, 2023-01-24 10:00:00,
Kansas City artist Steve Snell spent 88 days last summer solo-canoeing the entire length of the Missouri River, diligently painting the surrounding landscapes as he went. (from the artist)
From Three Forks, Montana, to St. Louis, the perils and productivity of canoeing all 2,341 miles of the Missouri River
Most working artists don’t contemplate the chance of dying from their next creative endeavor.
Then there’s Steve Snell, a self-styled adventure artist and associate professor of art at the Kansas City Art Institute, who spent 88 days last summer solo-canoeing all 2,341 miles of the Missouri River, from Three Forks, Montana, to St. Louis, while diligently painting the surrounding landscapes as he went.
The then-39-year-old husband and father encountered surprises and challenges along the way, and he may have pushed his luck a bit here or there. But — spoiler alert — he made it safely back with nothing worse than a sore bottom and stiff fingers from paddling his canoe up to 12 hours a day for nearly three months down America’s longest river.
“I did take out a life insurance policy, just in case,” Snell recently recalled from the relative comfort of his Midtown studio’s intriguing “couch boat” — a couch that several years ago he turned into a boat and later back into a couch. “And I finally wrote my will.”
Although “there was definitely a risk, I read quite a bit beforehand and talked to people that had paddled the whole…
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