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An Epic Journey

An Epic Journey

Hats off to a Lycoming County naturalist and photographer. Michael Kinney is on an epic adventure. My friend is currently somewhere on the water. Kinney is doing a solo float trip on the entire stretch of the West Branch of the Susquehanna. Incredible.

Mike kicked things off with a social media post. He has been planning this trip for several months.

“Tomorrow, I start my journey. A 227-mile paddle over 18-27 days. Living and sleeping on the Susquehanna. Collecting as much footage as possible. Waterscapes. Landscapes. Photography. 360/VR. Underwater photos and videos of 43 tributaries, 20 river towns, nine counties, and over 100 points of interest. This will be my largest adventure and challenge. I am excited to travel the entire West Branch.” MICHAEL KINNEY

His journey will take three to four weeks, depending on the conditions. Mike will overnight at both private and public campsites. He launched this week in a kayak. The headwaters are in the tiny Indiana County town of Cherry Tree, PA. A few days later, Mike changed over to a canoe.

“I am currently between the towns of Mahaffey and Curwensville. Here are a few photos from my adventures. My Bird Net unit has already identified and uploaded 43 different species along the river. I will soon switch over to the Natural Waterscapes canoe for the remaining 200 miles, the official sponsor of the journey. Now, who’ll stop the rain.” MICHAEL KINNEY.

Mike has several friends who will help him throughout the process. He has certain sections where he will pick up some care packages. The planning is crucial. Kinney is armed with all kinds of gear. He has a hammock, tarp, sleeping bag, tons of dehydrated meals, a stove and fuel, water filters, rain gear, waterproof bags, four types of cameras, 12 memory cards, 20 batteries, and multiple chargers.

Kinney is a super-talented photographer. His footage and shots are insane. He has a great eye. Kinney serves as the board president for the Middle Susquehanna Riverkeepers. It is a solo float, but he will occasionally be joined by family and friends — maybe even a part-time scribe. The Riverkeepers will help monitor his progress. Several media sites have picked up this story as well.

“Day 10. I am currently at mile 106. There has been a 604ft elevation drop since the start at Cherry Tree. I am holding still for the day to get through some storms. All good here; moving along slightly ahead of schedule. There is not enough service for updates.” MICHAEL KINNEY.

I reached out to Mike early this week with a few questions. Why in the world would you float the entire section? He will probably get back to me after my deadline. No worries. Kinney says the service is sometimes very spotty. He has a hard time uploading photos. Regardless, I am super proud of my friend for giving this a go. It has been an unbelievable journey, and I hope to join him when he gets to Lycoming County. I got the okay from work and home. Cheers.