Ever since I have been a serious paddler, I have wanted to see St. Louis and especially the Gateway Arch from a canoe. On a freezing November morning, I finally got my chance. From what I have heard the waters around St. Louis are some of the most dangerous along the Mississippi River, although I have floated hundreds of miles of the Missouri River, this was an entirely different experience. Luckily I was with the Quapaw Canoe Company, some of the finest big river guides I have encountered. They were putting the finishing touches on the Rivergator, a paddlers guide to the Middle and Lower Mississippi River, and I had the privilege to tag along.
5 things I learned paddling the Middle Mississippi
1. There is always a new way to look at your hometown. No matter how well you know a place, you can always rediscover it.
2. The river can be even more beautiful in the winter. Although it was chilly when we left St. Louis, 19 degrees and windy, finding amazing ice formations like this make it all worth it.
3. Everything taste better on the river! Not only are the river guides from Quapaw Canoe Company expert paddlers, they make an amazing dinner.
4. The river is an impressive artist. Everywhere you look.
5. A long stretch of river is a great place to make new friends. Thank you, Braxton and Mark!