Yesterday was Maggie's birthday. We went on a canoe trip on a section of the beautiful Raccoon River. The weather was perfect, and we had a really wonderful time.
Maggie at Hanging Rock (Not the one in the movie "Picnic at Hanging Rock" - that's in Australia), a beautiful sandstone formation overhanging the river.
The expedition leader and canoe instructor, Chris Adkins, explains to us the importance of freshwater mussels as indicators of the health of the river. The main pollutant here is silt, washed down from drained cornfields. Man has cleared out all the natural prairie and wetlands, which served to hold the soil in place. Chris is a really cool guy who knows all about the river and its ecology, geology, palaeontology, botany, archaeology, and loads of other -ologies too!
Me relaxing on the river. It was clear and sunny, about 22 Celsius, with a pleasant light breeze that was behind us most of the time.
What a beautiful place! And they want to dam it and flood the valley!
We paddled eight miles in about five hours - a lovely leisurely pace. I think we may become addicted to canoeing!. Thanks to Chris and the other guides and to Dallas County Conservation for organizing such a wonderful trip.