KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A University of Tennessee freshman got his feet wet on the first day of classes, but a massive trek he and his friends took this summer already has him floating along.

Job Dooley may be on dry land now, but that wasn't the case this summer.

"If we were gonna do a trip like this, it was our last chance really," Dooley admitted.

The Franklin, Tennessee, native and his two friends embarked on an adventure of a lifetime before jumping into college life.

"Went from Nashville, just outside of Nashville on the Cumberland River, to the Gulf of Mexico," Dooley said.

But this was no road trip.

"It was about 800 miles of canoeing, so it was pretty cool," Dooley revealed.

You understood him right. Two aluminum canoes, three best friends, and plenty of paddled miles.

Map of trip

"Most of the time we were just paddling obviously and it was a lot of work, but you know, during the day it's just hot and 13, 14 hours a day paddling, but we got a good routine to it for sure," Dooley said.

Their parents weren't easily swayed.

"It took a good bit of convincing for sure and some arguments and stuff but we finally got them to crack and they were super helpful getting us stuff."

The parents tracked the boys on GPS and met up with them once a week to restock supplies.

Job Dooley Canoe Adventure

"They were super helpful," Dooley said.

The whole trip took about 31 days, and once they reached the gulf, the boys couldn't believe their eyes.

"It was a good great relief for sure knowing that it's done and we don't have to worry anymore," Dooley admitted.

But Rocky Top was still calling his name.

"I actually got back the day before I had to go to orientation," Dooley said. "So it was -- go there and come here."

An 800-mile, 31-day canoe crusade, which makes college seem like a piece of cake.

Dooley Canoe Contraption

Dooley said his friends and family were very encouraging.

"If you can do 800 miles you can do college," he said.

Dooley is a mechanical engineering major. His two buddies, Luke Saulters and Jonah Albert, attend Mississippi State.

Dooley said they had a really positive experience and he's ready to start the school year.


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