One Woman, Three Great Rivers


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 empower youth (and adults) to achieve their goals and pursue their dreams, educate the public about the Missouri River, and promote environmental stewardship of our nation’s waterways.

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 for a second time 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 61 days, and becoming the first person to paddle both Great Rivers source-to-sea.

Moreland completed 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. Moreland is believed to be the first person to have accomplished this “Triple Crown” of North America’s Great Rivers.

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 in 2014 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. From 2015 through August of 2018, Janet was 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. Moreland is currently employed by Columbia Public Schools.

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 certified 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 seven years in San Francisco where she pursued the thrill of windsurfing in the San Francisco Bay and along 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!
Moreland arrives at Three Forks, MT, the headwaters of the Missouri River after an 11-day descent from the ultimate source, Brower’s Spring.