Those that to Donated to JDRF we Thank You.
Thank you so much to all those that made donation contributions. The Cruising for a Cure Source to Sea Paddle raised over $23,000 in funds, 100% of which went to JDRF. These funds are being used for research projects. I have faith a Cure to Diabetes will soon be found.
So many people to thank. I would love to mention each and every one of you. I actually have a list of those that contributed $100.00 or more. Just got cold feet, Only mentioning the first names here:
Gary, Diane, Carl, AJ. Donald, Jess, Dorothy, James, Roy, Janet, Dan, Bill, Mark, Jonathan, Trixie, Charles, Julie, Stephane, John, Norman, Mary Anne, Elaine, Rodney, Thomas, Kelly, Gwen, Nelita, Sue, Teresa, Natalie, Pat, John, David, Steve, Jerry, Joan, Craig, Jim, David, John, Pat, Roy, Tom, Vivian, Walter, Mary, Concetta, Cathy, Priscilla, Ruth, David, Freda, Ray, Kathy, Vance, Raymond, Gail, Jan, Casey, Stanley, Pat, Mitch, Pat, David, James, Jim, Holly, Susan, Craig, Annette, Kate, Dianne, Tom, Larry, Dominique, Peggy, Richard, Glenn, Charles, Tonya, Lauren, Carol, Wanda, Mark, David, Beth, Al, Dorothy, Peggy, Mary, Tonya, Laurin, Kate, Dawn, Pat, Sherry,
Isn’t that great folks?! To each of you that contributed, no matter how small, your contributions are appreciated. We have faith in the fight to find a cure for T-1 Juvenile Diabetes will soon be won. Until then, we remain hopeful with my efforts to raise awareness and I will continue doing whatever I can for the cause. We are blessed to have such a dedicated group of fine individuals that donated to the cause.
Canoe and Kayak Magazine. A big thank you goes to C&K Magazine. Ever since 2012, when I started getting signatures on my Wall I have been impressed with C&K Magazine; especially their annual awards promotion program. Incidentally Dave Cornthwaite was the first to sign the “Paddlers Wall of Fame”. In my opinion C&K are first also in many ways. First to recognize paddlers annually by creating such high level awards program. Nominations are received world wide and the Competition from this year's nominations was impressive.
Thank to all the good folks at Canoe and Kayak Magazine for promoting the sport of paddling through out the world. I am also blessed to have been the 2016 winner of the Spirit of Adventure Award. All previous three winners of this award are worthy of being mentioned. Dominique Liboiron, Janet S. Murdock and Keith lynch. Hats off as well goes to the Re-Discover North America crew for winning the 2015 Adventure of the Year Award.
I was honored to be part of the great awards ceremony at the Outdoor Research Trade Show, Salt Lake City August, 2016. Canoe and Kayak Magazine, you made my day:
SPOT Gen3 by SPOT LLC: SPOT was my first on river sponsor. The support SPOT staff gave me was greatly appreciated. I am now proudly a Product Ambassador for SPOT and the device was with me and working every inch of the Mississippi River, from it’s source at Lake Itasca, Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. Family, friends and followers were able to see my track, pinging my precise location every every 10 minutes. The Source to Sea expedition would not have been as successful without SPOT. Your sponsorship was appreciated. Many loyal followers have told me stories. They would say things like: My (son or Daughter) would not go to bed at night until they choked the SPOT link to see where on the Mississippi River you were camping for the evening (or words to that effect).
Thank you SPOT for being my faithful companion while paddling the big rivers, and offering to be there for me when I attempt to hike the Appalachian Trail next year in 2017. I will make an attempt to hike the entire Appalachian Trail from Springer Mountain, GA to Mt. Katahdin State Park in Maine. If I can pull it off, that age record will be mine as well. The key is, hike all 2200 miles in one season.
If any of you are considering a tracking device for your next adventure — make it SPOT. www.FindMeSPOT.com
World Wide Support: River Angel support and “get out the votes” efforts were received from around the world. The support came in many stages and forms. Todays post is dedicated to recognizing that international support, naming the individuals I feel contributed the most: Dave Cornthwaite of London, England, Rod Wellington of Chatham, Ontario, Canada and Mark Kalch, originally from Australia, currently living in Argentina. Thank you guys for jumping in there, helping me get my fare share of the world-wide votes. The kids with Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes also say, thanks for your support, while we all recognized them during the river portion of the Source to Sea paddle itself.
Now folks - hang in there with me. There is another Canadian that went far above and beyond that normally expected of one individual. Yes, Dominique Liboiron, is a hero. He is from Alberta, his home is Southeast of Calgary. Dom himself is a past recipient of the the Spirit of Adventure Award. In 2012 he received the first ever awarded by Canoe and Kayak Magazine. The original first time winner. I am convinced a large block of my votes came from Canada and Dominique, being a newspaper reporter and recognized freelance writer himself “put the Icing on the cake”.
Thank you Dominique for flying all the way down from Canada to New Orleans, LA to paddle the last four days with me. I will never forget the issues we had with the New Orleans Police. Just trying to put the boats back in the water and paddle down river to set up camp before dark. It appears when we took out of the river couple days before it was a “No Swimming” zone. The Police Officer strictly enforce the rules saying “paddling is same as swimming”. I told her “we wont be swimming, just paddling” and appeared that just just guarantee a “NO YOU CANNOT PADDLE FROM HERE” mandate. It took powerful persuasions, elevating the issue through three layers of bureaucratic red tape, to finally get approval to launch..
You and I paddled on ahead. Nothing could have prepared us for the storm awaiting down river. The gale force winds were blowing directly up stream in our faces. So strong that when my boat got broadside to the wind, there was nothing I could do to straighten her up. Had to just let her let it float, sideways with the current. Had to used all my strength and skill just keeping the craft afloat. How in the world did you alone, in that tandem canoe, keep from swamping?
Your help getting out the Canadian votes were God sent. Your efforts did made the difference. For that and for being my friend, I thank you from my heart. You can see that Dominique has the right “Medicine Hat”. Please read about Dom’s journey from Saskatchewan to New Orleans, to honor his uncle Mitch. A very well produced CBS Special video presentation follows.
Again Dominique I thank you spending time with me on the river and for getting out the Spirit of Adventure votes in Canada. The video below was shot by Grey Beard just after we reached the Gulf of Mexico.
Close Relatives: I am blessed with a great family. Originally there were 42 first Cousins, twenty five aunts and Uncles. Only three my past generations are still living: Aunt Bill, Uncle Claud Uncle James, The have supported me to best of their ability, and I thank you very much.
All my cousins, 1st, 2nd an 3rd generations, nieces, nephews. I am so proud of you, glad to have your support. Thanks to Face Book we now have a great media for communicating. I thank each and everyone of you. Thank you for donating your hard earned cash and checks to the cause during the Cruising for a Cure expedition. I also thank you for voting for me for Spirit of Adventure award, by Canoe and Kayak Magazine.
The picture below was taken at our last Hankins family reunion in 2011. On the farm in Lickskillet, Kentucky where I grew up: (as always goofing around). Not all were present:
Norman Miller. Special thanks goes to those that nominated me for the Spirit of Adventure award. I have heard there was at least ten submitted. However, the one nomination that counted, for sure, stands out above all others. Norm Miller’s. His is likely the nominator that cinched the deal. Norm is the Administrator of the well known “Missouri River Paddlers” Face Book Group with 1,643 members. Also Norm is an adventurer from way back, His paddles on the Missouri and beyond are legendary.
Norm, I thank you very much. I thank you as well for driving all the way down to Salt Lake to attend the Awards Banquet. Your presence was paramount. Also, I appreciated visiting with the folks from the Re-Discover North America Team. Their winning of the “Adventure of the Year” Award ended with an euphoric evening for all.
I got the impression the Canoe and Kayak Magazine number of votes cast for all nominees was the most ever. I have no individual figures. I do feel though I received “Tuns of Votes” and feel no doubt your efforts to get out the vote made a significant difference. I could not have been more pleased, standing there with you. WOW! I was truly blessed.
Thank you Norm for all you have and what you are doing to promote paddling on the Missouri
Shannon Silvey Williamson: When the chips were down my Niece Shannon was there.
From the very start of my Source to Sea expedition to paddle the Mississippi River for Juvenile Diabetes I began writing daily blogs. Jonathan Brown was developing a website. I was having difficulties though and could not maintain the blog tab or upload photographs. My iPhone six plus worked great. Just couldn’t bridge the gap to make the actual website postings. I was clear nothing would be posted on the new greyberadadventurer.com web site for months.
The word was spread - HELP! Shannon, bless your soul, and within just couple days my blogs and daily photos / videos were being posted. Being a new website, she also had to tweak several glitches and refine the process. She also had to re-write my fetal attempts to draft blogs with quality. Shannon, you were God sent. You were able to edit, sometimes totally re-write, my attempts to prepare website post. You were also able to process images, sent daily via my iPhone Six Plus, posting them virtually the next day. Without Shannon real time website postings would have been impossible.
The blogs can still be read on line. The daily photographs are still there. To view them click here: Dale’s Daily blogs and photo postings
Shannon still maintains the website today. And for that I deeply appreciate what you have done helping us effectively reach all goals and objectives. Also thank you for the extra help getting out the votes for the “Spirit of Adventure" award win. I love you girl.
Jonathan Brown: Jonathan Brown is the man. Without his early encouragements, website development and paddling alongside, much as possible, the mission / goals likely would not have been met. Jonathan was a critical cog in the wheel to accomplish the Source to Sea expedition. Thank you Jonathan, cause the benefactors were the Children with T1 Diabetes. Also because of you and your dedicated co-workers, I was able to learn / get somewhat tech smart, taking basically one electronic communication device . My iPhone Six Plus made it possible for me to place voice calls, send messages, take photos / videos, write Blogs and timely get them to my niece for posting to my website.
Jonathan is actually the person that introduced me to world famous English Adventurer, Dave Cornthwaite, who gave me the name: Grey Beard Adventurer. Dave and Rod Wellington and Richard Sojourner also paddled with Jonathan and I on the most difficult short adventure of my life. When Dave, A Source to the Mississippi River paddle on the Wolf River, southwest Tennessee.
SUPAS the entire Wolf River. An adventure with Jonathan and others I will never forget. This expedition, even though only eight days long, was a major theme in the recent book “River Angels” written by Rod Wellington. The book covers much about this God forsaken journey through likely the deepest swamps in the mid-south. The book is a colorful documentation of a strange adventure. I not only accurately depicts the difficulties of paddling through such wilderness but gets to the root of the issues with personalities and other unusual happenings.
River Angels is available at CrowBooks.ca. Maybe one day, if I live long enough, I will write the rest of the story.
Jonathan also designed the Grey Beard Adventurer logo, used throughout the journey down river for 2345 miles. I am committed to use this logo depicting the Adventures of Grey Beard for the rest of my life. Love this logo and Jonathan. Thank You Jonathan Brown for all and mostly for just being my friend. Your words of encouragement made it all worthwhile. May you be blessed in your future. Now that you live in California we won’t see you often, but our hearts will be with you. Memphis will miss you.
I vividly remember the last time I saw you. We were paddling in harsh conditions between Memphis and Helena Arkansas. You were paddling Dave Cornthwaite’s old Swim 1,000 paddle board. That day we sat out a horrendous storm, not able to paddle the last mile to reach Helena until after the storm passed. It was frightening. We weathered the storm arriving safely at John Ruskey’s, Quapaw Canoe Company in time for a goods night rest. You had two days left you could devote to paddling. Our calculations looked like it would take three days to reach Greenville, Mississippi. As it turned out, we were correct in our calculations, Richard and I did have difficulties reaching Greenville, Mississippi. Again, as you so often do, you made the right call. It took us three days and we almost didn’t make it before dark.
Thank you Jonathan for all you did to get out the votes, I know your efforts we significant and for that I am blessed to be able to call you my friend.
John Ruskey: The Mighty Quapaw Canoe Company strikes gold again. Yes, a great deal of the credit for winning the Spirit of Adventure award goes to John, Mark River and and the rest of his Company team in Clarksdale, Mississippi. I am mentioning John now for early on he offered to sponsor the expedition. He believed in me. He believes in the Kids. He to would like to see a cure found for T1 Diabetes.
John’s generosity with help acquiring my canoe, river angel support and marketing were just some of the ways he helped make the Causing for Cure expedition possible. When the chips were down he and “River” actually paddled alongside me from Natchez, Mississippi to St. Francisville, Louisiana. I needed help when heat got the best of us. John and Mark River were there for me.
John also loaned us equipment, stored boats and supplies for almost a year, free of charge, I might add. Not only did John give direct support, but his efforts spreading the word and greatly helped get out the vote. John is one of the best, a hero in my book.
For those of you not familiar with John’s Quapaw Canoe Company, he offers signature tours on the Mighty Mississippi and other Midsouth rivers. For anyone wishing to explore the lower Mississippi we recommend joining him on one of his hassle free adventures. He is even organizing a tour with world famous English adventurer, Dave Cornthwaite , September this year, 2016.
John is the founder an author of the “River Gator” a guide to water trails on the Mississippi River from Caruthersville, Missouri to the Gulf of Mexico. For those wishing to explore the lower Mississippi River, this may be an experience of a lifetime.
May the River Be With you my Brother, as John himself would say:
Austin Graham, Brad Tallent and Coltin Calloway: I first met Austin and Brad in 2013 on their way through Memphis while paddling the Gulf to Gulf Odyssey, They also returned to Memphis shortly after reaching the Gulf of Mexico to attend the Paddlers Reunion I hosted at my home in February 2014. Shortly after the reunion I was asked by the Adventureitus crew if they could paddle Source to Sea with me, filming and documenting the journey. Yes of course.
Austin and Brad launched with Richard and I at Lake Itasca, the source of the mighty Mississippi. The third member, Coltin immediately started processing footage from Lake Itasca and continued to do so for the next 80 days, until I finished the journey at to the Gulf of Mexico. The film is being produced in Chattanooga, Tennessee by their company, adventureitusproductions,com. I am happy to say the Dale Sanders Source to Sea movie will be released this October. I am so proud of the these three and blessed to have had the opportunity to be filmed by them.
The hardships Austin and Brad encountered on the river were horrendous. Can you imagine paddling a clunker, chosen for it’s stability, with 1,000’s of dollars worth of equipment on board? They couldn’t afford the luxury of swamping. Well that’s just what Austin and Brad did —- They never swamped the canoe, even under extreme weather and terrible record high water conditions. A fete unbelievable but true. For all practical purposed, the camera gear they started with they finished with.
I have great faith in the abilities of these three “boys”. The A, B and C’s of film making. Two documentaries have already been released by the trio: “The Climb to Katahdin", staring Colten and Lindsay Anne, who has since become his wife and Austin, whom they met on the trail. The film features their experiences along the Appalachian Trail from Springer Mountain, George to Mt. Katahdin in Main, all 2200 miles. The second movie documents Austin and Brad as they made their historic paddle from the seaward end of the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the Gulf of Mexico. Seven months and 3,000 miles. Both films were produced with the highest possible quality. I am pleased they chose my paddle to document.
I am deeply rewarded, beyond words they selected me to produce a movie of my paddle down the Mississippi River. I thank them and cherish their friendship with the highest respect. Simply stated - they played a major roll, making it possible for me to meet every single goal set for the Cruising for a Cure. We did it, we certainly rase awareness and exceeded the fundraising goal for research to help find a cure for Juvenile Diabetes.
And most of all, I thank you guys for reaching out to you family and friends getting them to vote “Spirit of Adventure” for Dale Sanders. Winning the award was a big honor and I thank you for helping make it possible. (I might add that Austin and Brad was themselves nominated for the Spirit of Adventure Award in 2013)
Richard Sojourner: At least five years ago Richard ask me if I would paddle the Mississippi River with him. Reluctant to say “yes” (for several years) I eventually did and ask him immediately to join me on the expedition. On May 15 2014, exactly one year from our start at Lake Itasca, Minnesota, we announced our intentions to each paddle this great river solo form the Source to Sea. I in my canoe and Richard in his canoe and later on his kayak. Richard was the key to my success. Without him I doubt very seriously if I would have set goals so high - Solo padding the Mississippi River from Source to sea in 8o days at 80 years old.
Plans were for Richard to paddle on ahead few minutes, when we reach the gulf, claim the record as oldest person to paddle the full length of the Mississippi River and then for me to paddle in and take the record. Unfortunately, with extreme high waters, coupled with a record high heat wave between Greenville and Vicksburg Mississippi, Richard was ordered by Doctors not to continue on paddling at that time. This was by far the most emotional day of the entire trip. I still tear up, as I am doing now, from this disappointment. The silver lining though - Richard was able to re-start at Vicksburg, few weeks later and paddle through to the Salt Water.
Thank you Richard, and may you be blessed. After all you should have been on the stage with me accepting the Spirit of Adventure award. On behalf of all the kids, River Angels and Voters thank you Richard for supporting my program, all the way from Itasca to the Gulf of Mexico. I could not have had a better person to paddle with. You are my friend for life.
Judi Sanders Silvey and Dr. Elaine Sanders Bush, my Sisters:
No paddler could have a better support crew. This was especially true in the early stages leading up to and through the entire paddle journey it self. Judy was most instrumental in helping me select the theme -Juvenile Diabetes. She actually took the lead and organized the fund raising venture, donations to JDRF for research; hopefully researchers will be finding a cure for diabetes someday. She set the goals, which I might add, were smashed even before arrival at the Gulf of Mexico, some 22 miles south of Venice LA. on August 15, 2015. Down the South Pass to South Pass Island. Finishing in the salt water.
Without Judi and Elaine the first sixth miles on the river would have been very difficult to impossible. The early start on 15 May, 2015, we were the first group out of Lake Itasca the Headwaters that year on the Mississippi River. It was very cold, sometimes miserable conditions. My sisters actually met us by vehicle along the way to re-supply, set up camp and plan the next days journey. I truly don’t know how we would have been able to tolerate the blizzard conditions, snow, sleet and rain coming in sideways without Judi and Elaine being at each river crossing awaiting our arrival. Thank you both.
Additionally, Judi and Elaine, beyond the upper sections of the river, actually met us at strategic location in Missouri, Tennessee, and Louisiana. As anyone that has paddled weeks on end knows, seeing a friendly face on the river bank is vital to moral. Both my sisters went far and beyond the norm in their efforts to provide support - and for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you both.
Judi and Elaine arrived in Venice early, before we paddlers arrived. Fortunately they did for at the last minute the shuttle boat driver pulled out at the last minute. Someone had to locate a replacement boat. I was on the water and could’t give it the time needed. Judi and Elaine first hand, with many others River Angels, sat out o find a replacement shuttle boat. They enthusiastically took on ownership of this issue, a seemingly impossible task , and sat out to located a boat that could shuttle 20 - 30 supporters from at Gulf of Mexico, South Pass Island, back to Venice. With the Help of Cody Portie and others, a Shrimper was found that made his boat available for only the cost of the fuel. What a blessing.
FaceBook played a major role in getting the word out, Judy is a master at effectively using this social media as a means of spreading the word., promoting events and fund raising. No doubt her efforts, supporting the Cruising for a Cure paddle were instrumental in my meeting or beating every single goal set. We also thank all those that donated. A special article will be released later thanking all donors and voters personally. Judi and Elaine, I could not have pulled it off without your hard work, support and sincere, dedication of love. Judi Sanders Silvey's Picture below:
Meriam B Sanders: For sometime now, I have longed to paddle long distance, hiking and bicycling months at time. These activities have been close to the top of my “bucket list”. Over the years I dabbled in each, never really venturing beyond home more than couple weeks at a time. Having experienced multi-week journeys in each sport just fueled the fire. However, to leave home for long expeditions, the family must be on board, especially my wife Meriam, I could not leave Meriam without her complete and dedicated consent. In the spring of 2014 - I must have caught her in a week moment. She said “YES” and a plan to paddle the Mississippi River from Source to Sea were born. Meriam I thank you my love one for supporting me on every stroke of the paddle and for your prayers while I was out on the river raising awareness and funds to fight for a cure to Type1 Juvenile Diabetes. Image below was taken at our front door, the home we built together in Tennessee.
I'm the Grey Beard Adventurer. But you can call me Dale Sanders, and these are my stories.