MANITOWOC, Wis. -

A Wisconsin couple planning to kayak the 2,500-mile length of the Mississippi River is preparing to embark on the next part of their journey.

An HTR Media report says Janet and Greg Gottsacker of Manitowoc have already paddled the first 500 miles. They'll begin the next leg on Wednesday.

Last spring they paddled from the river's origin to the Minneapolis area. This week they'll start in the Twin Cities and paddle 270 miles to Dubuque, Iowa. Then they'll take a few weeks off, resuming in August to paddle another 300 miles to St. Louis.

By next year they expect to reach New Orleans.

They generally camp out at night wherever they can, and then kayak from 9 a.m. to about 4 p.m.

The Gottsackers are in their mid-50s.