While on a canoe/kayak trip on the Blue River as part of the 2017 Dad’s Camp earlier this summer, we ran into a guy (Eric Straw) whose goal is to canoe all 50 states (Eric is definitely not “sitting on the couch”!). Spending at least two days and one night on a natural and un-dammed waterway in each state is his goal. At this point he has 32 down and 18 to go…
In late July, Eric was canoeing the Blue River between Blue River Chapel and State Park Bridge which runs through the Harrison-Crawford State Forest. Shortly after taking a much-needed bath (yes, in his birthday suit) in the river, Eric was surprised by our Dad’s Camp canoe flotilla. As often happens in the outdoors, greetings were exchanged and some short conversations ensued. With pleasantries completed, they parted company only to meet later at the State Park Bridge take-out.
Eric ended up coming by the Dad’s Camp campground at O’Bannon Woods State Park to spend a little time with all of us (he also got a Bending Branches paddle out of the deal; ask Brett for the story on that one!). After his time with us, he wrote the following on his blog:
Dad’s camp is about getting kids back outside, connecting a little to the natural world so often neglected and forgotten for today’s youth…Most importantly, the kids I spoke with and the Dads/mentors I talked to all seemed to be having a genuine blast. And they were getting to share in these times — from the difficult to the goofy — together.
While some of Eric’s canoe trips are by necessity far from his home, anyone can take inspiration from him. For example, canoe all the rivers/streams in Indiana if you don’t have the free time, equipment or finances to make a longer excursion. There are many canoe and kayak rental businesses in Indiana, so you don’t even need a canoe or kayak.
Make your own “microadventure”!
Read more about Eric’s canoeing adventures on his blog Shameless Travels: Canoe 50. Since his chance meeting with the Dad’s Camp crew in July, he has travelled to 5 more states.