri joins the Mississippi River just above St. Louis. At this important confluence, Rod will join the Mississippi and continue his journey to the Gulf of Mexico.)
In August 2011, Rod travelled to Montana to scout the creeks and rivers that form the headwaters of the Missouri River. The purpose of this trip was to gather firsthand information on these unique tributaries and to decide upon the best watercraft to use to descend these waterways. As well, Rod sought out Brower’s Spring, the Missouri’s true source at an elevation of nearly 2700 metres (9000 feet). Rod also surveyed select sections of the Missouri’s route as he travelled east across the U.S.
Sign on Red Rock Road, Montana, near Hell Roaring Creek. In 2011, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officially recognized Hell Roaring Creek and Brower’s Spring as the utmost sources of Missouri River.
Rod brings a host of extensive expedition experience to the Magnificent Seven Expedition. Since 1997 he has crossed both the North American and Australian continents by bicycle as well as completing a 4800km (2980 miles) bicycling expedition from Vancouver, British Columbia to the Arctic Ocean in northern Alaska. With over 7500km (4660 miles) of river travel experience, including source to sea descents of the Mississippi River in the U.S. and the Murray River in Australia, Rod feels well equipped to pursue the challenges that lay ahead on the Magnificent Seven Expedition. He also looks forward to enhancing his whitewater navigational skills, as well as learning how to speak a few new languages. Knowing that it is through teamwork that the greatest of achievements are realized, Rod also looks forward to working with other determined adventurers bent on pursuing their own river expedition-related goals. Together, the combined efforts of these intrepid individuals will help to ensure the ongoing success of the Magnificent Seven Expedition.
Rod is currently seeking financial backers and sponsorship opportunities to defray expedition costs. Interested individuals, companies and corporations are encouraged to contact Rod via email or phone (listed below). Media outlets seeking interviews and information are also encouraged to contact Rod. The Magnificent Seven Expedition will no doubt garner much attention worldwide and promises to be a great, ongoing opportunity for companies and media sources to promote their relevant products and services.
In the coming months, the Zero Emissions Expeditions website will be re-tooled and expanded to allow an ever-widening audience to vicariously experience the Magnificent Seven Expedition firsthand. Utilizing a host of satellite communications equipment, powered mainly with compact solar panels, and interconnected to the world via the Internet’s favourite social media sites, the rigours and rewards of daily expedition life will be conveyed through a potent mix of photographs, videos and blog posts. Doing so will allow the Magnificent Seven Expedition to showcase its primary mission of sharing with the public the educational and inspirational benefits of low impact, long distance, self-powered, eco-responsible exploration. When we propel ourselves forward, we propel the world forward as well.
Starting June 9, 2012, follow along as Rod Wellington heads west to Montana to embark on a 6100km (3800 mile), source to sea descent of the Missouri-Mississippi river system. The Missouri-Mississippi journey will be Stage One of Rod’s Magnificent Seven Expedition, a quest to paddle, from source to sea, the longest river system on each of the world’s seven continents.
Use the ZEE Tracker to follow Rod’s journey down the Missouri-Mississippi river system. Updates and photos will be available on the Zero Emissions Expeditions Facebook page as well as on Rod’s personal Facebook page. Weekly updates will be posted on the ZEE Blog. Links to the Facebook updates will also appear on the Twitter feed on the Zero Emissions Expeditions website.
Contact Rod Wellington:
The world’s seven continents and their respective longest river system
Africa – Nile River – 6650km (4130 miles)
South America – Amazon River – 6400km (3980 miles)
Asia – Yangtze River – 6300km (3915 miles)
North America – Missouri-Mississippi River – 6100km (3790 miles)
Australia – Darling-Murray River – 3670km (2280 miles)
Europe – Volga River – 3645km (2265 miles)
Antarctica – Onyx River – 40km (25 miles)
*All of these river lengths are the subject of much debate. All lengths are approximate.