A Cedar Rapids man completed an 11-hundred mile canoe trip with his adult son on Wednesday afternoon.Sixty-year-old Terry Shaffer spent 60 days paddling down the Mississippi River, from the headwaters in Itasca, Minnesota, to St. Louis, Missouri. Shaffer retired in June from Cedar Rapids Washington High School where he taught special education. He says the long journey was full of many difficult and wonderful experiences.Shaffer says his son just finished eight years in the Marines and was “the rock” who kept him encouraged and motivated during the two-month trip. Thirty-one-year-old John Shaffer, who lives in Wisconsin, says they camped and canoed through savage storms and sweltering heat, but it was worth it. He says “it was mostly wild kingdom out there.” He “watched an eagle take a duck out of the air…and a beaver building a lodge…things that when you’re going fast, you miss.” Next summer, the men plan to complete the Mississippi journey, canoeing from St. Louis to the Gulf of Mexico.
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