Ponder's Point View

Canoeing, My Hovercraft & What's Left Over...

About 10 years ago a group of us started canoeing together every 2 years, usually at least a week in remote location to avoid the complexities of life. One of our favorite spots has been the Upper Missouri River, which we've returned to several times, through the White Cliffs area and the Badlands (or Missouri Breaks)) in Montana. The banner shot above is from our trip in June 2009. This particular shot was taken after a 1/2 day hike up from the river to the point where Lewis & Clark surveyed their situation and almost turned back. Remote (only one bridge in the over 100 mile canoe trip) and very historic, along with interesting geology and fossils. Very limited/controlled access & a pack-in/pack-out trip.

Upper Missouri River

This picture was taken early one morning about 3 days into the trip. With the strong current we encountered it's really hard to imagine Lewis & Clark doing this trip upriver! And unlike us that carried our food for the trip, they would have to hunt & fish for their food. Amazing fossils in the hills, including petrified trees and dinosaur bones, that wash down into the river.

In 2010 we canoed the boundary waters in Canada - we did the Man Chain Loop entering at Quetico. Awesome trip - primitive camping & much more remote than the US Boundary waters. We applied for the permit in March for the August trip (for this route they only allow 2 groups per day to enter maximum). The ranger explained that Canadian only allows about 1/10 the number of people in that the US folks does (about 20,000 per year total in a million square acres of territory).

Missinaibi River Thunderhouse FallsThe most recent group trip (2015) was the Upper Missinaibi River in Ontario. This was a new experience for the group, whitewater canoeing! I've posted a few videos on a YouTube channel and hope to add more soon.

2018 is turning out to be a significant paddling year, in January I was co-leader for a DePauw University winter term class on Wilderness Writing. Ten days of the 20 day trip was leading a group of students paddling a portion of the Wilderness Waterway in Everglades National Park (you can read a little about the trip here). For Summer 2018 we're planning to canoe the Bonaventure river in Quebec starting in the Chic-Choc mountains down to Chaleur Bay.

I've also recently enjoyed canoeing the Current River in Missouri. Nowhere near as challenging as the Missinaibi, it's still a beautiful paddle with cool, crystal clear water and a few caves and lots of springs coming into the river.

Hovercraft & Misc.

Right now I've got a 1994 Neoteric Hovercraft that should be getting more use than it does right now. Got it started again last summer after several years of storage, maybe this year you'll see it out again...

But my real former love is hang gliding. It's just not practical for me right now in this stage of my life, but the memories are so strong & the experiences so great that it will always be something I'll never forget. You are truly soaring like a bird and I've even had an angry guaraguao attack my glider in Puerto Rico when flying down there.

Last updated on 3/18 by CLH