DEAF KAYAKERS ON THE MISSISSIPPI
FIRST DEAF KAYAKERS TO TRAVERSE THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER
On September 20, 2014 Scott Lehmann, Kevin Berrigan and Gabriel Paulone became three of the first deaf
people to paddle the longest river in the United States,
the Mississippi River from source to sea
One night in college, buddies Scott, Kevin Berrigan, and Gabriel Paulone were looking at a map of the United States. As they talked about the Mississippi River, an idea began to form: traveling down the Mississippi by kayak. With a collective “Why not?”, they began planning this journey. Beginning at Lake Itasca in Minnesota on July 9, 2014, the three 20-somethings hopped into their inflatable kayaks, which they dubbed the Pool Toys. Halfway through their downriver journey in St. Louis, the Pool Toys blew. The three fellas found a guardian angel in Michael Clark, the owner of Big Muddy Adventures in St. Louis. He decided to sponsor them with a three-person canoe, the Floating Fortress. The Floating Fortress carried them all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. The adventure was chronicled on their Facebook page, Two and a Half Beards: Deaf Kayakers on the Mississippi. Scott, Kevin, and Gabriel shared their journey with their followers, and educated non-signers along the journey about the deaf community and ASL.