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What was the first river you ever paddled?

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Little Miami River in southwest Ohio in 1965 when I was 16. My cousin's family owned a Grumman and I had taken small boat lessons from my local Red Cross chapter in Delaware Ohio, which included rowboats, canoes, sailboats, and motor boats, but all on the local reservoir. I don't think I'd ever paddled a river. My uncle drove us from Yellow Springs, Oh. where they lived to Spring Valley and we paddled down to Ft. Ancient State Park, the site of ancient indigenous mounds and other earthworks where my aunt and uncle met us. Trip was about 17 miles. I remember it fondly. Later when I went to college in Yellow Springs, the PE department took classes out for trips on the Little Miami and the Mad River. Also on the Rock Castle River in southern Kentucky. All of these were day trips. Since then, I've done backcountry trips that were mostly lake and portage. My first multiday river trip was in the summer of 2017 on the Manistee in Michigan's lower penisula right after I retired.
 
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Not sure of the name, but in union maine, started on Alford lake. Next was the raquette river from long lake to tupper lake, that was a boy scout trip. Great shenanigans on both trips , we learned a lot. For example throwing a few iodine pills up stream, wile collecting water does not constitute water purification. I still chuckle thinking of those times. The poor parents and counselors. although not the nicest use of vocabulary by today's standards. We always knew basically there feelings. Great people, remember them often, and am thank full.
Even if I reminded a few of them, of a box of rocks!
 
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The first was an unnamed river, that ran from a lake I'd camped on as a child for a decade or so. For years, we camped at a private teacher's campground in Ontario (we still do - in fact, my mother is buried in that lake). We were around 14 years old when I and a cousin of mine got this idea in our heads to go down the river into Whitestone Lake, the next lake over, for a three or four day trip.

It was a lot of beaver dams and a lot of wading, and we got to the end of it after the better part of a day into a ferocious rainstorm. Soaking wet and padling against the wind in a $300 fibreglass canoe, bailing the boat, we sang and chanted old army songs to keep us going until the weather broke. On that trip I bellyflopped from a 30' cliff and we almost started a forest fire. Good memories.

The first "real" trip was a few years later on the Missinaibi. I traveled with someone I had met just a few weeks prior who wanted to come along after seeing my plans. We got along famously. We didn't take enough food and we starved, but we got through it, together and cohesively. Also good memories.
 
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I don't remember how old I was - probably 10 or 12. We had a cottage in St Zenon, QC and the neighbour's son and I took his canoe out for a few hours on La Riviere Noire. No that one - I'd guess there about 50 rivers in QC that go by that name. Later, when I was 14, another friend and I took his "pool-grade" inflatable Seyvlor raft down that same river during the Spring thaw - that was stupid (and cold).

And speaking of college classes - being a freshman meant last choice for electives: Jazz Dance or Wilderness Survival. After teaching us a bunch of stuff that I already knew, the final "exam" was a 2 night stay, alone, without food and only a sleeping bag and plastic sheet, on some farmer's back 40. The funny thing is that the location, while being about 40 miles from campus, is only a few miles from my current home.
 
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