I also was tipped off to a wonderful resource, the Mississippi River Paddlers facebook page. All sorts of difficult-to-find information has popped up on that page, like portage maps and a list of other Mississippi paddlers. From what I can tell, there will be a total of 19 people going source to sea this year, all leaving between mid May and early July. Most of them are male (there is a M/F duo, and myself), and with the exception of a group of five paddlers that left May 16th, there's a pretty even mix of duos and solo paddlers. There are lots of people on this page who live somewhere along the river who offer a safe place to shower, restock, sleep, or say hello to a friendly face--they're called "River Angels." So, fear not, there are many good people that will be in my midst, following my progress and checking in to make sure I get where I'm going.