New Jersey native Kelly Phillips received a diagnosis of terminal cancer over a year ago. He was placed on hospice and told that he had about three months to live.

But, Phillips decided that he was not going to just sit there and wait to die. He called his brother and said he wanted to buy a houseboat and spend the rest of his life on the Mississippi River.

He left New Jersey heading to Wisconsin in mid-March of 2017 with enough supplies for three months. Here it is June of 2018 and Phillips is still on his journey down the river. He says the people along the river are great – generous and supportive.

He arrived in Helena on Friday, June 1 and attended the Conway Twitty celebration and enjoyed meeting people at Southbound Tavern. The next morning he ate at Kelly’s Restaurant. He joked that he had to go there because it was named Kelly’s and that it was in Phillips County! Sunday morning he attended mass at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. He normally stays in one place about four days, but his stay in Helena will be longer. On Monday, June 11, a film crew is expected in Helena to begin shooting a documentary on his story.

Phillips’ companion on his journey is a pug/terrier named Sapphire. She joined him in July of last year. He thought she was fixed, but she had a little or puppies. He was able to sell the puppies to raise money for supplies and equipment.

Phillips does not like to make plans, so when asked what he will do next, he did not know. He is taking life one day at a time. And, according to Phillips, ”If you make plans it’s not an adventure.”