Support Local Journalism. Join Riverfront Times Press Club.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A Man, A Camcorder, and A Very Long River

Posted By on Thu, Mar 5, 2009 at 10:07 AM

Palazzolo up river.
  • Palazzolo up river.
In December St. Louisan Karl Palazzolo returned to town after a four-month sojourn on the upper Mississippi River. The 46-year-old Palazzolo initially set out to paddle solo from the river's headwaters all the away to the Gulf of Mexico. He only got as far as St. Cloud, Minnesota.

"That's still 420 miles of travel," defends Palazzolo, who says that he underestimated the difficulty of canoeing the early stages of the river. "Up there, the Mississippi is little more than a shallow stream. There were times when I was literally walking the canoe down river."

And while Palazzolo didn't quite achieve his stated goal, he has succeeded in creating an entertaining online journal of his journey. Over the past few months Palazzolo and friend Tom Malkowicz (an extremely talented video editor) have been posting video clips Palazzolo shot during his trip to the site,
  There's the video of Palazzolo hunkered down on the shore waiting out a storm, the scene of him trying to make sense of a nautical map and the breathtaking view of the sun setting over the river's marshlands.

"Here in St. Louis we live right next to the river, yet most people wouldn't dare stick their toe in the water," says Palazzolo. "It's seen as nasty and dirty. But there are large parts of the river that are absolutely beautiful and people use the river for recreation."

An accomplished traveler, Palazzolo says he decided to canoe the Mississippi a few years back after he was savagely beaten by a gang of youth along Cherokee Street in south St. Louis. "I was lucky to survive. It took me about a year to recover," explains Palazzolo. "After that, I kind of felt like I had a second-lease on life, and canoeing the river is something I've always wanted to do."

The video below spells out Palazzolo's original plan. For more videos, check out

Tags: , ,

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 19, 2022

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2022 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation