River trip an inspiration to everyone

How many people can canoe the entire length of the Mississippi River — well over several thousand miles — in a single trip?

Add the fact that a person who recently accomplished this feat is a double amputee, and that makes it even the more amazing.

Ishpeming’s Nate Denofre, who just last week finished the grueling trip from Lake Itasca, Minnesota, to the Gulf of Mexico, became the first double amputee to make the trip, offering inspiration to people who might need it.

Denofre, who has no legs below the knee, is CEO of Courage Incorporated, a nonprofit that offers 100% free trips and adventures to disabled veterans and adults.

Considering the many factors that came into play along his trip, you could substitute “courage” with words such as “tenacity” and “perseverance” in the title of the organization.

He finished the trip along with his wife, Christa, and dog, Marcie, so he had some companionship along the way. However, what really pleased him was the friendship shown to him by strangers along the way, who offered help in many ways.

In fact, he told The Mining Journal in a telephone interview that meeting “good” people was the most gratifying part of the trip.

That probably made the threats of inclement weather, searing heat and alligators easier to take. The Mississippi River isn’t the Amazon River, but it does have its challenges.

We are glad to see that someone with major physical limitations did not let those limitations hinder him in making the lengthy trip, which, it should be remembered, involved non-motorized watercraft, not an airplane or automobile that probably would have made for a quicker and smoother trip.

An easy journey, though, doesn’t always carry the same level of inspiration that comes with a more difficult one.

“If one person can do it, another can do it,” Nate Denofre said of his Mississippi River trip.

People, regardless of their physical abilities, should keep that in mind when undertaking any project or task.


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