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Here’s to Alaska! Canoeing the Chatanika with Cousin Mindy

(State #41/50) I woke up in an empty terminal, surprised to feel rested. I’ve tried before, with little success, to sleep in airports. Typically, there’s a frequent, booming robotic voice saying “Welcome to…” and reiterating why it’s a bad idea … Continue reading

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Fiordland of Idaho: Canoeing Lake Pend Oreille

(State 40/50) “Who knew Idaho could look so good?” my friend Lawrence remarked in response to a picture. He wasn’t alone with this reaction. “That’s so much prettier than I would have thought for Idaho,” another friend said of a … Continue reading

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Welcome to the Smoke Show: Canoeing Glacier NP, Montana

(State #39/50) Sitting on a peninsula no larger than a tennis court, I watched gentle waves lap against the colorful, flat, stones of the shore. In both directions, a smooth, long lake filled the bottom of a u-shaped valley. Peaks … Continue reading

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Yellowstone with Taylor: Canoeing Lake Shoshone, Wyoming

(State #38/50) Right after I told her my Canoe 50 plans, Taylor claimed Wyoming. Visiting the Grand Tetons, as she explained, was on her bucket list. So was seeing a wild moose — something I assured her, with the utmost … Continue reading

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The Niobrara of Nebraska: A Canoe with Uncle Russell

(State #37/50) To be honest, no one expects much nature from Nebraska. Like many states, it isn’t that its undersold, it’s that Nebraskan wilderness isn’t sold at all… Now, I wonder why. My Uncle Russell and I drove in a … Continue reading

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Canoeing* the Cheyenne, South Dakota with Cousin Thomas

(State #36/50) Walking the canoe into a pool of muddy water, my cousin, Thomas, turned around. “Should we try?” he asked. I nodded and we hopped back in the boat. We paddled forward for about ten feet and then ran … Continue reading

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The Great Storm: Canoeing the Sheyenne River, North Dakota

(State #35/50) I stood on a boat dock, South of Fargo, with the July sun beating down. Ty, the reporter for WDAY, asked questions while JR, the camera man, filmed. I intended to be thoughtful with my answers. Inevitably, however, … Continue reading

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