Brainerd native completes canoe journey
A Central Lakes College graduate and veteran recently completed a journey four months and more than 2,300 miles in the making. Bartholomew Lindberg recently reached the Gulf of Mexico with two travel companions, the culmination of a canoe trip sp...
A Central Lakes College graduate and veteran recently completed a journey four months and more than 2,300 miles in the making.
Bartholomew Lindberg recently reached the Gulf of Mexico with two travel companions, the culmination of a canoe trip spanning the length of the Mississippi River.
The trip was part of the Mississippi River Warrior Hike Program, where veterans "walk off the war" and take in the therapeutic effects of a long journey. There are seven expeditions veterans can choose from, most are hiking adventures. Lindberg's group is the first in the program to canoe the river.
Lindberg and his team, fellow veteran Mark Fox and documentarian Abby Kaeser, started at Lake Itasca State Park July 20. Lindberg said in a news release the trip was a way to renew his faith in mankind. Recently out of the military, he "had to learn how to trust people again."
Lindberg, a Brainerd native who spent four years as a watercraft operator in the Army, took both welding courses at CLC and earned the Certified Production Technician certificate. He finished his coursework this past summer before starting his trip.
As he pulled up on the last dock of the trip, Lindberg said he was both sad and renewed at the same time. Sad because the trip was over; renewed because he felt refreshed after the long, therapeutic trip.
"It was like I could get back to life and be an effective worker again," he said. "When you're not around the drama, not around the materialistic things, you get a realistic look at life."
Lindberg arrived back in Brainerd Nov. 22, the day after the trip ended. Now he's looking for his next opportunity which will likely be enrolling in CLC again and studying robotics.
Lindberg said he's happy to have paved a path for future veterans who want to make the same journey. He's also thankful for the support he got from the local VFW and American Legion.
The group landed in Brainerd in August on day 31 of the trip and were welcomed by about 30 city officials, state representatives, and members of the sheriff's office, police and fire departments and many veteran organizations.
Visit www.warriorhike.org to learn more about the program and visit www.abbykaeser.com to follow Lindberg's journey.