Six friends with a shared passion for the wilderness are two months into a nine-month journey to become the first team to canoe from the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic Ocean. The 5,200-mile expedition kicked off Jan. 1, with the group posting pictures, blog posts, and making a name for themselves online through the Rediscover North America website. Like all great adventures, this one came about after a simple "What if?" question one night.  

“[We] were just joking around, I was like, let’s start in the Gulf of Mexico and canoe up the Mississippi River," Adam Trigg told Fox2Now. "It was a joke, and then a week later, he was looking into it and was like, dude, it’s totally possible.”

After spending several months fundraising and preparing their gear, the group left from Burns Point Park on the Gulf and began paddling up the Atchafalaya River to the Mississippi. One look at their route and you can see why so many people they meet along the way think they're crazy. 

Canoe route from Gulf of Mexico to the Artic

Despite making decent progress of 20-30 miles daily paddling upstream, the group ran straight into winter earlier this month, with river ice and snow slowing their progress. The weather is a serious issue as the group will have to decide to either wait until the Mississippi thaws or come up with an alternative plan that involves portaging the canoes a long distance.

"How long do we wait? How do we move? How do we feel safe moving?" team member Winchell Delano told the SCTimes.

Nonetheless, the group expected this part of the trip to involve a bit of wait-and-see approach, saying in a blog post that their early start in the expedition basically guaranteed some icy delays from Mother Nature.

"We're excited to spend more time with folks along the river, sharing time and stories, waiting for windows to paddle," they write. "So if you're along the Upper Mississippi and don't mind hosting river bums, shoot us a line, because waiting out winter is boring business, and we're social creatures. Here is to warmer weather and calmer winds, but we all know what we're gonna get ..."

To help out the crew with a donation — or invite them to your home along the way, hit the Rediscover North America website.

Related on MNN: 

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

6 friends paddling 5,200 miles on Gulf-to-Arctic adventure
Never-before-attempted route has group canoeing from the Mississippi Delta, up 11 rivers, several lakes, and ending at the Bathurst Inlet in the Arctic.