November 23rd, 2012: Sibling Paddle

My mom grew up on the Mississippi River, in the small Iowa town of Keokuk. My entire life I have visited Keokuk dozens of times, each time staring out at the grand Mississippi. I've driven across the river countless times, jogged along the river's edge, watched the barges carry loads of coal and corn (I think) past in either direction, but never so much as touched the water's edge. Then again, I never had a canoe either. Until now.

I picked up Alice, my adventurous sister, at O'Hare airport with my recently acquired canoe strapped to the roof and we continued on southwest to Iowa. The drive was smooth as can be, with occasional stops to tighten straps to reduce the not-so-dull dull of vibrating boat straps. Plan B worked much better - wrap a spare t-shirt around the straps where they aren't snug against the boat.

The plan was a post-turkey Friday paddle down the Des Moines River, pulling out just west of the Mississippi. Friday turned out to be ridiculously cold and the water was running really low, so we opted instead for the mellow waters of Indian Lake Park, Missouri. Briefer than planned, but paddling is paddling and we had a great time!

Perfect paddling on Indian Lake
Indian Lake now, Mississippi River later

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