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Minnesota native's life on the Mississippi featured on History Channel show

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A Minnesota native is getting national attention for his life paddling down the Mississippi River.

Matthew Mohlke, an Oronoco, Minnesota, native who lives in Fountain City, Wisconsin, is a central character on the History Channel's new reality TV series, "Mississippi Men," which premiered Wednesday night.

The show follows Mohlke and four other "modern-day 'Huck Finns'" who live and work along the river, from Minnesota to the Mississippi Delta, the show's website says.

Mohlke is an avid outdoorsman that's paddled the entire length of the Mississippi River twice, writing the book "Floating Down the Country" about his experiences. He's also featured in the 2009 documentary "Big River Man."

The show will feature his three-month journey down the river last summer.

“There are not too many guys who will put everything away to paddle down rivers,” he explained. “I guess I must be a rare type of strange person," he told the Winona Post.

According to his bio on the show's website, he traded in his suit and tie for a pool cue and a raft, living on the river and working odd jobs for money – but the "real money" comes when he "hustles" the pool halls and bars along the river.

Here's a clip from the first episode:

Mohlke spoke with the Winona Daily News before the series premiere aired, saying he'll be featured throughout the series and "several Winona and La Crosse residents will be seen on TV."

As for being on the show, he hopes he'll inspire others to spend time outdoors experiencing nature, the Winona Daily News says.

The show airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on the History Channel. You can watch Wednesday's premiere episode online here.

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