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  • Paddling northeast Iowa
    The Driftless Area untouched by glaciers extends across the Mississippi to northeastern Iowa. Where there are ridges, there are valleys. And where there are valleys, there are rivers. 
  • Great River Rumble
    The 2014 Great River Rumble will cover 105 river miles from Prairie du Sac on the Wisconsin River to Guttenberg, Iowa, on the Mississippi, July 26 to August 2. 
  • A royal experience on Isle Royale
    Isle Royale National Park is primarily a hiking and backpacking destination, but kayakers and canoeists also enjoy the challenges of paddling in and around the park. 
  • Over 40 and want to learn how to row? Apply for Mendota Rowing Club scholarship
    To honor the late Mendota Rowing Club member Bob Storck, an anonymous donor is funding a scholarship for any adult age 40 or older that wants to learn to row in Madison, Wisconsin.  
  • The 3 (well, 4) legs to solo paddling success
    In my experience, a lot of people talk about solo tripping; few actually do it. That may be a blessing in disguise. Nothing is more miserable than a poorly prepared adventurer with the wrong gear in the wrong place with the wrong skills.  
  • The Des Plaines River Canoe & Kayak Marathon
    For 56 years now, the Des Plaines River Canoe and Kayak Marathon in Illinois has attracted hundreds of canoe and kayak racers. The race course is the 18.5-mile stretch of the Des Plaines River from Oak Springs Road in Libertyville to Dam No. 2 in Prospect Heights and will take place again on May 17.  
  • In sync or in the drink
    Dragon boating, despite needing a team of 20 to move a single vessel, is accessible to anyone with an interest. Paddling skills are not a prerequisite. 
  • Base camp
    Last year, I led a six-person paddle trip into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northeastern Minnesota. I worked with Voyageur North Outfitters in Ely to come up with a route with fairly easy portages but access to beautiful scenery and wildlife.   
  • Paddlers unite
    The West Michigan Coastal Kayakers Association’s 125 members, which include 43 family memberships, run the gamut from the hardcore surf riders of the Great Lakes and folks that do Eskimo rolls as easily as you snap your fingers, to neophytes who are just learning to kayak.  
  • Surf SUP!
    I received an enticing email; an invite to an impromptu SUP surfing clinic was coming together on the shores of Lake Michigan. Could I be at the beach a little north of Racine by 5 p.m.? Hot day, cool lake, free lesson. Why not?  
  • Boardman River undammed
    When Traverse City Light and Power stopped producing hydroelectric power, a decision was made to remove the dams. When I heard the project was underway, I knew I had to paddle this “new” Boardman River.  
  • During the “Annual River Day,” sponsored by the Friends of the Kishwaukee River, a “Loot for Litter” contest was sponsored at the landing at Espensheid Forest Preserve. One paddler cruised in with 93 pounds of trash, including a lawn chair, and a highway warning barrel. PHOTO BY BOB MCCRAY
    My first time on the Kishwaukee River was with the Prairie State Canoeists on a section of the north branch from Bauman Park in Cherry Valley, Illinois, down to Atwood Park in the town of Milford, one of the most popular paddling sections of the river.  
  • Head south
    For those whose paddling season wasn’t quite long enough, you can head south and/or southeast. And while a sea kayaker may fall in love with Lake Superior, I fell in love with the flora and fauna and, sometimes, the water color of Ozark Rivers and blackwater estuaries. 
  • Paddling with kids
    Children can be fickle, but it is important to remember that the goal is to engender a love for the water. With frequent stops for play, exploration and rest, even the smallest child can be a great companion on the water. 
  • "River, I'd like to introduce you to my friend, Novice. Novice, this is my old friend, River. By the end of the day, you guys are going to be great friends."  
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An image.