In 1980 KJ and Steve Eckelkamp set the World Record for canoeing the 2296-mile length of the Mississippi river: 35 days 11 hours and 27 minutes. They sheared almost 7 days off the old record held by some members of the British Royal Air Force. In 1983, he attempted to break the World Record for kayaking the length of the Amazon River. The attempt failed when a flash flood in Peru washed away kayaks and equipment. In 1994 he kayaked up the western coast of Canada to Alaska, exploring the temperate rainforest and paddling with humpback whales. In the spring of 2018 he, along with Steve's nephew Kevin and Kevin’s friend Nate, tried to set a new record on the Mississippi record, but their attempt was cut short because Nate's son needed emergency surgery.
KJ is an experienced executive coach, Organizational Development expert, corporate trainer and motivational speaker. He has had his own consulting firm for over 30 years, HeadWaters Consulting.
Scott is an experienced canoeist who paddled 2,000 miles from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay in 2005, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of a trip on the same route made famous by Eric Sevareid in his book “Canoeing with the Cree”. Scott has paddled thousands of miles on rivers in Minnesota as well as the Buffalo in Arkansas, the Snake in Wyoming and the Missouri in Montana. Scott is an oncology nurse at the University of Minnesota Medical Center and a massage therapist. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife Heidi and their cat Tuxie. Scott has a Masters in Nursing from St. Catherine University and a BA in Psychology and Philosophy from St. Olaf College.
Casey, 18, attends Colorado College where she is on the Rugby Team. She went to Minnetonka High School (Minnesota). She likes sailing, golf, skiing, canoeing and the 80’s. She has grown up listening to the stories of her father’s adventures and now wants to start making her own. If successful, she will be the youngest male or female record holder for canoeing the length of the Mississippi river (taking that title from her father).
Oliver Simes grew up in Illinois, went to college in Indiana and now lives in Wisconsin. In 2016 Oliver touched 10 states when he solo-paddled the entire Mississippi River in his kayak, with tent and provisions on board. That trip sealed his love of being on the water. The following summer Oliver became a sea kayak guide/instructor based in Bayfield, Wisconsin. He leads people into the area around 21 beautiful islands in the 68,372 acres of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Oliver graduated in 2015 from Indiana University with a degree in Management and a Certificate in Business Foundations. Since then he has continued his hands-on education through his many and varied outdoor activities. Oliver is eager and optimistic and looks forward to the teams’ world record challenge in 2020.