It’s eight o’clock on Thursday evening, 13 hours and counting until my flight to Milwaukee, and I’m still in the office, trying to wrap up the work day before I chuck responsibility into the recycling bin.

I’m heading out tomorrow with photographer Tim Romano on the road trip of a lifetime, trailering a bass boat full of fishing tackle down the length of the Mississippi River, eighteen days of rubber tramping on the company dime, starting in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. I should be giddier than Barack Obama during the Iowa primary, but work’s a funny thing, and all I can think about is whether or not Bill Heavey is going to get us enough posts for his new blog while I’m out.

I blame this on Manhattan, which is where you find Field & Stream’s offices. Live here long enough and the city rubs off on you. It’s a contagion, a disease you pick up from the suits on the subway, the ones who never stop typing emails on their blackberries. Eventually, all you can think about is getting ahead.

On this trip I plan to dump all of that. We’re on a mission to find what’s left of America’s heartland, the places where insider trading has nothing to do with stocks and everything to do with swapping the best spots to catch stringers of panfish. And we’re going to find these places by fishing to the pulse of the country’s biggest artery, the Mississippi River.

So come along for the ride. And if you’ve got any suggestions about the spots we should visit, make sure to let us know. You can do so using the comments form below.