Happy Summer–New Kinds of Fun!

A few weeks ago my daughter asked me to go on a 3-4 hour canoe trip with her and 2 friends–well, pressed me and then I couldn’t resist!  I did pause to consider whether I could actually do the physical portion or not–but thought, “If I can’t, I’ll just make her do all the rowing!”  I had a blast and my daughter and I laughed  much–a great time all around.

My daughter...
My wonderful daughter…

Illinois has many rivers and a few have companies that will let you park your car at the end point of the trip and then drive you to the take off point upstream for a fee.  Our destination was the Vermillion River in northeastern part of the state and the take off point was Streator, Illinois.  We were going to a section of the river with no rapids, the water was only 2-4 feet deep, and risks were minimal.  The company we used; http://www.canoethevermillion.com.  Much information about their services and costs on the site.  Our costs were very reasonable too at $45 per canoe load–we had 2 per canoes, so great for a day’s experience.  Here is a picture from their website:

We launched and then rowed and floated downstream for 12 miles.  The weather was sublime as the heat of Summer hadn’t descended on us yet.  We also took off at 8:30am, so had the coolness of the day on our side.

The river was/is so beautiful with its sandstone cliffs, lush vegetation and wildlife.  I personally received a surge of well-being and happiness just floating along and becoming more close to nature.  Everyone else agreed.

Canoes on the Vermillion near Streator, Illinois
Canoes on the Vermillion near Streator, Illinois

I have lived in Illinois all my life and I have never taken a canoe trip–didn’t really think about it in the press of life’s responsibilities.  But now, I have more time.  My daughter is all about completing Bucket List activities, and she is of the frequently expressed opinion that I urgently need to give mine some serious dedication!  She’s also persistent–so there I found myself, floating along, singing “Row, Row, Row My Boat…” having a sweet time.

On the 1 hour drive home we stopped at both a hole in the wall diner for a tasty lunch and a roadside vegetable and fruit stand.  Fixin’s were bought for a pie bake-off  later in the week to continue the fun streak.

In the end and from a happiness perspective, this day was a pinnacle day.  Closer relationships were fostered, merriment was had (due to our pathetic & hilarious rowing skills!), and learning took place.  I extended beyond my “normal” arena and benefited much.  You might also want to give an ‘outside your comfort zone’ activity a try.


Hope Your day is filled with Happiness!–Judy


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