FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) — A man in the Shoals just wrapped up a monthlong trip down the entire Tennessee River in nothing but a kayak.
T.J. Johnson is a Shoals resident and local grad student who just last week completed a 652 mile kayaking trip all the way down the Tennessee River. The trip lasted 38 days – starting in Knoxville, Tenn. coming through North Alabama, and eventually ending up in Paducah, Ky.
Johnson said the idea for the trip started as a joke with his associates at the Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area Group, but he quickly realized there is no better way to identify the needs of the river than to travel the entire thing.
“Really it was a chance to capture its power and beauty and share that, but also to understand what the resources are like along the river and the amenities,” Johnson stated.
Johnson said around a year of planning went into the trip.
He started by preparing his body, which caused him to lose around 15 pounds. All he packed was dried foods and camping gear.
Outside of a few kind strangers that helped him restock supplies and offered food, it was just him, the kayak, and the river.
Johnson said he met plenty of friends and fans cheering him on all the way. When he finally arrived on shore for the last time, he hated to give the Tennessee River a very bittersweet farewell.