Jamie Buckleyâ€™s Kayaking Quest to End Polio by Bonna L. Nelson
Not the five years of planning, the months of preparations, including kayaking the Susquehanna River, hiking the Appalachian and Pacif ic Trails, nor climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro fully prepared Jamie Buckley for the challenges of kayaking the full length of the mighty Mississippi River. Of course, each of those adventures had its own challenges. He overcame those of paddling down the Mississippi when he completed a grueling four-month, over 2,300-plus-mile philanthropic adventure, as planned, on October 24, 2016 ~ World Polio Day. He overcame the challenges of navigating the 43 locks, intimidating barges, f lying carp attacks, torrential storms, swarming insects, hunger and loneliness, while paddling a 15-foot Old Town Nantucket pla st ic k aya k , a nd c a mpi ng on shore in a small tent at night. I call him a hero, an inspiration, and a genuinely thoughtful, pensive man. The 53-year-old Denton resident, formerly from Chestertown, sports a head of silver and gray curly hair and a beard, and, as you might imagine, works out daily to stay fit for his journeys.
He retired from a banking career over eight years ago and has embarked on adventures that test his mental and physical strength and endurance ever since. The outdoor enthusiast is a thru-hiker of the Appalachian Trail ~ 2,300 miles from Georgia to Maine in 2011. He hiked the Pacific Crest Trail ~ 2,600 miles from Mexico to Canada in 2014. He ascended Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in 2012. And, for 18 days in October 2015, in preparation for 45