87-year-old man paddles Mississippi past La Crosse en route to reclaim world record

LA CROSSE (WKBT) — Although holding a world record is impressive, making memories lasts a lifetime.

Dale “Grey Beard” Sanders passed through La Crosse on Wednesday as part of his journey to paddle down the entire Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico.

Once he reaches the Gulf, he will become the oldest person ever to paddle the entire river at the age of 87.

Sanders has completed multiple feats, including hiking the entire Appalachian Trail, most of the Lewis and Clark Trail, and hiking from one rim to another and back in the Grand Canyon.

Sanders, who previously held the record for the oldest person to paddle down the Mississippi, said that, although it would be great to hold the record again, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to these great feats.

“Another reason is to just stay in shape,” said Sanders. “I’m trying to do some larger adventures each year and I’ve been doing that since 2015 when I first paddled down the Mississippi River.”

Sanders said the first thing he’ll do once reaching the Gulf is give his wife a big hug.

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