A bike can be either the ride or the passenger.

Next to riding on two wheels, my favorite activity is canoeing. I was born and raised in the southwestern part of the state and the Mississippi backwaters were close — less than a half-hour car drive away. Unlike most rivers, the backwaters, while certainly not still, flowed at a slow enough pace to make paddling upstream reasonable. I was able to strap the canoe to the car and begin and end my trip at the same place.

My hometown was smack in the middle of the driftless area and there are no natural lakes (and the man made lakes nearby were small and boring.) Sometimes I didn't feel like paddling the Mississippi so my only other choice was a river. Near Lancaster we had a few rivers (big creeks really; sometimes it was tough to get through without getting stuck. The water was only an inch or two deep in certain spots. They were swift enough that paddling upstream didn't sound like much fun so I had to come up with a way to shuttle. Shuttling usually takes two people and two cars minimum but the urge to paddle often hit randomly and I couldn't find willing canoe partners at the spur of the moment.

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