4-state graduate to embark on solo canoe trip along Mississippi - KOAM TV 7

4-state graduate to embark on solo canoe trip along Mississippi River

If you want the cliff notes version of James Welborn, look to his idols.

"Lewis and Clark and Christopher Columbus. Those big guys that you hear about that just set out and don't know if they're coming back, but they're going to set out and find something.

An adventurer at heart, the recent Webb City graduate is embarking on a summer trip that would make Columbus proud:  three-month canoeing excursion along the Mississippi River. 

"Every part of earth is already known, there's no need for explorers anymore, and I was like well you can rule that out as a job, but you could still do something like that as an adventure or a trip."

James has been planning his trip, working to save money and reading all he could on wilderness survival, for two years.

But his love for the outdoors stems way back. 

"My dad raised me hiking and camping and canoeing and stuff," said James.

He says his father always planned exciting trips for him, his mother, two brothers and sister. 

"The best thing in life is seeing other parts of the country, other parts of the world," said Jeff Welborn.

Each trip fed James' curiosity more, sometimes to his mother's dismay. 

"He's always been the one to give me the most heart attacks and probably several gray hairs," says Denise Welborn.

But his family says that if there's anyone who can conquer the Mississippi, it's him.

"He's going to top all of us," says Jeff Welborn.

 With just a few days left in the 4-states, James is busy prepping his canoe and gear and looking ahead. 

"Just soaking it in. You're on one of the, I think the 4th largest rive in the world and you're going to do that to the end."

Welborn embarks on his adventure this Friday. His father will join him for the first week of the trip, starting in Minnesota.

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