Earlier this summer I snagged a Groupon deal for an 8 mile canoe trip for the family on the Mississippi River for half price. The origin of the afternoon trip was in Clear Water, MN through a company called Clear Waters Outfitting Company.
We originally scheduled to go on the trip August 6th; however, gusty winds and rain caused us to cancel. We were able to reschedule for Saturday, August 20th, but the only catch was there were no canoes available, so we chose the tandem kayaks instead.
After watching a safety video, we were given maps, got fitted for lifejackets and loaded up in our kayaks. Abby wanted to paddle with Steve & Kippy wanted to be with me. The weather was a little cool, but very pleasant. The partnership in our respective kayaks worked out very well. Steve & Abby were definitely faster than Kippy & me.
If you have ever kayaked before, then you know the steering is done by the paddler in the back, and the front paddler sets the pace with the rear paddler matching the strokes. We brought along waters and some mixed nuts & dried fruit for snacks.
It was surprising how quick the current in the river was moving. We had a slight breeze to our backs, so with that plus the current, we didn't have to paddle extremely hard to move along. We pretty much had the river to ourselves which was so peaceful. There were several dragonflies which would hitch rides between our two kayaks.
We sang songs and played a couple of word games. One song we tried to sing was from the Disney Pocahontas movie, "Just Around The River Bend..." but we were a complete fail because "Just Around the River Bend" was the only part of the song we could remember!
A big discussion surrounded what was the name of the raccoon in the movie. Do you know? None of us were 100% sure. Steve thought it was Reeko and I thought it was Teeko. Once we got on dry land, we contacted the resident Disney expert (Kristy Sell) and found out the correct name was Meeko. We all had quite a laugh over that.
In the end, it only took us 2 hours to travel the 8 miles to the pick-up spot. No one over-turned, attitudes were great and we all gave the experience a thumbs up. Next time, I think we will pack a lunch so we can pull off onto one of the islands and have a picnic to make the adventure last longer.
We highly recommend giving it a try!