Two blue-collar adventurers are once again in search of the American spirit aboard the same 17-foot Boston Whaler they traveled the waterways from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to New York to Chicago to New Orleans nearly a quarter-century ago.
John Mirassou and John Bertsch will repeat the 6,100-mile journey using the same Whaler they did in their first adventure. But first, the pair plans to test the vessel's strength June 24-27 by traversing the 300-mile stretch of water from Sacramento, Calif., to San Francisco.
What is prompting two middle-aged men to leave their comfortable homes to once again challenge the waterways of America? Mirassou recently published a book, "Only In America: An American Boating Adventure," on the original journey. While reading his daily journals from the trip and writing the text, Mirassou remembered the kindness and generosity of the people he and Bertsch encountered along the way.
"Everywhere we went we were taken in by people we'd never met," Mirassou explained. "I can't count the number of times we found that our money was simply no good. Today, all you hear is bad news about America or about Americans doing stupid things. That is not the country I discovered 23 years ago. That is not the America portrayed in the book."
So Mirassou and Bertsch have decided to push away from the dock once again to find the America they know and love.