One Woman


Arriving at the Gulf of Mexico during a brief break in the fog. LoveYourBigMuddy Expedition. December 5, 2013

Janet Moreland is the first American and first woman to complete a full source to sea solo Missouri River expedition, kayaking 3,800 miles in 7.5 months, finishing at the Gulf of Mexico in December 2013.  The Love Your Big Muddy Expedition was followed on line and in news media by thousands of people. This unprecedented accomplishment culminated in Janet receiving Canoe and Kayak’s prestigious Spirit of Adventure Award for 2014.  Her primary goal was to inspire people, especially women, to step out of their comfort zones and confidently pursue their dreams.

Mississippi's humble beginnings in Minnesota
Mississippi’s humble beginnings in Minnesota. May 25, 2016
Mississippi's grand exit into the Gulf of Mexico
Mississippi’s grand exit into the Gulf of Mexico. July 28, 2016

On July 28, 2016, Moreland arrived at the Gulf of Mexico once again after successfully completing a source-to-sea kayak journey down the Mississippi River. Moreland began the journey at Lake Itasca, MN, on May 25, making it to the Gulf in 65 days, and becoming the first person to paddle both Great Rivers source-to-sea. Currently, Moreland is planning a solo source-to-sea kayak expedition in 2017 down the Yukon River in Canada and Alaska, thus paddling the three longest rivers in North America.

Gates of the Rocky Mountains – Holter Lake, Montana

Janet is a recognized role model beyond the paddling world.  She is a mother and a professional teacher, receiving her degree in education at the University of Missouri in 2012 at the age of 55.  Her first teaching job brought her to the Lower Brule Sioux Reservation in South Dakota.  As a sixth grade teacher her dedication to multicultural understanding and empowerment was recognized by the community and her students.  Currently, she is employed as a seventh grade science teacher in the Jefferson City, MO, school district.  She brings to class a great love for environmental awareness and learning about the natural systems of the Earth.  She also volunteers with Missouri River Relief, a not-for profit river stewardship organization facilitating river cleanups and education outreach.

Photo courtesy of Missouri River Relief



Janet is originally from the state of California and spent much of her youth in the Sierra Nevada Mountains learning outdoors skills and developing a great love for adventure. Prior to moving to Missouri in 1994, she worked as a professional ski patroller, a chairlift mechanic, and a waitress. Much of her time was spent ski mountaineering and hiking in the backcountry.

She also lived in San Francisco where she pursued the thrill of windsurfing in the San Francisco Bay and the coast north of Santa Cruz.


Janet’s kind-hearted nature and gritty determination is evident in everything she does.


Norm Miller with Janet after spending 31 hours, rather than the planned 7 hours, skiing into Brower’s Spring, MT, the ultimate source of the Missouri River. Let the adventure begin!