Back In The Paddle Again

Or – I Can Row, Canoe?

Back in the ’70s and ’80s we spent a lot of time canoeing on local Iowa rivers.  Nearly every nice weekend between Memorial Day and Labor Day would find us on the water.   Sometimes it was just Jan and I in one canoe, but often it was with a group of from 3 to 20 canoes and up to 50 people in the group.   Often we would camp along the river on sand bars or islands.

For several reasons we have not continued this practice into the ’90s and ’00s.  Just recently my two sons (Steev, Allan and partners) were here for a visit and we decided to get out on the river again.  Here is a picture of the group (minus Jan who took the photo.)  L. to R. Jeannette, Allan, Steev, Greta and me.

We rented canoes at a nearby County park which also provided us with all the needed gear and transported us to the put-in point.  Here is the trailer load of canoes ready to head upstream.

It didn’t take long to get to the put-in and within half and hour we were on the river without incident.  Here is Steev and Greta underway.

And here are Allan and Jeannette.

One of the things that makes canoeing in a group extra fun is being able to barge all the canoes together and just float (with minor steering when needed.)  Jan particularly likes this  because she can just sit in the canoe and, as she puts it, “play hostess-mostess.”  Here she is in action.

Another feature of many of our canoe trips is the lunch stop.  When we had estimated that we had covered half the distance to the takeout, we found a {relatively) dry sand bar and beached our canoes.  Here is our simple setup for our picnic lunch.

After lunch a few of us decided to take a dip in the river.  It’s quite shallow and the bottom here was sandy.

The rest of the trip was pleasant though we had a strong headwind which made paddling a little more difficult but we still completed the trip in about 5 hours.  In another hour we were home again and some of us decided on a little apres-canoe soak in the hot tub.  A great ending for a fun day.



7 comments on “Back In The Paddle Again

  1. It was a FUN day and we need to do this more often…renting and having the shuttle service certainly makes it much easier than putting in our own canoe. Of course, this day was especially special because of having Steev, Greta, Allan, and Jeannette here to share the adventure with us!

  2. Yay!!! Great storytelling, wonderful pictures!

    Looks like you had a grand time afloat! Love how you hitch the canoes together, the picnic lunch and swim looked grand (how come only the boys went swimming!?), and I’m sorry about the headwind.

    Headwinds are like that and as I remember, can even make peddling a bike more difficult.

    Good show! Thanks.

  3. It was a fun trip and it left us saying, “Why don’t we do this more often?”

    Unfortunately, I didn’t get any good pictures of the girls swimming.

  4. Autry, Gene
    Back in the Saddle Again Lyrics

    I’m back in the saddle again <–
    Out where a friend is a friend <–
    Where the longhorn cattle feed
    On the lowly gypsum weed
    Back in the saddle again

    Ridin' the range once more
    Totin' my old .44
    Where you sleep out every night <–
    And the only law is right
    Back in the saddle again

    Whoopi-ty-aye-oh <–
    Rockin' to and fro <–
    Back in the saddle again
    Whoopi-ty-aye-yay <–
    I go my way <–
    Back in the saddle again

    Some lines from the original seem to fit pretty well.