Verdict: Let's do it again.
The inaugural Driftless 250 was one helluva adventure. We captured it all on camera.
Strangers became friends, islands became hotels, a local man saved the day with a pickup truck, and we became one with the eddies of the mighty Mississippi. Teams learned what it's like to ride a tandem bike, with backpacks on, uphill, and hungover. We learned a few new curse words as Andy fell through his hammock at 1am. We also learned that "doctor's orders" are merely a guideline... you can, in fact, bike 160 miles with a broken foot. We stopped counting bald eagles when we hit 20.
As you would expect, the finish line was most rewarding part of this endeavor. Parched and sweaty adventurers, having met just 7 days earlier, were hugging and cheers'ing in the lawn of Wisconsin Brewing Company. After the cowbell stopped ringing, the initial reactions started rolling out. We heard "Trip of a lifetime" and "The hardest thing I've ever done," but the most impactful reaction was from our good friend Brent saying that this trip gave him the most clear picture of 'real American culture' that he's ever seen... and he's been to the US more times than the number of miles paddled on the Drifty.
This trip was genuinely amazing. More people need to experience the adventure that is The Driftless 250, so we're doing it again. In May 2019 another crew will venture into the Driftless Region. We can only hope they fare half as well. Registration has only been up for two days and we've already got some signups! If you're up for a challenge, sign up directly at: http://thedriftyspring2019.eventbrite.com.
Driftless in Chicago,
Jake and Larissa
PS. Are you or somebody you know interested in helping us grow the Lost Company? We've got a lot of work (and ideas) ahead of us. Don't be shy!