The Adventure Continues After Two Topeka Band Mates Rescued From Blizzard


TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Two daredevils are back at it again -- just days after they had to be rescued from a snowy Mississippi River.

The two had a chance to talk to 13 News as they sailed into Muscotine, Iowa Wednesday afternoon to tell us the story.

In just 26 years, Topeka native Conner Morton has managed to squeeze all he can out of life. With his buddy and band mate from Topeka-based bank "Yak Bastard" Tanner Ballengee, they've trekked the Himalayas and southeast Asia, traveled Indonesia on motorcycles - oh and Conner has seen more than 20 countries in Europe.

"I just want to live my life and just do cool things when I'm young," Conner said. "I don't want to wait 'till my life is over, keep procrastinating. I just want to keep doing things now and I think Tanner has the same idea."

The thirst for adventure landed them in Minnesota, then in Pepin, Wisconsin, where the owner of a local marina gave them a boat for their newest trip: sailing down the Mississippi River, destination : the Gulf of Mexico.

When asked what would ever make them want to sail down the Mississippi, they simply responded, "We're adventurers!"

Tanner joked he just wanted more followers on Instagram.

Conner's dad Palmer Morton said the whole Yak Bastard band started the trip with two canoes, but it ended up just being Conner and Tanner on the sailboat. They had about a week of sailing training from the marina's owner.

The trip hit rocky waters when they got to Moline, Illinois.

"We started sailing through some really light snow, and the flakes started getting bigger, then eventually some fog came in, and before we knew it, it was a full-on blizzard," Conner said. "We couldn't see ten feet in front of us."

When they couldn't see the navigational buoys that kept the boat within the channel where the water was safe, the boat crashed into a lateral dam. Conner and Tanner, cold and wet, shot off their flare gun for help.

"The fire department, we called them, and they couldn't even see our boat. She shot off our flare gun and we blew our horn and somebody saw the flare. They came out and then their boat got stuck. But they did a really good job"

Through the whole ordeal, they stayed positive.

"It seemed like everyone was more worked-up about it than we were!"

Many may have called it quits, but not these two. They are back on the water again.

"We're not going to give up though, we're going to make it all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. We just like to do what we say we're going to do."

Palmer Morton said he and his wife, Deb, are proud of their son.

"All the countries he's traveled to, he could write a book."

Both Conner and Tanner graduated from Washburn University in Topeka and always had the love of music and thrill-seeking in common.

"We encourage him to follow his dreams even if they are dangerous!" Palmer said.

Conner and Tanner hope to arrive in New Orleans before Christmas so they can be home for the holidays.

Their plan for when they get there?

"Celebrate! Shoot off another flare."


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