Traveling the river

Published 10:40 am Thursday, September 11, 2014

Canoeist taking same route as famous explorers


The Ohio River is one of America’s most vital waterways and for early settlers the river served as one of the nation’s first highways.

On Tuesday, Abram Perry was paddling to Ironton in a canoe; a trip that was wasn’t much different than ones explorers like Lewis and Clark would have taken when making their famous westward expedition.

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“You see a lot of amazing things. There is a lot of history on these rivers,” Perry said. “Last summer I went down the Missouri River and then this summer I’m doing the Ohio so that’s two of the bigger rivers that Lewis and Clark traveled.”

Perry isn’t just traveling the same waterways as the two explorers he’s literally following in their wake.

“My maps show the exact route that they traveled on as well as where their campsites along the river were,” Perry said. “I also carry their journals with me. So I camp where they camp, open up the journal and then read what they wrote, what they experienced while they were there. Which to me is pretty fascinating but there is a lot of history like that on the rivers.”

Perry began his journey in Pennsylvania on the Allegheny in mid-July. Currently his plans are to hit some other rivers and waterways and paddle to the Gulf of Mexico. A journey he anticipates will take him another six weeks to complete.

“I’ve done the Mississippi before so right now my plan is to hit some of the smaller waterways that I haven’t traveled before that filter out into the Gulf,” he said. “But, that may change. We’ll see. Right now I’m just taking it one day at a time and enjoying the journey.”