Wausau kayaker returns after 5,000 mile trip - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wausau kayaker returns after 5,000 mile trip

by Mike Haberle

Portage (WAOW) -- Last December family members watched as Jake Stachovak left to kayak over five thousand miles. Now they're watching him return.

"Relief, I'm glad that he's better or he's good, and back safe and sound," Jake's Cousin Ann Daley said.

Jake spent the better part of nine months traveling down the Mississippi River through the Gulf of Mexico and back up the Atlantic Ocean. It was a trip he'd been planning for sometime.

"It feels bizarre, I mean surreal kind of. I was just telling a friend a minute ago, I scouted this spot out eight years ago when I first had the idea of the trip," Jake Stachovak said.

And while the trip is over, Jake's canoe more than represents the long journey he's been on. In fact, it looks like the back pages of a high school yearbook, because Jake collected people's signatures on his canoe over the course of his journey.

"It's my way to bring people with me on the trip and share it with everybody else," Stachovach said. "Rather than sponsor stickers and such, it was just stickers from where I was and signatures from the people I met."

Jake spent eight hours a day canoeing and took a break every half hour to eat and stretch. He also blogged daily about his trip, in fact it's the part of his journey that his family will miss most.

"Kind of wondering what I'm going to do with my time now on the Internet. I'd go on everyday and check to see what Jake was doing," Daley said.

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