‘Feeling of amazement’: Cousins complete canoe journey from Butte to the Pacific

On July 2, two canoeists walked out onto the white sands of Strawberry Knoll, on the Oregon Coast and set their boat into the chilly waters of the Pacific Ocean. As they paddled into the surf with the sun shining down, the two were in disbelief of the feat they had accomplished.

To them, the water felt as warm as could be.

Braxton Mitchell (left) and Robert Lester paddle their canoe.

ORION HERMAN, OHverhead Media

Robert Lester and Braxton Mitchell finished their 52-day canoe journey from Butte to the Pacific that Sunday. The cousins started their adventure on May 12 at Silver Bow Creek near the Butte-Silver Bow Chamber of Commerce. They paddled the Clark Fork and Pend Oreille rivers before joining the Columbia for the remainder of the float to the Pacific. Lester and Mitchell traveled 1,300 miles.

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“It was a giant relief,” Mitchell said. “It was really just a feeling of amazement that we made it and that we did all that.”

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