Paddling the Missouri


Scott Mestrezat, a 27-year-old Chicagoan, is planning to navigate the entire 2,400 miles of the Missouri on his standup paddleboard as he follows it from its headwaters to St. Louis. After nine days on the river, he was in Great Falls and plans to finish the trip in late September.

Mestrezat had been reading about other people’s adventures while working 10 hours a day in front of a computer in finance in Chicago after graduating from the University of Loyola with degrees in economics and biology in 2008.

He decided to turn that around and let other people read about his adventure as he believes he will be the first to travel the length of the Missouri on a standup paddleboard.

In the first nine days on his paddleboard, the most he has traveled in one day is 44 miles. He plans to average 24 miles a day. He reached a top speed of 9.5 miles an hour when the current got stronger and the wind was at his back. He says, “The view and scenery is just so magnificent, you can’t wait to get around the bend and see what’s next.”

Chesapeake Light Craft supplied him with the kit to build his wooden paddleboard, which he was putting the finishing touches on during stops while he drove out to Montana. He dubbed the paddleboard “Muddy Moose of the Missouri River” and christened it with Moose Drool instead of champagne before embarking at Three Forks.