July 12, 2010 - "Mississippi River Pirogue Voyage"

For father and son David and Bo Lester of Breaux Bridge it's the journey of a lifetime. They're paddling their pirogue the whole length of the Mississippi River--about 2,300 miles. It was supposed to be a five-man trip. Bo's big brother and another father and son were also supposed to go. But a plane crash and a car wreck took their lives.

David says, "So it was just me and my youngest son left, so we decided we'd better take it, or we'll be taken by our self one day."

The journey is now a mission of remembrance for the absent travelers.

"My brother tried to help all his friends go back to school to get their GED if they dropped out," says David's son Bo. "So we're raising money to let kids go back and get their GED."

As David and Bo passed through Baton Rouge, they paused for a family reunion near the USS Kidd. Here they reminisced about their journey.

David: "One thing about it--it's a beautiful river; you've just got to respect it."

Bo: "Whirlpools and tricky currents, it'll tear your up!"

David: "It's been a hell of a good trip! We seen a lot of things you ain't going to see from the road."

Bo: "Oh definitely--the people we met, just awesome!"

After two hours with family, it was back to the Big Muddy for the two sailors.

David and Bo passed through Baton Rouge Friday evening. They are spending Monday night in Venice. On Tuesday they'll paddle the last eleven miles and arrive at mile marker zero a day ahead of schedule. Wife and mother Carla Lester will be in a boat, waiting for them.

And there will be a gigantic party Saturday night in Breaux Bridge.