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Wednesday, January 4, 2012 - 11:11am

Young kayaker completes 422 mile journey.

A 20-year-old Florida college student embarked on a holiday adventure when he kayaked 422-miles in 18-days from a state park in Tallahassee all the way to Pine Island.

While most college students drive home for Christmas break, Nathan Jangraw paddled 422 miles in a 17-foot kayak

"Most people thought I was kind of nuts, I guess," he said.

He explained that he pre-shipped packages of food to destinations along his route.

At times he would wedge his kayak in trees to create shelter during the long, lonely nights.

He said the greatest challenge was running out of drinking water, so he engineered a desalinator, which boiled seawater so that it would be safe to drink.

Nathan finally arrived at his parent's Pine Island home last week after 18 long days on the Gulf.

His mom, Suzanne Jangraw, explained she was anxiously waiting on the shore for her son's arrival.

"I'm sitting there with my cell phone, pacing back and forth. He pulled in, and he looked great!" she said.

Nathan, an Army ROTC cadet, used the journey to prepare for the rigors of military life - and, he says, simply to prove he could do it.

"Honestly if I ever have to sleep out in the woods in the military, I know it won't be a big deal at all to me now that I've slept out there in the woods quite a few times now," he said.

The 20-year-old will be commissioned a second lieutenant in May and says he has a few more adventures up his sleeve before he ships out.

"I'd like to go farther next time, maybe faster too," he said.

His mom said that wasn't exactly something she wanted to hear.

"Motherhood's not for wimps," she said.
 

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