grand canyon national park
Grand Canyon National Park; photo credit: NPS/M. Quinn.

Mississippi Paddling Record, Grand Canyon Crime, & More: Adventure News of the Week

From the inspiring to the tragic, ‘Adventure News of the Week’ presents a wrap-up of top news in the world of exploration and adventure.

COVID: Man Charged for Violating Grand Canyon COVID Protocols With a Massive Hiking Group. Last year, as the second wave of the pandemic began to overtake the country, social distancing and restricted group gatherings remained a paramount measure to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Still, according to authorities, Joseph Don Mount organized a group of “at least 150 people” from around the country to hike the South Rim last October.

Last week, Mount was charged in a U.S. District Court in Arizona with multiple counts, including violating COVID restrictions, falsifying a report to authorities, interfering with a government employee, and soliciting business in a federal park without a permit.

Mount advertised the hike in a Facebook group and collected more than $15,000 from participants to pay for transportation and lodging, authorities said.

After park rangers told him his group could not exceed the 11-person maximum, he bowed out of the hike while telling the group, “Remember — there is nothing stopping you from hiking the Grand Canyon on this day. However, there is now a target on my back and this is the best way I know to still hike [and] not be tied to any of you.”

Read the full story in The New York Times.

CANOEING: Father-daughter duo leads team to Mississippi speed record. This morning, at 4:53 a.m. Central time, 62-year-old KJ Millhone and his daughter Casey, 20 — along with fellow paddlers Bobby Johnson, 42, and Rod Price, 60 — completed the entire 2,300-mile length of the Mississippi River in 17 days, 20 hours.

Once confirmed by the Guinness Book of World Records, it will break the 18-year-old standing record of 18 days and change.

Stay tuned to GearJunkie for more information on the pending record.


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HIMALAYA: Summit Pushes Underway Amid COVID Concerns. The news keeps rolling in from the world’s highest mountains, where a team of Sherpas has summited Lhotse. Meanwhile, on Dhaulagiri, teams have retreated amid snowfall and a possible COVID outbreak.

Finally, on Everest, Mingma Gyange is making a no-O2 summit push. Keep up to date with ongoing coverage at

WILDLIFE: A Tenth of California’s Condors Land on One Porch. A California woman “turned the hose” on about a 10th of California’s condor population after 15 of the enormous birds showed up on her porch. Read up on the poop-filled fiasco at Adventure Journal.

Sean McCoy

Editorial Director Sean McCoy is a life-long outdoorsman who grew up hunting and fishing central Wisconsin forests and lakes. He joined GearJunkie after a 10-year stint as a newspaperman in the Caribbean, where he learned sailing and wooden-boat repair. Based in GearJunkie's Denver office, McCoy is an avid trail runner, camper, hunter, angler, mountain biker, skier, and beer tester.