Floating the Missouri River to Find Himself, Author to Share Story

Oct 6, 2015

While many may dream of escaping the office and exploring the wilderness, not everyone gets that opportunity. One exception is Dr. Patrick Dobson, who during a visit to Missouri State University on Wednesday will discuss his book “Patrick Dobson: Canoeing the Great Plains: A Missouri River Summer.

“My book is about a canoe trip I took in 1995 from Helena, Montana to Kansas City, Missouri, and I had actually walked from Kansas City to Helena, Montana before I got in a canoe to come home.”  

And he faced many obstacles, among them was his lack of experience on the water.

“When I put that boat in the river near Helena Montana at the Wolf Creek Bridge, I had only been in a canoe one other time in my life,” Dobson said.

So what might drive someone to take such a bold journey? Something many of us can relate with. Dobson says it was a desire to find what he needed in life.

“Well I was stuck in life. I was working a job, like any other of job that I had, I had actually worked a series of jobs where I really  felt like I was just working, going home,  getting up in the morning, working, going home, getting up in the morning, and I needed something different. I needed to really find out what I wanted to do in life.”

Dobson says his journey taught him to take life one step at a time.

“Everything that I do in life, like everything I might do in a day is just one step after the other. When I’m very stressed about stuff its generally because I’m thinking about the whole project or the whole sweep of the idea or whatever I’m getting myself into rather than just what I need to do next.”

Looking for your own life-searching adventure? The Ozarks may provide that opportunity, but Dobson notes that the timing is never perfect.

“To do, to undertake a project, or to take a trip, or say, to learn something about myself, the time is never going to come. You really have to stop and just make the time to do it.”

Dobson will be presenting an author talk about his book and adventures on Wednesday at MSU’s Meyer Library, Room 107 at 5:30pm. The program is free and open to the public. For more information on Dobson and his book, visit his website.