I had the fantasy of doing some multi-night canoeing and my dream is not dead, but it may have to wait until the Columbia River in Oregon. Regardless, the benefit of just canoeing for a half-day is that it's really enough to get a good feel for the landscape and then we can move on to a different area. With that in mind, from the coffee shop in Sioux City we headed to the Missouri National Recreational River where we spent a solid 5 hours canoeing in Lake Yankton, an artificial lake made from modification of the Missouri River. We tried to do some underwater videos and took a fair amount of pictures. I'm glad for that because words can't capture some of the experience. Instead of doing a late lunch on a developed shore we pulled our canoe onto the shore on an isolated peninsula, found an open area that Greg said was a deer bed and set up. Shortly after starting to cook, a deer only 25 feet away woke up from a nap and darted off. From lunch, we headed to a beach and swam with the locals for a little while before heading back. It was a good old time.
- First, on the drive through Missouri I saw one of those ribbon magnets on the back of a car that said something like “Honor our fallen heroes” with a Confederate States of America flag on it. I remind my students that the echoes of the Civil War remain 150 years later but it was really interesting to puzzle over on the drive. I think I'll start keeping track of interesting bumper stickers that are reflective of regional culture. For example, in Louisville you see a lot more pro-coal bumper stickers than you'd see in some parts of the country due to it's relationship to the local economy.
- Second, Louisville water is exceptional. Anyone who argues against it is a fool and should really travel more. We are so very lucky.
- Third, I've really enjoyed the rural decay of farmhouses and barns that we've driven by so far. I'm sure it will continue throughout the Plains.